Human Traficking Around Us


Human Trafficking is generally the problem of the developing countries. It is mainly caused by Poverty and unemployment. Worldwide, 27 million people have stories of human trafficking just like the ones you are about to read. Women, men and children are recruited, compelled into labor or commercial sex, held against their will, scared to leave, and unaware of their rights. They live and work in our very own communities. They produce the goods and services that we use every day. In our homes, workplaces and stores, they are invisible right in front of us… until you learn to spot and stop human trafficking. “Human Trafficking is a crime against humanity. It involves an act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring, or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion, or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them,” according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) . Human trafficking is one of the greatest injustices on our planet today, and is second only to the drug trade as the largest criminal activity in the world. Human Trafficking is the illegal trade of humans into slavery for sexual exploitation or forced labor. According to the US State Department, an “estimated 600,000 to 820,000 men, women, and children  are trafficked across international borders each year, approximately 80% are women and girls and up to 50 percent are minors.” Nearly 2 million children around the globe are currently in forced sexual exploitation. Human trafficking is the fastest growing form of international crime and the second largest source of income for organized crime, surpassing even the drug trade. Today an estimated 27 million men, women, and children are held as slaves. Each year, more than 2 million children are exploited in the global commercial sex trade. According to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) all commercial sex with minors is human trafficking, regardless of whether force, fraud, or coercion are evident. Although the name suggests it, human trafficking doesn’t necessarily involve transporting victims. People cvan be trafficked on the same street they grew up on. Human trafficking, also known as modern-day slavery, is driven by coercion and exploitation. Physical force and violence often are part of the crime, but sometimes the oppression comes through psychological or emotional manipulation, insurmountable debt, immigration or other legal threats, or blackmail.  According the U.S. Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons report, trafficking has eight major forms: 1. forced labor 2. sex trafficking 3. bonded labor 4. debt bondage among migrant laborers 5. involuntary domestic servitude 6. forced child labor 7. child soldiers 8. child sex trafficking Greed and money drive slavery. Human trafficking thrives because the risks for traffickers are low and the profits are high. According to the U.N., the total market value of human trafficking is over $32 billion. In 2007, slave traders made more money than Google, Nike and Starbucks combined. While more and more traffickers are being prosecuted  each year, conviction rates and sentences still aren’t high enough to deter criminals. Some countries and states still don’t have effective laws to convict traffickers. Human trafficking robs victims of choice and freedom. It takes advantage of vulnerability and leaves a lasting impact on its victims. For survivors the physical, mental, emotional, and financial scars follow them the rest of their lives. It’s a dehumanizing crime that occurs under the surface of everyday life. But it’s also a crime that can be stopped with everyday abolitionists learn what to be  aware of and commit to using their abilities and interest to eradicate modern day slavery. Since human trafficking is an underground crime, it’s difficult to determine exactly how many people are affected . Experts estimate 10-30 million people are enslaved today.Victims of human trafficking can come from any city or country in the world. Some areas like Southeast Asia are particularly vulnerable, but victims are from everywhere—from the Sudan to the suburbs. Their destinations are just as varied. No place or people is immune. Most human trafficking victims are women and young girls, but men and boys are trafficked  in significant numbers as well.Traffickers exploit people who are looking for a better life. Since traffickers prey on the vulnerabilities of victims, people who are poor, uneducated, neglected, unemployed, victims of sexual abuse, from unstable home lives, immigrants, or refugees are particularly at risk. But other people can be exploited as well. In every region, some groups are particularly at risk: In Southeast Asia, the daughters of poor rural families are at risk. In the U.S., foster kids, runaways, and illegal immigrants are particularly vulnerable. In many countries, unemployed men are lured into forced labor and debt bondage. In parts of Africa, young boys, particularly orphans, are trapped and trained as soldiers to fight in violent conflicts. Around the world, even those with education can be duped by promises of jobs or even love and protection. Human trafficking occurs nearly everywhere. These maps give a glimpse of the scope of the problem, showing countries in which people are at the greatest risk for trafficking and from which countries people are trafficked to the United States. One common misconception is that human trafficking only takes place in the Third World. Sadly, this isn’t true: Trafficking is common even in the United States. Our partner organization, Thistle Farms, operates in Tennessee, and the Polaris Project, a leading anti-trafficking organization, works primarily in the United States. Polaris Project’s site has a map that shows the number of calls to their hotline from each state. The U.S. Department of State has done thorough research and evaluation about human trafficking in every country of the world. Each year, the results are published in the Trafficking in Persons Report. (Read about the 2011 report here.) The report ranks each country and gives detailed narratives of the weaknesses and risk factors of each country. It’s a great resource to find out how slavery manifests itself in each country and what’s being done to stop it. (Khaerul Muslim)

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