According to Vandersteel, up to 2,300 children are reported missing every day in the U.S. based on figures from the nonprofit Child Find of America. The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) also shared that 521,705 people were reported missing in 2021. Of these, 93,000 remained missing at the start of 2022.
OUR is trying to help address this issue. According to its website, the nonprofit primarily focuses on saving and rescuing children across the country and around the globe from sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. His job centers on ensuring that human trafficking survivors rescued by the group receive proper care and resources to help them get jobs, receive education and create functional families.
"Once a survivor is rescued from a situation of human trafficking, we make sure their immediate needs are met, food, housing, shelters, things like that," he told Vandersteel. "And then, they get on a path to healing and have access to mental health, medical care, education and therapeutic services.
Schwab, the founder and president of Libertas International, shared that he found his calling at the age of 21 to become a voice for young girls. He had worked with human trafficking through Libertas before joining OUR, where he worked in the same field. Schwab shared that he has been exposed to the reality of violence against women, trafficking and exploitation that was happening across the world, including in the United States. (Related: Human trafficking victims in America could be as many as 17,500 annually.)
OUR has already rescued more than 6,000 victims of human trafficking. These survivors were rescued with the help of law enforcement units around the world. In the first quarter of 2023 alone, OUR helped around 864 survivors of trafficking in Latin America.
"This crime is not going anywhere, unfortunately," he told Vandersteel. "We never want to turn a survivor away when [they are] vulnerable enough to come to us for help to disclose their story and to ask for assistance. We never want to turn them away, and we always want to give them support."
According to the OUR executive, a lot of the cases they handle have an American link. These Americans travel to other countries and look for vulnerable girls and women, subjecting them to horrific abuse. These human traffickers, he added, use many methods to target their victims through the internet.
Schwab also shared that OUR's operations team works with different government agencies to arrest human traffickers. With regard to dealing with government bureaucracy, he revealed that his group looks for really good agents in these departments whose hearts are in the right place. Instead of joining a government agency as a whole, he would connect himself to a particular agent to build rapport.
"I personally find good agents that are trauma-informed, that know the crime, and that is doing really good work despite some of the bureaucracy that exists inside all these different departments," Schwab said.
Follow Trafficking.news for more news about the human trafficking going on in America and across the globe.
Watch the June 15 episode of "Right Now with Ann Vandersteel" below. "Right Now with Ann Vandersteel" airs weekdays from 8-8:30 p.m. on Brighteon.TV.