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The Reality of Human Trafficking

One of the fastest and largest growing crimes in the U.S. is human trafficking. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, "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 the United States. It can happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers might use violence, manipulation, or false promises of well-paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure victims into trafficking situations.” This crime is happening in communities across the nation. Communities need to take a stand and educate themselves on human trafficking and learn how all of our efforts can make a difference. There are many resources out there that have information to help fight against this growing crime.

The US Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT) is a leader in the global fight to eradicate human sex trafficking and intends to eliminate human sex trafficking in the United States through prevention, combating demand, the rescue of victims, and providing safe refuge for the restoration of survivors.

A Community-Wide Strategy to Fight Against Human Sex Trafficking
USIAHT’s flagship demand reduction program,TraffickingFreeZoneTM, is a community-based initiative to reduce the number of buyers, whose continuous financial investments create an illicit market for traffickers to exploit young victims. TheTraffickingFree Zone program is implemented in collaboration with community members and leaders, law enforcement, businesses, schools, health care  organizations, churches and the media, all while using technology to reach buyers and victims on a massive scale. The program helps communities come together to arrest and prosecute sex buyers instead of the victims who are being sold, educates people on sex trafficking, and uses technology and research to reduce demand.

Community-by-community the TFZ program is implemented with the focus on arresting and prosecuting sex buyers instead of the victims who are being sold, educating people on sex trafficking, connecting the community with victim and buyer services, as well as implementing numerous other demand reduction techniques. Using the principles outlined in the TFZ program, communities can expect to see a significant decline in demand.

To create a "Traffic Free Zone" there are three steps: #1 is to get educated by doing a training offered on the USIAH website. #2 is to get enraged by issuing a proclamation declaring your business, or institution a "Traffic Free Zone." #3 is to get engaged and this is being done by our annual "Anti-Human Trafficking Symposium."

  • The Gender Resource Center launched a training program on campus through: This training is free and can be completed easily by anyone interested in expanding their knowledge on human trafficking. Once the training is completed a certificate is provided.
  • In January 2020, President Satterlee signed a proclamation declaring Idaho State University a "Traffic Free Zone."
  • On November 5, 2021 join us in attending the 3rd "Anti-Human Trafficking Symposium."


Anti-Human Trafficking Symposium

Join us on November 5, 2021, in the Wood and Little Wood River Rooms, located in the Pond Student Union, from 10:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M., for the “Anti-Human Trafficking Symposium.” This event is free and open to everyone including: service providers, and community members. Parking will be free in Lot #1, next to the Pond Student Union.

Human trafficking spans across the United States and occurs in every state, including Idaho. There is a network of people that target individuals and can reach victims through a variety of means. The industry is growing in profitability, making human trafficking appealing to many and increasing the number of young people falling victim to traffickers. The symposium will present information on human trafficking.

This event is being hosted by the Gender Resource Center at Idaho State University.


Symposium Schededule

Welcome – 10:00 to 10:15


"Sex Trafficking in Idaho"

Jennifer Zielinski, Executive Director of

Idaho Anti-Trafficking Coalition

10:15 to 11:10


“Chosen” - Film

The true story of two teen girls tricked by traffickers–

11:10 to 11:35


“Chosen Gang Edition”- Film

Lured by the promise of love and protection, Maria was recruited by a gang at 12 years old.

11:35 to 11:50



11:50 to 12:50


“Invading the Darkness-Inside the Historic Fight Against Child Sex Trafficking in the United States”

Linda Smith, Founder and President of Shared Hope

12:00 to 1:30


“Missing and Murdered Indigenous People”

Tai Simpson

Idaho Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence

1:30 to 3:00


Session 1

"Sex Trafficking In Idaho"

Jennifer Zielinski

Training provided will give an in-depth description into IATC
programs, data collection, what human trafficking looks like in
Idaho, Idaho laws, Top 5 causes of Human Trafficking in
Idaho, vulnerable populations, warning signs, grooming tactics,
who are the traffickers.

Session 2

“Chosen” - Film

Shared Hope

Victims of trafficking are being targeted younger and younger. This film tells the true story of two teens who were trafficked.

“Chosen Gang Edition” – Film

Traffickers prey on marginalized and displaced victims. They target victims needs and with false promises. This film follows the story of Maria who at age 12 was recruited by a gang.

Session 3

“Invading the Darkness-Inside the Historic Fight Against Child Sex Trafficking in the United States”

Linda Smith, Founder and President of Shared Hope

Linda Smith, Founder and President of Shared Hope International, former US Congresswoman and expert on international and domestic trafficking. Linda will share a message of Hope and Empowerment, so YOU can TAKE ACTION in YOUR Community!

Session 4

Murdered and Missing Indigenous People

Tia Simpson

Miss Africa Idaho 2019 2nd Runner Up

This presentation will the leadership and bridge building being developed to address the escalating crisis in Indian country. Indigenous communities are seeing the damaging effects of human trafficking, sexual assault and domestic violence. There is a growing body of research showing that the violence can be addressed through partnerships working together to combat the problem.