Human Trafficking Leads to North Dakota Oil Fields

The following news flash is something a friend sent me recently. She knows I’m involved with this sort of awareness building about human trafficking. Seems that the Super Bowl has the dark side and maybe that can be expected but in red state North Dakota?! Where there’s oil and money (as there is in western Kazakhstan) then you will have all other vices show up.  Read on:

Collaboration to Fight Explosion of Human Trafficking Along MN Roads to ND Oil Fields


North Dakota oil fields may be a new market for sale of humans for sex and labor. Victims are driven along I-94 and then north on roads which are normally deserted. Trafficked victims, both international and domestic, are being transported for labor and sex trafficking in the North Dakota oil fields.

In response to these crimes against victims of human trafficking, a collaboration of organizations, including law enforcement, sexual and domestic assault advocates, educators, shelters, and attorneys plan to travel to a conference in San Francisco to receive training in collaborative efforts. Attendees will then train other collaborators.

Collaboration members will work together to provide safety and victim centered services for sex and labor trafficked victims. Those victims will be empowered to testify against traffickers to interdict the flow of sex and labor trafficked victims along Minnesota corridors and the stem the tide of victims being transported north to North Dakota oil fields.


Recently, police stopped a speeding vehicle along I-94 in Minnesota. The police saw a little girl in the back seat of the car huddled as far away from the driver as possible. Police questioned the driver who did not speak the language of the girl. The police determined that the driver did not know enough about the little girl to be transporting her.

Aliandra (pseudonym) from Central America, had only a bottle of water and the ragged clothes on her back. She was shivering both from fear of the driver and the cold. She looked to be about 12 years old.

The driver of the car told the police that two men were to meet him at the next truck stop to pick up the girl and that they should know more about the kid. The police said, “Let’s go.”

When the police met the two men at the truck stop, they determined that neither one of the men spoke the girl’s language. The two men could not tell the police enough about the child to be in control of her.

The child was brought to a temporary foster home placement. The foster mother’s heart broke when the child whimpered and clung to her.

The enlightened county attorney and judges appointed a guardian ad litem and social worker who contacted Civil Society, a not for profit organization providing legal and case management services for human trafficking victims. They contacted Civil Society by calling the Minnesota Human Trafficking Crisis and Tip Line at 1-888-772-3324.

Civil Society was able to begin to work with the guardian ad litem and social worker who had never encountered a child in these circumstances before.  They were anxious that the child would be deported.

Authorities found that the child had been transported and marched to the U.S. from Central America across horribly rough terrain at night, with little or no food and water. They also suspect that the child had been abused along the road trip to Minnesota. All those dealing with the child realized that she would probably be trafficked again and be forced to make the same dangerous trek again if she were deported.

Law enforcement has noted increased transportation of this same ethnic group along I-90 and then north toward North Dakota in the last year.

There is help under the Trafficking Victim Protection Act for this child. The federal government also provides psychological counseling for victims by culturally appropriate experts, knowledgeable in the human trafficking of children.

The girl is from an ethnic group which has been designated one of the most vulnerable to trafficking by the Trafficking in Persons Report,  This is because of the group’s abject poverty, isolation (they don’t even speak Spanish) and because they have a cultural practice of going into trance-like states. Thus, when they are abused, they may dissociate rather than recognize the abuse.

Poor villagers in Central America are threatened that they be killed or will lose their small plots of land if they don’t send their daughters to work.  Many of them don’t realize or are fooled into believing that their daughters will be working in the fields in the United States like they work in the fields at home. However, children who are labored trafficked are usually also sex trafficked. When villagers receive money from the sex or labor trafficking of their daughters, they often use it to send their younger children to the U.S. to gain more money for the family.

23 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    They are not fooled into believing anything they SELL their daughters knowing what will happen. They are paid well for their children. They knowing sell one to protect their other children….

  2. 5

    kazaknomad said,

    Bradley, How do you know they are “Paid well for their children?” What is your definition of being paid well? Do you know of an actual dollar amount that is given to these children? Slaves were much more expensive during the slave trade 400 years ago than they are today. So many people are expendable and life is very cheap. Yes, I maintain that many parents are fooled into believing their children will have a better life elsewhere than the abject poverty they currently live in.

  3. 6

    Carole Blodgett said,

    THANK YOU!!!

  4. 7

    Deborah Wolf said,

    Excellent and informative post; I’ll share it out. I do wish the page wasn’t such a migraine-inducing lime green.

  5. 8

    This is SICK.. These people that are taking these children away in our country should be arrested and charged with Child endangerment and kidnapping.. no matter from what country these children are from.. this is SICK.. I am disgusted this is happening and the police need to step up efforts of stopping this immediately..

  6. 9

    Alicia said,

    Do you know the source of this article? My FB friends and I have so many questions about what our state (ND) is doing about this. Were the people arrested that transported her and meeting to receive her?

    • 10

      Georgia said,


      I’m also from ND, northeast of Minot, and just got back from an internship with a group in Minneapolis that is starting a transitional home for women coming out of prostitution. We are hoping to put a seminar together for this summer or fall to raise awareness of trafficking and prostitution, and teach people how to spot it and what to do about it. If you and any of your FB friends would be interested in taking part in that, it would be great to join together to put an end to human trafficking and prostitution in our state. Check out Polaris Project for info about out state’s laws on the topic and how it compares to others in the country.

      • 11

        Carly said,

        What is this group called that is putting on the seminar. I would like to get in contact with you. We are working on some things in Fargo and it would be good to know what we are both doing.

      • 12

        Georgia said,

        Source MN of Minneapolis will be the main speakers. You can check out the website at for info on what the group does against trafficking and prostitution. I interned with them over the fall and winter last year. It would be great to get in contact and hear about what you’re doing in Fargo as well. Please contact me at or search that email on facebook if you prefer.

        Take care!

  7. 13

    Aferrell said,

    I agree with you all, these are sick individuals and need to be arrested ASAP. I have seen many articles about this sort of thing, and even went to conferences where they talk about this sort of thing, and how it is very hard to catch or find a child after they have been human trafficked. the Owner keeps them so hiden. This is the first I have heard of children from out of our country being brought in. When you see a srticle on missing child. more then likely then are being sold for sex. One conference said that if you are blonde, blue eyes, and thin. you will bring a huge price on the human trafficing market. MAKES ME ILL.

  8. 14

    Elizabeth said,

    The thought of human trafficking makes me sick and I believe harsher consequences need to be in place and if it is going on in ND these people need to be punished to the full extent. I would like to know what information or proof you have to link this to the ND Oil Fields – there are no facts to back this statement up in this article. I am originally from Western North Dakota and can definitely say things have changed a lot there in the past few years but it is hard for me to believe that this is going on, especially since you have no facts to back this up – I-90 doesn’t even run through North Dakota.

    • 15

      kazaknomad said,

      Typo – should have been I-94 and not I-90. Elizabeth, check the facts for yourself about what is happening in Williston and Dickinson and New Town. North Dakota has a problem with H.T. Big time!!!

  9. 16

    William Brady said,

    im a truck driver who is involved with truckers against trafficking. i will pass the word to inform my fellow drivers to be aware of this heart breaking issue.

  10. 17

    Maria said,

    This seems to shed a positive light on the girls outcome in this situation, but what about the girls that are over 18? There is no foster care for them. What happens to them? Are we prepared for their recovering process and transition into society? Will they end up trafficking again due to lack of money, home, food, skills, and education?

  11. 18

    Cindy said,

    Anyone caught participating in the trafficking of children or adults should face the death penalty. Our world can no longer tolerate these abominations to exist. There shouldn’t be a “3 strikes” law – we should have the death penalty for this. Anyone having sex with one of these victims also deserves the death penalty. I’m sick of them and the drag they are on society.

  12. 19

    Kathy said,

    Why isn’t this information in our local newspapers?

  13. 20

    ND Girl said,

    I was born and raised in North Dakota: have lived in Dickinson for 21 years and work in the heart of oil country Williston; I understand the stories you are reading above are heart wrenching and unacceptable. However, there is a LOT about what the media reports that just isn’t true. We are still a very rural area, there are still way more churches than bars, yes there are people from outside the midwest with different values than what we believe but… I guarantee you there is NOT a child trafficking problem here. Those of you who know anything about the midwest know that we would take care of that type of problem ourselves.

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