by Airman Shawna L. Keyes
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
3/31/2015 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- According
to the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, the United
States government considers trafficking in persons the criminal conduct
involved while holding someone in compelled service.
Human trafficking is a crime involving the exploitation of someone for
the purposes of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use
of force, fraud, or coercion.
The "Trafficking Victims Protection Act - Minimum Standard for the
Elimination of Trafficking in Persons" was passed in 2000 and set the
standard for the National Security Presidential Directive 22, issued on
Dec. 16, 2002.
The act established a zero-tolerance policy and states that government
agencies must be "fully trained to carry out their specific
responsibilities to combat trafficking." Subsequently, the Department of
Defense established the CTIP Program.
The DOD CTIP Program is responsible for enforcing the department's
zero-tolerance policy and is focused on eliminating it within the DOD
structure at home and overseas. Additionally, the program offers and
tracks TIP awareness training, which is mandatory for all DOD military
members and civilian employees.
"There has been a lot of effort made by the DOD to combat trafficking in
persons," said Capt Jocelyn Mitnaul, 4th Fighter Wing Staff Judge
Advocate assistant judge advocate. "The Combating Trafficking in Persons
Program is a five-year program that's going to make measurable
improvements and implement practices that will help decrease human
trafficking and hopefully eliminate it."
The legal team at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is the local point of
contact (POC) for the CTIP Program and making sure information is given
out to the base populace through newcomers briefings and handouts.
"We've put flyers out across base, mainly at base agencies where a lot
of people visit, like the Airman and Family Readiness Center, library,
Base Exchange and Express," said Senior Airman Erica Smiler, 4 FW Staff
JA paralegal. "The legal office is the local POC for making sure people
are aware of who they can contact if they believe someone is
perpetrating human trafficking or is a victim of human trafficking."
TIP is a problem that affects not only civilians, but also members of
the Armed Forces, DOD civilians, contractors and subcontractors. This
issue is both directly and indirectly participated in not just in the
U.S., but abroad, as well.
"A common misconception when people think about human trafficking is
that it only involves sex crimes," said Mitnaul. "There are many forms
of compelled service that are considered human trafficking, including
forced labor, that don't actually involve sex crimes or international
transportation of people."
Mitnaul added that the DOD is committed to ending human trafficking
because they recognize the severe consequences and furthering effects
that it can have on national security. If TIP is not eradicated, it can
lead to other illegal activities that can further promote trafficking.
"I encourage anyone who suspects trafficking in persons to report it,"
said Mitnaul. "When people come forward, it helps to eliminate human
trafficking and mitigate this terrible crime."
For more information, visit the DOD CTIP website at
http://ctip.defense.gov. If you suspect human trafficking, report it to
the DOD hotline at 1-800-424-9098 and http://dodig.mil/hotline.