HAWKINS, TX (KETK) – Jarvis Christian College wants to shine a light on the trafficking happening right here in East Texas.
Nigeria’s former Minister of Education was on hand to remind people that trafficking is still rampant in America as it is in any other country. “We have to make sure that we educate the young, the old and everyone about what is going on so that we can tackle human trafficking,” said Jarvis Christian President Dr Leslie Newman. The seminar focused on debunking myths about where human trafficking takes place.
Chinwe Obaje said knowing how to spot the signs can pave the way for better problem solving as a community.
“The person can have injuries on them. It may seem like a competitor. She feels uncomfortable when you see this and then she can walk on her own and can have a tattoo on her. So when you see such signs, you know that the person has probably been trafficked. ”
Human traffickers have broadened their reach through the misuse of the Internet and communications over the past decade. Jarvis Christian College hopes to eradicate this problem with the help of Chinwe Obaje.
Earlier this year Daniel Skipworth, a man from Tyler, was charged with driving across the country to kidnap an Alabama girl he met online. He was charged with child sexual assault.
“The Internet has been used to attract a lot of people out of their homes. No one is going along the road now to catch anyone. Thus, they aggregate them on the Internet over a period of time. It could even be family members, friends or associates, ”Obaje said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has skyrocketed this problem even more.
“The pandemic has really affected the numbers as a lot of people have lost their jobs and their homes. Homelessness is one of the push factors. During the pandemic, many people could not pay their rent and ended up losing their homes because they did not have a job, ”Obaje said. Highway 80 and Interstate 20 are major human trafficking routes.
Jarvis Christian College wants to help end this. Their goal for the next semester is to work with the students on how best to eradicate this problem.
“So I’ll be back next year and then between classes – then we’ll see how to infuse all of that into the general studies here. Through this educational process, Jarvis Christian hopes to see positive results in helping to keep our community safe.