The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

Human trafficking proves risky at Mall of America

May 2, 2017

An incredibly harsh reality for women and men in 2017 is becoming a victim to human trafficking. People from all walks of life are vulnerable to trafficking rings, and thousands have fallen prey to them in the last year alone. While it is easy for one to diffuse the thought of it affecting themselves, trafficking runs through many large and small counties and cities in the U.S., including the Twin Cities and its surrounding areas. The state of Minnesota and its citizens should provide more awareness and protection to their communities.

With everyday city attractions, like the Mall of America,  becoming hunting grounds for trafficking rings, more protection and screening from law enforcement needs to be put in action to protect Minnesota citizens.

Nikki Beasley, Director of Programs for Breaking Free, a nonprofit organization that provides support for victims of human trafficking said in an interview with MPR News, “It’s through the manipulation, the coercion, through fraud, of typically men and our young girls. … If you have a young person where there’s family conflict, where maybe she’s run away, the minute she’s away from home, we know that within a day, a day and a half, she will be approached.”

These rings take children as young as nine years old and lure them into lives of sexual slavery. Putting the children of Minnesota at a vulnerable risks by not monitoring their internet and contacts with unfamiliar adults is foolish on the part of adults.

Reporting to authorities can prove vital to protecting citizens, but civilian advocacy groups who aim to stop these threats have made great strides in protecting victims. Sharing suspicious posters, people, advertisements, and internet profiles with the public is vital to the safety of thousands of women and men. Speaking out on these issues is something everyone should do to help prevent abductions.

I think the abilities of the authorities can be very limited in these scenarios, and they do all they can. In my personal opinion, a much more effective approach would be to cut the issue off at the source.”

— Siri Bohacek

“I think the abilities of the authorities can be very limited in these scenarios, and they do all they can. In my personal opinion, a much more effective approach would be to cut the issue off at the source. Communities should work together to ensure they are not, even unintentionally, perpetrating this culture,” junior Siri Bohacek said.

The phrase actions speak louder than words may be true to some respects, but in this case speaking out on this topic is what can be the difference between life or death. It is the duty of Minnesotans, civilian and law enforcement, to arm the people with knowledge to alleviate the spread of trafficking


2 Responses to “Human trafficking proves risky at Mall of America”

  1. Anna Koenning on May 7th, 2017 8:37 pm

    This is an interesting article on a very important issue. I like that not only did you use a quotation from somebody who works with this subject daily, but also with a student. I agree that we need to talk about trafficking more often, because actions will not be made unless we can discuss the problem. Great article!

  2. Joseph Schuller on August 31st, 2019 12:49 pm

    This is a very serious subject matter, but I fail to see the overall connection to human trafficking and the MOA. Yes, there is potential for abductions at that mall, but really no more than any other mall. Most likely less since MOA has a very extensive security team and surveillance system. Perhaps someone has been abducted, human trafficed from the MOA, but I could not find a single example of it on the internet. Human and sex trafficking can happen anywhere at anytime. Connecting the MOA with abductions is a serious claim that should be substantiated by evidence. I would have rather seen this piece done without singling out a place just because it would cause gravitas in a click bait world. Impressionable minds will read too much into the headline and mistakenly make a connection that is really untrue.

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