Most people who have heard about human trafficking have heard most about sex slaves, and while awareness of that one aspect of trafficking is important, more people need to realize that human trafficking extends past the sex industry. Human trafficking includes slave labour, the selling of people to pay off debts, the use of people to maintain compliance amongst other trafficked individuals, et cetera. In short, human trafficking is the purchasing, selling, and using of people to perform tasks without proper pay or recognition. Human trafficking is a monstrous industry that is estimated at earning over ten billion dollars every year.
Many North Americans believe in the fallacy that human trafficking only occurs in third world countries, when in fact there are over 200,000 children trafficked in the United States alone every year. Iran and Modolva have been reported as having the highest trafficking rates, whereas Saudi Arabia, Iran, Laos, South Korea and Uzbekistan are reported to have the lowest government response to human trafficking.
People who are trafficked face endless horrors, from murder to brutal abuse. Many of these people face starvation, constant fear, untreated illness, and torture. It is not unheard of for whole families to be trafficked and separated, never to see each other again. Approximately 70% of people trafficked are female, and 50% are children.
Victims of trafficking are not always just picked from the street or kidnapped from their homes. Often times a family will fall under financial hardship and take loans from the wrong people; for others, there could be the promise for a new start in a different country. Traffickers are conniving and will tell the people they “help” that the expenses for moving or for providing a loan were too great to ignore, and that the people who sought help will have to work off their debts. There are endless tricks that traffickers will use in order to secure more victims, including scouting airports and train stations for vulnerable lone travelers. That is one reason why it is imperative for travelers (young travelers, especially) to always be aware of their surroundings and be wary of who they speak to.
The best way to fight human trafficking on an individual level is to educate other people on the subject. Tell friends and family, educate children and travelers; the more people aware of the dangers and cruelty of traffickers are the more people who can make a stand against it. Volunteer at shelters and at the Salvation Army (the Salvation Army plays a large role in helping those who have been trafficked and in trafficking prevention). Sign petitions to the government to make the eradication of human trafficking a priority and support efforts to shut down child pornography. Avoid seeking the services of prostitutes and report suspicious or brutal treatment of other people. Wear orange to show your support and donate money to organizations that help to fight trafficking. Do not stay silent and do not allow human trafficking to continue. Remember, if there wasn’t a demand for the market, human trafficking would not exist.About Megan Sheldon Megan Sheldon is a Robotics and Automation Technician graduate, and is looking to start a life as a published writer.
How to Help Fight Human Trafficking