Are you always aware of your surroundings? Do you ever ponder what life would be like if you were abducted? Slavery is still a harsh global reality for too many victims. What we don’t realize is that slavery is not only a piece of history we read about in textbooks. Rather, a realistic element of our world’s current events. The threat of human trafficking endangers citizens of all countries. Victims of modern day slavery comprise a diverse group of men, women, and children of all ages and social classes. These people are trafficked, like drugs, across several borders into a life of sexual exploitation, harsh labor, and severe mental, and verbal abuse. Awareness is imperative to the prevention of human trafficking. The ability to recognize, prevent, and prosecute offenders will aid in the fight against human trafficking.
Statistical data exhibits the reality the threat of human trafficking imposes on our freedom. According the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report released by the U.S Department of State 1.8 out of every 1000 global citizens are currently enslaved via human trafficking (7), with an estimated 56 % comprised of women (34). It is estimated that a staggering 12.3 million adults and children are currently enslaved in forced labor, bonded labor, and forced prostitution around the world (7). Additionally, the U.S Department’s 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report released that “an estimated 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders” annually, excluding the millions of victims trafficked within their own country (8). In November 2000 the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons tagged the crime with the “first internationally agreed definition in trafficking” (Anker 5) as:
“trafficking in persons” shall mean 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 removal of organs (Newman 17).
Defining human trafficking has enabled nations to develop laws and policies against this form of slavery. Theses policies aid law enforcement in identifying trafficking victims and persecuting their offenders (Anker 5). The most important key to justice is the ability to properly identify human trafficking victims. Some common indicators of human trafficking include lack of identification or control of identification documents, coached testimonies, forced sexual assault, lack of free movement, deprivation of food, sleep, and medical care. According...