The Human Commodity: Part Three

            After serving as a police officer and human trafficking investigator, Michael (Mike) Ferjak is now spending his retirement educating citizens on the realities of human trafficking through his consulting firm, “I Know a Guy.” Ferjak presented a program Thursday, April 25 at the Marengo Public Library that focused on educating Iowans on domestic minor sex trafficking in Iowa and what we can do to help.

            By law human trafficking is defined as “participating in a venture to recruit, harbor, transport, supply provisions, or obtain a person for the following purposes: 1) Forced labor or service that results in involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. 2) Commercial sexual activity through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, except that if the trafficked person is under the age of eighteen, the commercial sexual activity need not involve force, fraud or coercion.”

            This coincides with the definition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. “Sexual abuse of a child by another person in return for remuneration in cash or kind, paid to the child or paid to a third party or persons. It includes child prostitution, child pornography, trafficking in children for sexual purposes, child sex tourism, or sexual exploitation.”

            Based on these laws and definitions, the dialogue used in discussions about human trafficking is beginning to change. Law enforcement is only one piece of this solution. As videos like “Gridshock” have shown us, the real problem is not just people being trafficked, it’s that they are being bought.

 

For the rest of this article, check out the June 29th issue of the Keota Eagle.