Home » Human trafficking » What Is Human Trafficking?

What Is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is a booming multi-billion dollar criminal industry that makes its money based on the exploitation of men, women and children. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime define the trafficking of persons as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.

Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. ” Human trafficking strips its victims of their natural born human rights, of their innocence (in the case of child trafficking), of their ability to ever have a “normal” life again not filled with the night terrors and anxiety attacks related to PTSD that is incurable solely treatable [and that is if they come out alive.

It is a physical, mental and emotional beating of its victims. Human trafficking involves, most times, the taking of the victims lives when their abusers are done with them, and if not by hands of their “owners” then by their own bodies as victims are more prone to obtain sexually transmitted diseases that may often result in their death. According to CNN’s “A heavy toll for the victims of human trafficking” the life expectancy of females that enter the sex industry is anywhere from three to seven years from the time they start “work” with homicide and AIDS being the leading causes of death.

It is more than just demoralizing but dehumanizing to be kept in captivity like an animal and be bartered and bought and sold and rented as an inanimate object for regular abuse by sadistic, inhumane criminals but many young naive girls and women often fall into the trap of their abductors and believe that what they are doing is out of love for their captors because they are deceived into believing that that is what love is, distorting their developing perspective of what love, trust, and a normal life looks like.

Many juvenile victims do not even identify themselves as victims. Their capture usually starts with the deception of such a lavish lifestyle of money and all things luxurious which leads into coercion of soliciting sex. Up to 300,000 Americans per year are drawn into the world of commercial sex trade. For those that get saved after years of capture from youth to adulthood it becomes hard to see a world outside of that because it is all they ever knew in the years where a person is most easily molded.

Many women actually leave the brothel and continue to solicit sex as their main if not only source of income because it is all they know how to do and it seems easiest for them to, and I quote “April” from the CNN article previously stated, “As bad as it sounds, it is really easy to just open your legs for five minutes instead of going to work all day and coming home with nothing. ”

In 2014 human trafficking reached its peak in history thus far, excluding 2015 because of the fact that the year has not ended those statistics are not available, but with no surprise will predictably continue to rise. According to the Polaris Project the National Human Trafficking Resource Center received 21,431 calls, 1,482 webforms, and 1,149 emails in regards to human trafficking in 2014. Although not all of those calls, webforms and emails were verified human trafficking incidents 5,042 were confirmed to be.

The annual statistic seems to rise, having hit a major boom from 2008-2013 of about 4,000 reports more a year. Since 2007, 19,724 confirmed cases of human trafficking have been reported, not to say that it was not as high before but due to the technological advancements and seeing as though everyone in this day in age carries around a cell phone or some sort of communication device, as opposed to 2007, there has been a 26 percent increase in calls from survivors themselves.

Now, that statistic may have to do with a more cunning generation of captives, less attentive captors or as previously mentioned the vast use of communication devices, it is unclear. The Polaris Project also states that most sex trafficking takes place at commercial front brothels, and the top industry for labor trafficking was domestic work. One of the top three states for sex trafficking is Florida considering it’s major city of Miami is an unorthodox vacation spot that attracts visitors from all around the world which means boatloads of customers for pimps.

Texas takes second place with an average of 214 reported cases a year, but nothing tops first place which is held by California with an average of 477 reports a year. The safest state with 3 reports a year is Vermont. To be fair, California is one of the most overpopulated states with tourists coming by the millions to visit sunny California every year and that is a possibility as to why the number is so insanely high. It could also be that we border a country which creates easier access for criminals to get away outside of U.

S. jurisdiction and take their captives with them. Of 2,794 reports thus far of 2015, 2,339 were female victims while a comparably small 11. 5 percent (321) were male. Of the 2015 reports 1,757 were adult victims and 881 minors. Wearethorn. org states that 75 percent of sex trafficking victims that are minors claimed to have been advertised or sold online (2015 statistic). Thorn also reveals that a pimp can make anywhere from $150,000-$200,000 a year per child and will usually exploit four to six underage girls (2010 statistic).

And possibly the most hard-hitting statistic, one in six missing children in 2013 were sexually exploited, seeing as though the human trafficking statistics seem to rise every year that ratio could have heartbreakingly become closer to 1:1. In 2013 Thorn asked a variety of survivors to take a survey, the results revealed that 62 percent had access to a cell phone while they were being trafficked and 42 percent even had access to the internet during their abduction, which probably shines a light in retrospect to the percent of survivors coming forward increasing.

As evident from all the information previously stated females run a higher chance of being trafficked and it starts young, of three kids that are trafficked on average two will be girls and one will be a boy, the double statistic for girls really adds up with all the reports that come in. 59 percent of victims are women, 14 percent men, 17 percent girls, 10 percent boys. There seem to be endless numbers and statistics on human trafficking from general to on the dot specifics but what about the aftermath?

What is life after the constant abuse, the inhumane living conditions, the traveling from pimp to pimp, the hustle of having to do a job that objectifies women (for the most part) because they have the sexual organs male predators desire? In January of 2015 the Houston Chronicle covered the story of a woman named Rebekah, now 33, that was a victim of human trafficking from the time she was 17 to her imprisonment for prostitution in 2006 when she was 27.

Soon after her time was served in 2009 her trafficker was sentenced on a conspiracy indictment and that was when she was finally free of her imprisonment in the life she had been living Rebekah, which remains last-nameless for privacy and protection reasons, touches on the fact that when she was incarcerated they treated her as a criminal which seems to be the peculiar attitude of other women in her same situation seeing as though in CNN’s article, “A heavy toll for the victims of human trafficking” “April” too was very offended by the fact that during her jail time she was seen as a criminal and never got the benefit of the doubt that she was actually the victim in all the madness that had become her life.

Recently, a change of heart within the legal system occurred where they leave prostitutes with a lighter sentence if convicted but before that make sure to treat them like the possible victims they are rather than criminals from the get go. The interviewer, Jayme Fraser, goes on to ask Rebekah how her recovery has been in which Rebekah responded, “Now I’m 33 and… It’s a long road to rebuild my life. It took me several years before I realized what happened to me. I thought I made bad choices and paid for bad choices. It took me a long time to realize I’d been manipulated. ” She says that it is one of the “hardest hurdles” for victims to identify themselves as having been trafficked which explains why most juveniles stray away from claiming their victim status.

As for advice Rebekah would give to the youth in a somewhat similar situation, “To know they’re worth more. Our culture right now has just glorified the objectification of women. I hear songs on the radio: ‘Baby, it’s okay to work at night so long as you come home to me. ’ Our culture has just accepted that. I had been raped before I was ever trafficked. I had been shown all I ever was worth was my body. That’s all guys ever wanted from me. It was a tool, so it wasn’t a far stretch when a trafficker told me I was doing it for free so I might as well get paid for it.

Our young girls should know they’re worth more. Reach out to someone and say something. They’re so much more. She says that there are triggers all around her every day, like that of a patient suffering PTSD, but that she calls on her survivor sisters and they become each other’s support system. At the date of the interview, January 6, 2015, Rebekah was a junior in college with an outstanding 4. 0 GPA, a baby on the way by her boyfriend, and had plans to get her bachelor’s in criminal justice and become an advocate for victims everywhere. In summation, human trafficking is a crime that lives on way passed the victims release (for those that get released), it is a 32-billion dollar industry that ruins thousands of lives a year all over the world. For survivors, it’s best to seek help, seek support, there is a life after being trafficked, it is truly never too late.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this essay please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.