Williston…a New Human Trafficking Crisis Emerging

With the onset of the oil production in Williston, North Dakota, people are traveling from every state who have had problems finding work, or who simply want to earn more money. And with all the money that’s flowing there like the oil, the spending power has dramatically increased in Williston. Rents are high, baristas earn amazing tips for peddling coffee to workers every morning, strippers are raking in the dough, and prostitution is on the rise. For human traffickers from around the globe, Williston is becoming the best kept secret for where to send their prey for a new audience of predator – men who don’t question a girl’s age, her consent, or her country of origin. All that some of these men care about who are earning the big bucks in the oil biz is the quickest route to available young prostitutes. Williston residents already see a crisis on their hands and only a few of the brave are stepping up to the plate to try and help the victims of this horrible type of crime – human trafficking. Young women bought and sold through trafficking rings everywhere, and imported into Williston are stuck in much the same existence as those trafficked into brothels in the Middle East and the jungles of Cambodia, except that Williston offers temperatures below zero for these young women to stand outdoors in during the winter months. Some are even sold by their own families. Man camps, as they’re called, that have cropped up all over Williston, are full of several men seeking pleasure anywhere they can find it. If you thought that human trafficking was something that was happening to “those people over there,” think again. Jo’el Worldwear supports artisans and designers emerging from human trafficking and slavery rings, and we feel that this one is right in our own backyard. If you know anyone headed to work in Williston, take a moment to share this article and to educate that individual, especially if they are male. Encourage them to be part of a solution, not part of a problem.


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