Laying the groundwork to end human trafficking

Darrin Fletcher speaks during a Q&A session following a presentation of the documentary The Abolitionists Oct. 27 at the base theater. Other Q&A panel members included Mike Chenoweth, left, and Trason Lamb. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Darrin Fletcher speaks during a Q&A session following a presentation of the documentary The Abolitionists Oct. 27 at the base theater. Other Q&A panel members included Mike Chenoweth, left, and Trason Lamb. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Over 450 Team Hill personnel and community partners attended a special showing of the documentary The Abolitionists., Oct. 27, at the base theater. This event was part of the installation’s ‘Combating Trafficking In Persons’ program managed by Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office.

There are different forms of human trafficking such as labor trafficking, sex trafficking, and child soldering. The documentary presentation was intended to educate Hill AFB base personnel and community partners about this global epidemic. Human trafficking is a 150 billion dollar business and affects an estimated 21 million people around the world. Anyone can become a victim of trafficking - adult or child, man or woman, foreign national or U.S. citizen. The documentary presentation focused on sex trafficking. It is the third largest organized crime in the world and according to the Department of Defense, 99 billion dollars is made from this modern-day slavery.

The movie featured undercover footage of former CIA and Homeland Security operative Tim Ballard, founder and CEO of Utah non-profit Operation Underground Railroad and Jump Team members during rescue operations freeing innocent children from sexual exploitation and captivity.

Following the film, movie director Darrin Fletcher, movie editor Mike Chenoweth, and Jump Team member Trason Lamb provided a short presentation and Q&A session speaking about their experiences and the content contained in the movie, as they have experienced and seen the effects firsthand.

Audience participants walked away from this experience with a call to action. “It is inspirational to think that O.U.R. are not only rescuing children or holding perpetrators accountable, but also rehabilitating--or in some circumstances, habilitating--these children. We should all make it our goal to completely eradicate trafficking,” said Team Hill CTIP Committee member Melissa Rueschhoff.

“The efforts shown by organizations such as O.U.R. is an example of how everyone can do something to end human rights violations. Through collaboration both in the United States and abroad, we can lay the ground work to end the exploitation and victimization of innocent children and human beings,” said Team Hill Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Edie Davis.

For more information on Human Trafficking:

• National Human Trafficking Resource Center: 888-373-7888
• Hill Air Force Base SAPR Office: 801-777-1985
• Utah Human Trafficking Task Force: 801-200-3443
• AFOSI: 777.1852, or call Command Post to contact 801-777-3007
• 75th Security Forces Squadron: 801-777-3056
• Ogden FBI: 801-392-7265
• Salt Lake City FBI: 801-579-1400
• http://ctip.defense.gov
• dodctip@osd.pentagon.mil