Trafficking is defined as the act of obtaining, recruiting, providing, harboring, or transporting a person and compelling the same to perform commercial sex or labor with the use of coercion, force, or fraud.
For an act to be considered as trafficking, the movement of the person being trafficked is not a requisite. Meaning, if you withhold the person’s liberty to force him to do manual labor or perform paid sexual favors, you can be guilty of human trafficking. It also means that even if you are in your hometown, you can still be a victim of trafficking. At the center of every trafficking, the offense is the trafficker’s intention of enslavement and exploitation.
Forms of trafficking
Forced labor and sexual exploitation are the most common form of trafficking in humans. In a report released by the United Nations, it was pointed out that 71% of the victims of trafficking are women, and one-third of them are children. In a report shared by Fortune magazine, they emphasized that while trafficking is considered an epidemic in the US, it is also a very lucrative business, with approximately $150 billion per year in profit. $99 billion of this profit comes from sex exploitation, said the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The more unfortunate news is there are other forms of slavery and exploitation that are not reported. These cases include the exploitation of children in warfare, sex trade, and begging. Other examples also include organ removal, forced marriage, and domestic servitude.
The complicated causes of trafficking
For many years, human rights activists, along with government authorities and cause-oriented groups, have been figuring out the causes of trafficking. In their search, they found out that these causes are not only complex but also interlinked. These causes include political, social, and economic factors.
Contrary to common belief, poverty is not the only factor that increases one’s vulnerability to enslavement and exploitation. When combined with other factors, the likelihood of being trafficked increases by leaps and bounds. These aggravating factors include economic disruptions, lack of human rights, family dysfunction or disruption, lack of access to jobs or education, weak governance, civil unrest, and corruption.
The lucrative trafficking industry
Unfortunately, human trafficking, along with drug trafficking and illegal arms, is one of the biggest international crime industries all around the world. As already mentioned, even the ILO pointed out that this industry generates $150 billion in illegal profits. While $99 billion is derived from the income for commercial sexual exploitation, the rest came from child labor, agriculture, domestic work, and other enslavement and forced economic exploitation.
It is everywhere
In the US, trafficking is most prevalent in California, New York, Florida, and Texas. Unfortunately, despite being a global and domestic crime, many still profit from trafficking. Even in one’s country, a person can be a victim of it. Aside from that, another continent or one’s neighboring countries can also traffic an individual. And what is even worse is it does not choose gender or age. While women are used for commercial sex exploitation, children are used for begging, child pornography, or child labor, and men are used for forced labor.
You need to act now
Yes, you can stop human trafficking. You can even do it in the comfort of your home. By donating to causes that help address the issue, you are doing something significant to lessen, if not eradicate, trafficking. So, what are you waiting for? Act now.