Student Staff Update: Kraig Smikel

Tiny Hands International is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking along the borders of South Asia (India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan). With an estimated 30,000 people being trafficked per year within this area, Tiny Hands International’s work is critical. Tiny Hands International’s work focuses on two aspects: Human Trafficking and Children Ministries.

In its efforts to combat human trafficking, along with performing pre- and post-trafficking intervention, Tiny Hands has implemented transit monitoring as an impactful strategy in this fight. Transit monitoring works by having monitoring stations within and along the borders of Nepal, Bangladesh, and India. Each station has a Border (or Transit) Guard who stands in public transit areas and watches for signs of trafficking. When the Guard recognizes these signs, he shows an identity card and questions the suspected victim and trafficker.

Tiny Hands’ children ministries works by placing abandoned, orphaned, and misplaced children in South Asia in small Christian homes to provide them opportunities to thrive in their communities. This work is done through Tiny Hands’s daughter organizations: Tiny Hands Nepal and Tiny Hands Bangladesh. The Dream Center is a project that is currently in the works to become a community of children’s homes with educational opportunities as well.

My project this semester focused on the human trafficking aspect of Tiny Hands. The project was completed at the request of Kirk Schweitzer, a Regent Law and Center for Global Justice alumnus ('13), and Tiny Hands’ first full-time attorney. I, along with other staff members, researched and drafted a memorandum concerning methods of human trafficking in the United States. This memorandum is designed to assist Tiny Hands in two ways. First, the memorandum gives Tiny Hands information on how people are being trafficked within the United States. Through extensive research, we determined that common methods to traffick people include bus stations, airports, cars, and hotels. This information will assist Tiny Hands to recognize and improve their efforts in transit monitoring. Second, the memorandum assists Tiny Hands in their decision on expanding their efforts to the United States.

This project has been very rewarding in knowing that I have been able to assist such a great organization in their efforts. Furthermore, it has given me great knowledge of the status of human trafficking in the United States. I have known that human trafficking has been an issue here, but not to the detailed level I know now. Because of this, it has been a great opportunity and a blessing to work on this project.

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