Human Traffic Watch

Sex traffickers rely on charm to lure victims

In Child Sex Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on April 26, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Criminals who lure young victims into sex trafficking make use of an unexpected weapon — friendliness.

“Being smooth-talking and nice is their most disarming tactic,” said Nilda Castellanos of the Freedom Youth Project Foundation, a local anti-sex-trafficking group formed in 2010. “That’s how these predators manipulate their victims and exploit their weaknesses — through compliments, promises, gifts and other things. The fact is most kids go willingly.”

At first, that is, she added.

Castellanos and her husband, Saul Castellanos, president of the nonprofit, spoke at the Barshop Jewish Community Center of San Antonio on Friday, describing how sex traffickers use deceit to dupe their victims — in the U.S., mostly girls ages 12 to 14 — into prostitution, pornography or other sectors of the sex trade.

They’ve developed a new prevention program called Liars and Posers that educates youth in how to detect the tricks of the sex traffickers’ trade so they can be savvy and safe.

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