Monday, December 11

What is Human Trafficking

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When people are tricked into being removed from their homeland to work for no pay and are exploited in some way, this is called Human Trafficking.  Women and children are at greatest risk fro becoming victims of this fast-growing criminal industry that operates in all countries around the globe.  This epidemic of people smuggling has a global annual market of $42.5 billion.  Most people have the misconception that trafficking is only a problem in poorer countries but it happens in every country around the world.

Many people seem to be unaware that this type of crime even happens but the media certainly been covering it a lot more lately and hopefully more and more people will become aware of it.  Recently, a man who ran brothels will face a jail term for trafficking women, a Chinese brothel keeper is being hunted in London and a couple who ran a chain of brothels in Plymouth and also engaged in the trafficking of women are facing charges. But this is only the tip of the iceberg; thousands maybe even hundreds of thousands of women are being exploited and lured into the trafficking business as I write this.

Trafficking is controlled by big criminal organizations in some countries such as Russia, Japan and Colombia but the majority of trafficking is by smaller groups that specialize in certain areas such as transportation.  The latter arrangement is appealing to criminals who want to get into this industry because the capital need to start up is very little and the tisk of prosecution is near non-existent.

Usually, the people who are trafficked are the ones who are the most powerless and vulnerable in the area.  Women, children, ethnic minorities, runaways, refugees and the poor are most at risk.  Woman who are in very dire circumstances are the ones who are the most vulnerable of all groups.  They are mostly targeted to work in the sex industry.  These women end up in these situations because they are looking for a way to support their families and an opportunity is put on the table for them.  Most times, the women are told lies during the recruitment process and it is not until they reach their destination are delivered to their “employers” that they realize they have been deceived.  The situations they find themselves in usually involve abuse, lack of payment for the work they do and threats on their lives if they try to escape.

It is estimated that 700,000 people are trafficked each year and 70 percent of those people are women. Once they are involved, it is near impossible for them to get out and there are horrible long-term affects from society on these people. Some of these long-term affects include social exclusion, stigmatization and social alienation.  All of these factors make it difficult for trafficked people to return to their home countries once they break free from the human trafficking industry and often times, they turn to other illegal activities such as drug trafficking.  Right now, there is little help for these people.

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