Ten Things You Should Know about Human Trafficking
Learn more about human trafficking . . .
Planet of shame: people selling people
People have been exploiting each other for thousands of years. Seemingly, when they weren’t slaughtering each other in wars, they were selling each other into slavery (perhaps one would be the result of the other). Now in modern times matters haven’t improved much if at all, because throughout the world de facto forms of slavery can be found, as well as many other ways humans force their depravity upon each other. Let’s hope that education and activism help abolish this terrifying human failing or at least greatly reduce its scope.
Please read Ten Things You Should Know About Human Trafficking:
1. According to the article titled “Human Trafficking” in Wikipedia, human trafficking is the largest growing criminal activity in the world. Only the drug trade makes more money and, perhaps, causes more misery. Also, human trafficking usually involves women and children. The Council of Europe estimates that perhaps $42 billion in United States dollars (USD) is generated per year in human trafficking. Moreover, human trafficking doesn’t include “human smuggling,” which involves people voluntarily paying others to smuggle them from one location to another.
2. According to the State Department of the United States, as many as 820,000 men, women and children are trafficked in the world every year. Eighty per cent are women and girls and up to 50 per cent are minors.
3. Human traffickers also abduct men, who are then forced to perform labor, usually of the unskilled variety, such as working in sweatshops, and may even include begging. In Thailand’s fishing industry, men are often abducted and forced to work on fishing boats for years at a time, or until they can escape or die. According to the International Labor Organization, this sort of trafficking generates more than $30 billion (USD) annually.
4. Sex trafficking is a major aspect of this nefarious "business." Traffickers entice the weak and/or the unwary and then coerce them into prostitution, dancing in strip clubs, performing in X-rated films or showing themselves in pornographic publications. In places, a kind of "sex tourism" has sprung from these abominable practices. Perhaps the worst of this trade is a sexual servitude from which escape is nearly impossible.
5. In parts of Africa, particularly Ghana, in order to settle an offense, a virgin female member of the offending family may be forced to serve as a sex slave. And this is done without the woman receiving the title of “wife.” In Ghana, Togo and Benin, women are made to act as shrine sex slaves, a kind of ritual servitude. (Please keep in mind that parts of Africa are suffering an AIDS epidemic.) Also, in the Eastern European country of Moldova, as much as 10 per cent of the female population has been sold into prostitution!
6. The definition for the trafficking of women for sexual purposes can be different in every country. In general, it involves the physical coercion of women for the purpose of prostitution, even though the actual movement of the women in question may not have taken place. For example, anybody in the United States under the age of 18 who is involved in the commercial sex trade qualifies as a trafficking victim.
7. Child trafficking takes many forms. Children may be forced to work under dangerous working conditions. Their labor may be exchanged for temporary or permanent bondage; they may be forced into military service, prostitution, pornography, the illegal drug trade or illicit international adoption. Often parents sell their children to traffickers to relieve debt, in order to survive, or because they think their children will be given a better life.
Thailand and Brazil may have the worst records regarding the trafficking of children for the sex trade. Be that as it may, every year thousands of children from Asia, Africa and South America are sold into the international sex industry. Tragically, in the poorest parts of Mexico, such as the state of Chiapas, traffickers sell children for as little as $100 to $200 per child. Human rights groups say Chiapas is one of the worst parts of the world for child prostitution.
8. A common misconception is that poor countries primarily take part in the trafficking of human beings. Actually most of the destination countries for human trafficking are in relatively affluent countries such as the United States, Japan, India, Thailand, Turkey and Western European countries such as Italy and Germany. In the U.S, much has been done to try to stop human trafficking, including the passage of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Bill of 2007.
9. Perhaps the worst kind of trafficking is for the purpose of stealing peoples’ organs. After all, once your organs are gone - so are you! This monstrous activity is not just an urban legend. According to the Web site Human and Organ Trafficking organ brokers arrange with wealthy clients for the transplant of organs for between $100,000 and $200,000 per organ. (This mostly illegal business, except in Iran, has spawned an activity known as "organ tourism.") But the man or woman giving up a kidney will only make about $1,000!
10. According to the Web site www.humantrafficking.org, the best defense against human trafficking is education, though educating poor and illiterate people will be always be difficult. Imposing stiff penalties for people caught in this illicit and dastardly trade is also important. In this regard, Thailand is the first country in Southeast Asia to enforce greater penalties for the customers of human trafficking rather than the sellers, particularly involving minors coerced into the commercial sex trade.
Just about every part of the world except Antarctica is plagued by human trafficking. However, the poorest regions of the world, particularly those in South America, Africa and East Asia seem to produce the most victims of this heinous crime. Nevertheless, something can be done about human trafficking. The strategy requires plenty of education and outrage, but compassion is perhaps the greatest weapon of all. Of course, getting involved in the fight would make a big difference as well.
For more information about this campaign, please click on the fight to end human trafficking.
Then click here for a link to the Tenth annual trafficking in persons report from June 2010.
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