I can already see the confused faces as people read this headline. Many are unaware of what human trafficking is, therefore, they are unable to help stop this heinous crime without the education and knowledge behind it.
WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
Human Trafficking is a serious crime that involves recruiting and transporting human beings through the act of force or coercion. When they have obtained these people (women, men and children), they use them as prostitutes and sex slaves. Currently, human trafficking is estimated to be a $32 billion dollar industry. It is often asked how this happens and how could this occur in the United States of all places? The answer is simply that it is an international problem and the predators know what kinds of people to victimize. Often they lure young girls by telling them sweet words a girl wants to hear. Maybe she has never heard those from any of her family members or perhaps she lacks a father figure. Either way, the leaders in this despicable crime know exactly who to look for.
It is not unheard of for a leader to lure their victims in with promises of a better future. There are a lot of poor countries in this world and what better way to take a person from their poor hometown then by promising them a wonderful life; THE AMERICAN DREAM. However, when the victims arrive to their destination, they quickly find out that it is not the life they wanted. It is a nightmare. They are often forced to live in dirty conditions and sold like property to others for the sole purpose of prostitution. Many are beaten, raped, starved and forced to do manual labor. The most common type of human trafficking is sexual exploitation. After a while this becomes their lifestyle. Victims who are suffering stay because they have been brainwashed and they are often told that if they leave, their families will die. This is an international problem. It happens everywhere and it is currently happening in your back yard. Trafficking has been found in all 50 states in America. 33% of the victims of Human Trafficking are American. Worldwide almost 20% of trafficking victims are children.
Although the FBI and several other organizations are working to take down the leaders, this is a problem that is predicted to remain for years to come. As mentioned, Human Trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry. Almost anyone can become a victim. Never think that you are exempt or smarter than this kind of industry. When you think you can outsmart every con artist, that is when you open yourself up to becoming a victim.
HOW TO HELP?
- Knowledge is the key to helping any situation. If you are not properly informed about an issue, then it is imperative that you acknowledge what human trafficking is. Educate your children as well. Knowledge is power.
- Pass this article along to your friends and family members, or any other Human Trafficking information that you can find.
- Volunteer to help others who are going through this crisis.
- Organize an event that is centered around the release and capture of people involved in Human Trafficking.
- Talk to young adults and tell someone that they are worth it. Often, the person who becomes a victim is one who feels neglected and unloved. However, make no mistake, EVERYONE is at risk.
- Remember that even if the victims are rescued, it will be a long road to recovery both mentally and psychologically.
Written By: Te-Shandra Haskett, MBA
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