May 21, 2018
When we think of human trafficking, the United States isn’t what usually pops up in your mind. Normally we think it has to be in other countries, not here! Shockingly though, between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked in the Unites States each year. Most people are not informed about this information and how close it could be when it happens. Everyone thinks not me, until it is you. Human trafficking is a huge problem, even in the United States, and not enough people are informed on this topic.
Human trafficking is the action of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another (“Human Trafficking.”). The typical purposes for human trafficking are either forced labor or sexual exploitation. Traffickers usually use violence, and manipulation tactics to get these people to do these acts against their will. The International Labour Organization is an agency that brings together governments, employers, and workers of 187 states to set labor standards, policies, and promoting decent work for all women and men. Their research shows 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally. These organizations have been estimated to be a $150 billion industry. Most that are in human trafficking are women and girls its about 75% globally. (NHTRC)
Women and girls are usually trapped into sex exploitation. Most girls and women that are affected by this are usually troubled teens in the beginning and are usually reached out to by a man either on the internet and just a friendly face. According to Paula who was a former victim in a human trafficking situation with an ex-boyfriend named Justin. Justin and Paula were in a relationship for a couple of months before he had started showing some controlling traits. He initially started by taking all of her things personal and not. She wasn’t able to get ahold of anyone because he took her phone, car, license, computer, pretty much everything she had. Justin started forcing her to go on dates with guys and have commercial sex with them. Just like most traffickers he used physical violence and emotional abuse to keep her from leaving. She eventually escaped after a couple years with the help of her family and friends. She had before tried to go to the local police with her situation and because they didn’t understand the level of trafficking she was in her attempt to report him was unsuccessful. Paula states “After I was able to escape I then reached out to the national hotline”, (Paula) which is for human trafficking they were able to give her some help and connect her to get some mental help. (NHTRC)
I feel as if by her parents and friends being able to help her after a couple years they should have been able to notice some of the issues a little bit earlier and help her sooner. It seems as if they waited until Paula was “ready” or brave enough to be done with the situation. The people who were seeing her or somehow in touch with her could have spoken up for her because she was too scared at the time to do so herself. People who lived nearby and maybe noticed some of the weird things going on or then she was being psychically abused by Justin there were people who heard or seen her afterwards and could have called the police sooner.
Most women are trapped into thinking they need the trafficker and depending on them into getting them out of the situation. Some women think that eventually they’ll get out. Their usually promised something like marriage, or education. Once a woman is being trafficked she usually is moved from destination to destination. The trafficker taking her belongings such as a passport, id, etc., making her believe she’s there illegally with nowhere to go.
Another form of human trafficking would be labor trafficking. Which is keeping a person to work. The same way they force and intimidate women and children is the same way this is done. Traffickers can use fraud and coercion to keep people from leaving the work cite they are being forced to do so. Most people are forced by the traffickers keeping people in debt and paying them so little they have no other way to pay the debt they got themselves into. Traffickers usually get these people in high populated areas or from out of the country and feed them lies about how they could have an amazing life living over here and just feed them false promises. Once they get here to the United States they take their stuff and give them a ridiculous price for their fee of getting them over here and make them work to pay it off and then house them so they are already in some kind of debt when they get here to the United States, these housing facilities are usually extremely disgusting but these people have all their stuff taken from them so they are unable to leave.
A solution to these problems could be to just inform. Inform people early on in life when their young. I think educating women, men, and children on their rights if something like this were to occur would prevent the extent of a situation like this. Educating women on the signs on what they could be getting themselves into if it’s just online dating or a job they seen online any kind of relationship. Women and young girls should be aware of these situations because many think this couldn’t happen to them and it does. Maybe early on in their life there could be a group for the national hotline which have an awareness month dedicated to human and labor trafficking. Something like they do for red ribbon week. Also, a brief description on what it is, something women, men, and children can learn early on in life so they are more informed as an adult. This problem isn’t necessarily targeted just to women and young girls, it does affect many other people such as young children, men and people here illegally. This solution is for them as well, just to keep everyone informed and help them have a better understanding.
“Human Trafficking.” Merriam-Webster.com, Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/human trafficking. Accessed 21 May 2018.
-I Used the definition of human trafficking so that people would have a better understanding of what it is and who is involved.
National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) -https://humantraffickinghotline.org/resources/sex-trafficking-story-escort-services-paula
-I used this article about a former person who was being sex trafficked to engage the readers and show them that it is something that actually happens and I just let her story known within my paper and research.
Polaris Project – https://polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/labor-trafficking
-I used this website to research the labor trafficking with people that already live in the United States and for people who travel here with hopes of living a better life and getting some of the facts for labor trafficking.