Human Trafficking in Connecticut
NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT – May 24, 2018
Human Trafficking is a form of modern slavery that goes on around the world, even in Connecticut.
From the girl forced into prostitution at a truck stop, to the man discovered in a restaurant kitchen, stripped of his passport and held against his will. All trafficking victims share one essential experience: the loss of freedom.
People preying on children, girls, and women and holding them against their will, enslaving them in the worst possible ways, and also exploiting them through child pornography and even the extraction of organs or tissues.
Krishna Patel, an attorney and general counsel for New Canaan's Grace Farms Foundation, gave an interview to the WTNH / WCTX TV channel, helping to bring this huge problem to light.
Since joining the Foundation, Krishna has been at the center of organizing actions against human trafficking in Connecticut including helping to draft amendments to strengthen Connecticut’s existing anti-trafficking laws, which went into effect on May 17, 2016. She also leads innovative big data platform training sessions at Grace Farms to help law enforcement locate and apprehend traffickers and rescue survivors.
Patel is among the many creating laws which can put a stop to this.
"In 2012, 212 children were identified here in the state of Connecticut to have been trafficked, that's a pretty substantial number," she said. "I think one of the biggest myths out there is that these are children who come from foster care populations."
"Over 140, I think there's approximately 143, came from families, were kidnapped out of a house, or who get groomed and victimized through this incredible kind of grooming process what I call this family myth dynamic that these pimps are so amazingly adept at doing."
“Sex trafficking of minors, where you have pimps around our country, who are prostituting very young children, and when I say very young children, children who are nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen years old, moving them from state to state and prostituting them either at strip clubs or in hotel rooms or in private homes. – she explained, the money is coming from those who buy sex from these children.”
Krishna almost breaks down in tears as she recalls one of her first cases. “My youngest victim was 12 years old. There was a horrific pimp, such a horrific pimp, he was so extraordinary brutal, and he would move girls, they were girls, all around at the country. He would require them to make five hundred to thousand dollars a day. So these are children who are just being raped day in and day out in strip clubs in Bridgeport, in Hartford, in casinos in the winter time, he also moved them from state to state at different sporting events, and when they did not comply, he beat them, he raped them, he cut them, they were hospitalized at different times…She was brought into a strip club in Bridgeport with a Teddy bear… a Teddy bear… and nobody said anything…”
Patel says we are all unwittingly complicit in this evil practice just by the products we use every day. Companies who employ children as young as four in parts of the world make many of the products we use.