When we think about slavery, we think those days are long behind us. We think about the 19th century when people used others to do their labor in exchange for shelter and food. What we don’t realize, however, is that the act of slavery is still a very prevalent issue today, under the name of human trafficking. Human traffickers are those who victimize others in their desire to profit from the existing demand. People of all ages, even children, are recruited and taken from all around the world and forced into acts such as prostitution, war, and extreme labor. Many people are not aware of these events occurring at all, and more awareness needs to be brought to this topic.
Human trafficking exists for a few reasons. One reason is that since there is little awareness of trafficking, there is a low risk that traffickers will be caught. When they are caught, many of the children being trafficked are charged with prostitution instead of the traffickers being charged with kidnapping and abuse. There are ineffective laws to protect these victims, making trafficking extremely easy to get away with. Traffickers also make a high profit off of exploiting children, since they earn all the money their consumers pay and don’t pay their victims. Human trafficking is a highly profitable route to wealth and power and is ranking alongside drug and weapon trafficking as one of the largest criminal activities in the world.
Nearly twenty-one million people are victims of human trafficking worldwide. Almost 4.5 million of those victims are used for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Most of those victims come from the region of Asia and the Pacific. Although anyone of any age can be trafficked into slavery, 50% of all victims are children. One million children a year are deported into the commercial sex trade, making the average age of entering prostitution 12 to 14. Many children trafficked were sexually, physically, or mentally abused earlier in their life. While most people believe only girls are victims of sex trafficking, boys make up 50% of trafficking victims in the U.S. Women can also be buyers as well, having 40% of underage boys surveyed in the John Jay Study admitted to serving a woman before. Children trafficked are often subject to violence, threats, controlling behaviors, and lies. It is very common victims will not discuss their situation with customers or seek help because they are either trained by their traffickers to lie or do not know that the situation they’re in is wrong.
Sex trafficking can be gone about in many ways. One way is when traffickers open up fake massage businesses, which are really commercial sex businesses on the inside. Something similar to this could be a fake modeling agency, where girls think they being recruited by a modeling agency but they are really being recruited by traffickers. Another way is when victims, usually age eleven to fourteen, are kidnapped and forced to sit in a room and post ads on...