Human Trafficking: The Slavery Of Today

845 words - 3 pages

When we examine the traditional definition of slavery, it focuses on one human being taking ownership of another human being (Kara 66). Traditional slaves were transported by lengthy voyages at sea, however with advancements in transportation technology victims of human trafficking can be quickly and easily moved around the world (Kara 67). “Trafficking, prostitution, and slavery have existed since the beginning of mankind and, while at times have been prohibited, have continued to exist (Uy 215).” Slaves can be exploited virtually forever with a form of slavery known as bonded labor, which has existed for centuries. Individuals involved in this type of slavery are often loaned money with the agreement to work of the debt; unfortunately, the pay is so low the debt is almost never repaid (Kara 67). Despite legislative efforts to pass effective anti-trafficking and anti-forced labor laws, the overwhelming focus has been on preventing sex trafficking. This coupled with the increased notoriety of sex in today’s society has led to a significant decline in the amount of resources allocated to combat labor trafficking (Uy 206).
In today’s world, there are 12.3 million victims of forced labor and sexual exploitation at any given time. Forty three percent of individuals trafficked are used for commercial sex, while thirty two percent are used in forced labor enterprises. The remaining twenty five percent end up used for a combination of sex and labor trafficking, or are used in some other unknown trafficking operation. Victims of commercial sexual exploitation are comprised of roughly ninety eight percent women and the remaining two percent are men and boys. However, children make up somewhere between 40 to 50 percent of the individuals involved in forced labor (Hepburn 2). Modern day slavery is far more profitable than slavery has been historically. This increase in profitability is due to the cost of exploiting a slave being miniscule in comparison to immense profits that a criminal can reap. The low risk involved for slave exploiters coupled with paltry conviction rates, has been a key factor in driving the tremendous demand for new slaves (Kara 69). It is astonishing to note that world wide profits for human trafficking organizations exceed 44.3 billion US dollars annually.
When we hear about human trafficking or sex slavery, we often imagine young girls being abused or beaten in far away places such as Africa and Asia. However, human sex trafficking and sex slavery occur locally as well, in cities big and small, all across the United States (Walker-Rodriguez and Hill 1). There is no place in the world immune to the problem of human trafficking. However,...

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