GRANDVIEW — When Sean Levesque stood before the Rotary Club last Wednesday, he issued a stark warning: “This topic makes people uncomfortable.”
His topic — human trafficking and its impact on labor force in the United States.
“It’s really modern-day slavery,” the well-spoken Levesque told the Rotarians.
“We were trained to believe that slavery ended following the Civil War. But if you use coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar, bananas or wear clothes, there is a good chance forced labor was involved.” he commented.
Spreading awareness about the dangers of human trafficking is a full-time mission for Levesque, who is on a two-year “Love2Hope” mission to bring trafficking awareness presentations to groups like Rotary and schools, churches and high school students.
Sex trafficking is fast surpassing guns and drugs as top criminal activities in the United States.
“Make no mistake,” he added, “… guns and drugs play a huge part in exploitation of humans, especially in sex trafficking.
“Sex trafficking is fueled by the increased demand for child pornography from males in the 40-45 age range,” he stated.
Human trafficking is a $30 billion industry in the US.
The average victim’s age, he noted, is 14 years old.
“Sex slaves are easy to recruit, control move and are reusable,” he added.
Levesque said that human trafficking is defined as the exploitation of a person through force, fraud or coercion for labor or commercial sex against their will.