Yes, the United States is a destination for victims of child trafficking and exploitation. Human trafficking has been reported in all fifty states.
- In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation eradicating slavery, yet more than one million people are enslaved in the U.S. today.
- In the United States, between 100,000 and 300,000 children under the age of eighteen fall victim human trafficking each year.
- The average age of children kidnapped for sexual exploitation is twelve years old, some as young as nine.
- Not all slaves are trafficked, but all trafficking victims are victims of slavery.
- Every 10 minutes, a woman or child is trafficked into the United States for forced labor.
- The U.S. government spends 300 times more money per year to fight drug trafficking than it does to fight human trafficking.
- 76% of transactions for sex with underage girls are conducted via the internet.
- Boys, as well as girls, are victims.
- Human Trafficking is a $32 billion annual industry.
- Children and men may end up working in industries such as textile, agricultural and fishing industries.
- Women and girls are usually placed the sex industry.
- Organized crime is a major proponent of international human trafficking.
- Many people fall victims of trafficking after answering ads for legitimate jobs.
- At least 12.3 million people are victims of forced labor worldwide. Of these 2.4 million are as a result of human trafficking.
- 600,000-800,000 men, women, and children are trafficked across international borders each year, approximately 80% of these are women and girls, and 50% are minors.
- The majority of trafficked victims arguably come from the poorest countries and poorest strata of the national population.
There are reports that some traffickers are switching their cargo from drugs to humans because humans generate larger profits and lower risk.
Around the Great Lakes region, Steve Witucki, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, has been a well-known artist for over thirty years. His art is featured nationally in media, buildings, homes, parks, museums, and art galleries.
Steve, an able-bodied seaman, developed a love for art in 1978. During long voyages aboard ship, he created maritime illustrations and paintings, depicting the lore and legends that enveloped the Great Lakes. One of his prize paintings gained notoriety, opening opportunities in ways he could not have imagined.
Sixteen years ago, the Discovery Channel filmed a program aboard the Edwin H Gott. Deep in the ship’s interior, producers uncovered the floating studio of a young, talented maritime artist. On display in the studio was a painting of the Edmund Fitzgerald lying on the bottom of Lake Superior. Steve’s painting and 1,500 prints of the Edmund Fitzgerald sold long ago. Prints # 1, and his print of the Carl D Bradley, both signed by singer Gordon Lightfoot, are both currently on display.
Although much of his work focuses on maritime and wildlife images, Steve explores a wide variety of subjects using various medium, some of which are on display internationally.
In 2008, the Domaci Gallery classified Steve as a “Nationally Acclaimed Maritime Artist.” His art and biography are featured in many publications including: Michigan History Magazine, True North Magazine, Great Lakes Mariners and Seaway Review, as well as on the front cover of the book, Lost and Found Legendary Lake Michigan Shipwrecks. He is currently creating an oil painting depicting the seventeenth century ship Reformation as well as illustrations for the book series The Jonathan Dickinson Odyssey, which will be published this summer. Steve also provides art and video for television channels including: Discovery, History and National Geographic as well as backdrops for plays and musicals. He also provides illustrations for corporations such as Anheuser-Busch. Steve has created Korean and Vietnam memorials crafted from black Onyx.
2014 Clients Include – one of sports most popular athletes, and one of our governments highest officials! …And of course Jonathan Dickinson Odyssey.
Award-winning writer and eighteen year hemorrhagic brain-stem stroke survivor pens second novel with the use of voice recognition technology. The award-winning novel, Glimpse of Sunlight, written by Leona DeRosa Bodie, GE Gardiner, and illustrated by Steven Witucki was published in March 2014. Shelf Unbound Notable Book in the category of page-turners.
In his younger years, Glenn Gardiner founded and managed several small businesses, spending his is free time as a pilot and outdoorsman.
In 1996, while skiing atop a mountain in Western Maryland, he suffered a hemorrhagic brain-stem stroke. After six and one-half weeks of hospitalization, and four months of home recuperation, he returned to help oversee a contract at Andrews Air Force Base. In 1999, he sold his last business and attempted to reinvent himself. Over the next few years, he acquired six jobs. Unfortunately, he could not complete his work and lost all six jobs. After meeting the director of a Workforce Development Board, he found a position with the organization as a liaison between the board and the business community. In 2004, he began writing to provide his brain with exercise and therapy. His stroke left him with many deficiencies, including minimal cognitive and memory capacities. Because, he no longer had the use his writing hand, and his stroke left him with weak hand-eye coordination, he turned to voice-recognition software. Dragon NaturallySpeaking was his software of choice. Several other software programs were also utilized to accommodate his weakend brain. By 2010, his health declined and his doctors recommended he retire and concentrate on his writing hobby.
Mr. Gardiner spent long hours at the computer learning the craft of writing. His stroke also left him with Cerebellum Ataxia, which provided a host of additional difficulties. His brain processes were not consistent. Some days, he could not do anything except sit in a chair. While other days, he could dictate 2000 words. Eventually, his brain rewired itself. Even today, each morning when his body wakes, he must take medicine before his brain wakes. Mr. Gardiner is capable of creating and writing, but cannot complete Many tasks without making mistakes. After years of experiencing weekly falls, he walks with the aid of a cane. The only thing Mr. Gardiner can depend on is that his brain is inconsistent.
Will Jonathan Dickinson endanger his wife and baby in order to obey his father’s wishes? A small crew of mariners, a few gentle Quakers and Jonathan Dickinson’s slaves will try to survive while being chased by pirates, enemy ships and hostile Indians. Who will die and who will survive? This novel inspired by the words of Jonathan Dickinson himself, will be available Fall 2015.