A sixteen year old girl named Katie ran away from home with her boyfriend, who sold her body to other guys for the night, in order to earn some money. When Katie wanted to stop, her boyfriend threatened her and her family. This is how human trafficking works. Girls bodies are given away for the profit of their sellers. Human trafficking forces kids, like Katie, into sexual labor, ruins mental health for the rest of their lives, and could be described as modern-day slavery. It’s a terrible thing that needs to be stopped.
“Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act…” (paragraph 1, homeland security). It forces young girls into sexual crimes. Human trafficking is the second highest profitable form of transnational crime (Homeland Security). Some even think it will become first, passing drug and alcohol. Traffickers are known as johns, pimps or perpetrators (focus on the family). Sexual exploitation is the most famous kind of human trafficking (Cantrell). The pimps use the victims to gain money. Not all human trafficking situations involve a male trafficking a female, but most do (Ark of Hope for Children). Human trafficking has been around for over 200 years (Focus on the family).
Traffickers look for many things in a possible victim. People that are easily overpowered, such as children or young runaways (Ark of Hope for Children). Even if a victim consents, if they are a minor it’s still considered kidnapping (Freedom Center). Kids and teens could be peer pressured into human trafficking by classmates involved (Belles). Some traffickers hang out at places kids would hang out without adults (Focus on the Family). They consider children vulnerable and innocent so they go after them. It’s a horrible quality of this world. Our internet is also used to recruit victims. There are websites that are used to advertise girls that pimps can invest in (Belles). These people are taking young girls childhood and innocence away for their own personal pleasure.
The victims of human trafficking are affected in many ways. You have to be patient with victims because they have been through unimaginable trauma (Cantrell). A sign someone is a victim of human trafficking is if they are missing continuous meetings that they usually attend (Cantrell). If you are dealing with a victim, realize that they are extremely vulnerable and scared. Human trafficking ruins the victims mental health and physical state (Ark of Hope for Children). If a victim is held hostage, they will most likely pass away after seven years (Ark of Hope for Children). The traffickers could use personal struggles as a tool to get them to stay (Focus on the Family). Some think the pimp loves them or thinks they are special, and when they realize they don’t it breaks them (Belles). The traffickers might brand the victim with tattoos or burn marks (Focus on the Family). Victims physical appearance could be altered as well. “…formerly fit body was skinny. Her skin was pale and skinny looking…” (Belles, 10-11).
If the victims are being hurt and abused, why do they stay? The traffickers could trick, threaten, or convince the victims to stay. They often use deception (Cantrell). They could trick the victim by telling them that no one is coming for them and no one cares (Cantrell). The pimp could threaten the family of the victim which scares them into stayin (Batstone). Some are using human trafficking as a tool when they are struggling (Focus on the Family). The pimp could force drugs or alcohol onto the victim to get them hooked (Focus on the Family). Some pimps lie to the victims and tell them they will be released when they get their money (Freedom Center). They could also use violence and abuse to keep them for themselves (Cantrell).
The United States of America (USA) is a big source for human trafficking. “Human trafficking may be one of the least understood crimes in the United States” (8,Cantrell). Victims from all around the world are brought to the USA (Cantrell). Traffickers bring their victims here to get out of trouble from where they came from and to confuse the victims. Sometimes the victims brought to the USA do not speak english which makes it hard to get help (Cantrell). Around 2 to 4 million people are trafficked annually (Cantrell). In the USA, human trafficking has gone over the legal amount of sold arms (people) (Ark of Hope for Children). Both children trafficking and sex trafficking are found in USA (Human Trafficking NC). There is no way to calculate the exact amount of human trafficking in USA. “About 80%of all US trafficked individuals are female, about 50% are children (Belles, 12). Around 9.8 billion dollars is funded towards human trafficking in the USA every year (Focus on the Family).
Human trafficking and slavery have many similarities and differences. Slavery involved racism against any race that wasn’t white, mainly African Americans, but human trafficking involves all races (Kara). Slaves collect money and do the labor for their owners just like victims of human trafficking (Kara). “Each year 800,000 to 900,000 human beings are bought,sold, or forced across the worlds borders” (Batstone, 65). Those statistics are for slaves, but the human trafficking data is not much different. Just because human trafficking does not have the same name or racial discrimination as slavery does not mean they are not the same thing (Batstone). When people think slavery they think forced labor. Human trafficking is forced sexual labor (Freedom Center).
Human trafficking seems to be a force and a crime that cannot be stopped. Both president Bush (Batstone) and president Roosevelt (focus on the family) were concerned about human trafficking and how far it would get, but did nothing to stop the outbreak. Maybe if they had spoken up and fought to prevent it, it could have stopped all the pain and darkness thousands of children go through. “…pornography is the gateway to most of the sexual deviancy that we are seeing in this country…” (focus on the family). Demand for human trafficking has gone up a lot more because of the use of the internet, such as pornography (Freedom center). When investigating human trafficking cases, authorities often overlook physical evidence (Cantrell). Human trafficking is so wide spread, it will be hard to shut all of it down. Over 150 countries are a part of human trafficking in some way (Batstone).
The question people seem to be wondering is “how do we stop human trafficking”. One thing people of communities is help out people as much as people. If someone trusts another person, they are more likely to go to them with a problem, and to go to them for help. People of the community can also investigate possible trafficking scenes with caution. When investigating human trafficking, people should examine past crime scenes (Cantrell). If a citizen finds something that could be dangerous to them or the victim suspected, they should contact the proper authorities (Cantrell). There are also organizations trying to help those involved in human trafficking. The Salvation Army, for example, helps rescue and care for human trafficking victims (focus on the family). The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) protects children from human trafficking and helps get their traffickers caught (Ark of Hope for Children). No major changes or stops can be made to human trafficking unless there is no more demand for it (Belles). Really, the only thing that can stop human trafficking is the people who are controlling it. Traffickers need to stop feeling a need for sexual satisfaction, so that they will stop taking out their aggression and frustration on their victims.