Human Trafficking: Modern-Day  Slavery 

Human trafficking is described as the illegal movement and exploitation of people with the intent of profit through the involvement of forced labor or sex. Victims range from gender, age, background, race, and nationality. And despite what some may believe, human trafficking is gaining momentum globally. Even here in the United States. 

You may be wondering how people become victims of human trafficking in the first place, or why they don’t immediately run away or find help. As with most things, it’s complicated. This is clearly displayed once we delve into how people fall victim to sex trafficking.

 “Many victims become romantically involved with someone who then forces or manipulates them into prostitution. Others are lured in with false promises of a job, such as modeling or dancing. Some are forced to sell sex by their parents or other family members...” ( polaris project ).

How individuals are introduced to sex trafficking varies. Yet, there remains a consistency as to why many of these victims don’t seek help. 

For starters, there’s a misconception that despite being trafficked, the victims are also breaking the law themselves by selling their bodies for money. This is false. The law doesn’t view individuals who are trafficked as criminals. Yet, pimps play on this fear, emphasizing their part of being a prostitute to keep the victims from seeking aid from authorities. Many of these individuals are then intimidated even further by being stationed in a foreign place over state lines or international borders. If they are moved over country borders, victims fear being penalized by authorities for being in a country illegally. Finally, pimps are also known to use a variety of cruel tactics to keep victims compliant. This includes threats to the person and their families/friends, violence, or a hybrid of other forms of lies and coercion. 

Generally speaking, traffickers often look for those who are vulnerable to exploit. Individuals that have debts, who live in poverty, are runaways, are women, or are adolescents are usually who they target. Runaways, especially, are considered prime targets for traffickers.

Thorn states that “…one in six runaways who reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely [to be] sex trafficking victims”, and that “a pimp can make $150,000-$200,000 per child each year.” This information makes it clear that pimps view the use of selling children to be highly profitable. 

For labour trafficking much is the same in comparison to sex trafficking. The vulnerable and meek are targeted. And the use of violence, threats, and even debt bondage is utilized to keep the victims “in their place”. How these individuals are lured is often through the use of deception. The promise of high paying jobs and opportunity makes these people bright eyed and eager to work. Unfortantely, the reality of their work situation is anything but what they were promised. Instead of the grand opportunities they were looking forward to, individuals are instead faced with horrendous working conditions, violence, and even the confiscation of their passports. With their passports taken, a lack of knowledge of the language (if they are moved to a foreign country), and also a lack of funds to get back home, many victims feel as if they have no choice but to work for their employers. 

“Globally, the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 14.2 million people trapped in forced labor in industries including agriculture, construction, domestic work, and manufacturing.” ( Polaris Project

Labour trafficking is widespread in numerous industries. Though, it couldn’t possibly be an issue for developed countries or for established businesses, right? Wrong. Goods produced by labour trafficking can be found just about anywhere. It is our responsibility as consumers to remain vigilant of the companies and businesses we support, and to express concern or report practices that are immoral and illegal. 

Human Rights First states that “human trafficking earns profits of roughly $150 billion a year for traffickers, according to the [International Labor Organization]”.

Trafficking human beings is considered to be more desirable because of the ability for a human being to be used repeatedly. As well as lower risk in comparison to drug and arms trafficking. As a result, it's estimated that within the next five to ten years, human trafficking  will suprass drug trafficking. 

So, the question  stands,  how can we combat human trafficking?

How You Can Help Combat Human Trafficking:

1.Inform and educate others about Human Trafficking and how to combat it.

2.Volunteer and support anti-trafficking efforts whether it be online, overseas, or within your own community.

3. Be vigilant of your surroundings to protect yourself and others. If you see someone in need of assistance DO NOT approach the potential victim or trafficker yourself. Instead, contact authorities immediately either through 911 or the National Human Trafficking Resource Center 1-888-373-7888. 

4.And finally, from food to clothing, be conscious of where your goods are being produced, and who’s producing it. Regardless of whether or not it’s a small business, a small vendor, or chain. Many “legitimate” businesses have been known to support slave labor. 

To learn of more ways of how you can combat human trafficking, people go onto this site .
For more information about Human Trafficking, go here   .

I hope this was helpful to you! If you have any questions please email or message me directly and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability.