* These materials are supported by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the United States (U.S.) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $497,996 with 100 percent funded by ACF/HHS. The contents are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACF/HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit the ACF website, Administrative and National Policy Requirements.
In partnership with 3Strands Global Foundation’s PROTECT Utah program, the Granite School District is one of eight Local Education Agencies (LEA) nationwide to be awarded a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) to provide human trafficking prevention education to all district staff and students. This grant is the first of its kind, which put GSD at the forefront of fighting human trafficking in schools across the country and has been awarded to GSD based on its potential to change students’ lives. The curricula have been through rigorous federal approval processes and is one of the most comprehensive programs in the nation.
- All 8,000+ GSD staff will be trained on recognizing and responding to human trafficking in schools using our Human Trafficking School Safety Protocol.
- Over a three year period, 35,000+ GSD students will be taught age-appropriate lessons about keeping themselves and others safe from exploitation and abuse
- A special Training-of-Trainers will be given to counselors and social workers who will teach the curriculum to students.
Granite District Human Trafficking School Safety Protocol
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide – including right here in Utah.
Sex Trafficking vs. Labor Trafficking
Human Trafficking is an umbrella term that covers both sex and labor trafficking.
Sex Trafficking: When a child (under 18) is given anything (e.g. money, drugs, food, shelter) in exchange for any sex act or when someone uses force, fraud, or coercion to make an adult engage in commercial sex.
Any situation where a child is given something of value in exchange for sex is a crime. There are no exceptions.
Labor Trafficking: When someone uses force, fraud, or coercion to make another person work or provide services.
Myths and Misconceptions
Many misconceptions exist about human trafficking. For example, people think it only happens in other countries; that victims are only foreign-born or those living in poverty; that traffickers are always strangers; and that victims are always being chained up.
Myth #1: Human trafficking does not occur in the United States. It only happens in other countries.
Fact: Human trafficking exists in every country, including the United States. It exists nationwide – in cities, suburbs and rural towns – and probably in your own community.
Myth #2: Human trafficking victims are only foreign-born individuals or those living in poverty.
Fact: Human trafficking victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Young children, teenagers, women, men, runaways, United States citizens, and foreign-born individuals are all at risk of becoming victims.
Myth #3: Human trafficking is only sex trafficking.
Fact: You may have heard about sex trafficking, but forced labor is also a significant and prevalent type of human trafficking. Victims are found in legitimate and illegitimate labor industries, including sweatshops, massage parlors, agriculture, restaurants, hotels, and domestic service. Note that sex trafficking and forced labor are both forms of human trafficking, involving the exploitation of a person.
Myth #4: Individuals must be forced or coerced into commercial sex acts to be a victim of human trafficking.
Fact: According to U.S. federal law, any minor under the age of 18 who is induced to perform commercial sex acts is a victim of human trafficking, regardless of whether he/she is forced or coerced.
Myth #5: Human trafficking and human smuggling are the same thing.
Fact: Human trafficking is not the same as smuggling. “Trafficking” is exploitation-based and does not require movement across borders. “Smuggling” is movement-based and involved moving a person across a country’s border with that person’s consent, in violation of immigration laws.
Myth #6: All human trafficking victims attempt to seek help with in public.
Fact: Human trafficking is often a hidden crime. Victims may be afraid to come forward and get help; they may be forced or coerced through threats or violence; they may fear retribution from traffickers, including danger to their families; and they may not be in possession or have control of their identification documents.
Oftentimes what leads to human trafficking is vulnerabilities. We all have needs in life, whether that is food, water, shelter, or other things like money, love and affection, etc. If one of those needs isn’t met, this makes it a vulnerability. The more vulnerabilities we have, the more susceptible we are to the tactics of traffickers who identify those vulnerabilities in an attempt to use them to take advantage of someone. These vulnerabilities are our risk factors, and increased risk factors means a high chance of exploitation. When understanding human trafficking, we need to better understand the risk factors. Fortunately, there is something we can do to reduce our risk factors, these are call “protective factors”.
As we identify the challenging life experiences that youth may be faced with, it is important to also identify what protective factor(s) could help to change the trajectory of their lives in a positive way.
- A protective factor is a characteristic at the biological, psychological, family or community (including peers and culture) level that reduces the negative impact of a risk factor, ultimately reducing the youth’s vulnerability to problematic outcomes.
- An example of a protective and risk factor relationship could include: A youth that has anxiety and low self-esteem as the risk factor and positive peer relationships are the protective factor.
- Another example of a risk factor might be a youth who is emotionally abused at home and struggles to make friends; the protective factor would be a teacher who encourages the youth’s writing and supports their talent.
- Melanie Speirs 385-646-4717