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Human Trafficking, A Serious Modern Day Problem

Updated on January 12, 2011

Human Slavery A Black Market Trade

The reality of human trafficking and slavery is shocking and hard to believe. Unfortunately this problem is not confined to the history books and third world countries, this is a very real problem that does not respect country boarders. I find this a difficult topic to discuss and will endeavor to help bring this great crime into a greater light then it may be now. It is vitally important that people everywhere understand the nature of this problem and that it can and does exist even in their own societies. I am sorry to have to bring this upsetting news to you but this is the only way we can hope to tackle this human betrayal. 

The nature of people smuggling is insidious and can happen anywhere. The reason for this is that it allows people to gain entry to a state where they have no legal right to reside in. Many people will fall victim to this form of human slavery out of desperation, they are easily convinced that they will be given a better quality of life and even earn money that can be sent back home. When the betrayal of this trust becomes understood by the victim it is often to late to escape, the person may often fear going to the local authorities because of their illegal status, or even because of threats made by the traffickers. What makes this so insidious is that these people could live in your community or even on your street and you would not know. The nature of this crime is secrecy and threats of violence for trying to get help.

The trafficking of women for sexual exploitation is a multi billion dollar business involving citizens of most countries and sustains organized crime. In europe this can happen when a young girl is told by her 'boyfriend' that he can help her get classes and a well paid job in a built up country like the UK or even America. The 'boyfriend' gains the trust of the young girl, once he has her across a boarder and has taken her passport (a necessity for getting into that training course) she can be made to feel trapped and reliant on this 'boyfriend'. When she reaches her destination (and sometimes well before that) she will be told that she must work off a debt to the people who are paying for her move to a new country. This 'work' will be prostitution, and she will likely be rapped a few times to break her into this 'work'. If an illegal brother can operate in your city a brothel can employ these girls meaning this trade can happen in even the most developed countries.

There are some rough estimates that indicate that children account for between 40% and 50% of all human trafficking victims, this is as many as 1.2 million children. As hard as it is to recognize (especially in developed countries like America) children are now being treated like a commodity on the black market. Sometimes they are simply relocated within their own country but more often they are moved across borders. Children are sold for purposes of forced labor, prostitution, pornography, organ removal, or even as child soldiers. Children are in high demand as cheap domestic labor, for farm work and especially for sexual exploitation. Girls as young as 13 years of age are sold as mail order brides where they are isolated, abused, raped and subjected to various forms of torture.

Sometimes the children are persuaded to comply by members of their own family with the promises of a better life. Other times they are forced or coerced, sometimes they are simply tricked or drugged into submission. With technological advances like the internet, child pornography has been made easier to obtain adding to the problem. Shockingly beliefs that AIDS can be cured by having sex with a virgin contribute to the demand for child trafficking, adding to the vulnerability of children.

If you have been effected by this article and are in a position to donate please consider donating to the charities listed below. If like me you are not in a position to make a financial contribution let us help increase the view of this problem in the public eye by passing this article on to others, or try writing an article of your own! By bringing this problem into public view we can help to stop these criminal networks from being able to operate and spread this horrific evil.


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    • justamber profile image

      justamber 6 years ago

      I have a huge heart for victims of Human Trafficking. I thank you for sharing this. I'll be following you.

    • Sundy Goodnight profile image

      Sundy Goodnight 7 years ago from New York

      The stats on human trafficking are truly disturbing. You are doing a great thing here by getting the word out and letting people know that is happening right in their backyard. Thank you for this hub and every little bit helps.

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 7 years ago from London UK

      Adromeda10, I agree this stuff is so scary! I sometimes really wonder about this ol' world we live in :/

    • Andromeda10 profile image

      Andromeda10 7 years ago from Chicago

      It is incredible to think that the "carpool" could be a potential danger, but it would be very smart on the bad guy/gal's part. "Hi, I'll drive carpool this week..." then the children are gone. Scary! All it would take is a bad guy/gal to nanny for a family and have carpool as her daily duty. =( SO scary! It makes me want to make my future children shut-ins!

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 7 years ago from London UK

      valeriebelew - I feel very much the same. Humans are capable of great and wondrous acts, we are also capable of the most depraved things too. It really is quite sad when people go to those dark places :(

    • valeriebelew profile image

      valeriebelew 7 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

      Gosh, I had no idea it was this common. But why am I shocked? People exploit others for profit every day, legally. While retail sales outfits work scores of people on a part time basis in order to avoid taking care of their insurance needs, they don't pay them enough by the hour to get by, even if they worked full time. Insurance companies continue to charge more and cover less, and these actions are legal. Just think what must go on behind closed doors. Upsetting, what people will do to other people. Very upsetting.

    • IBarfClownsauce profile image

      IBarfClownsauce 7 years ago from Water and Gold Land.. >--->


      Human slave trade is Simply a Disrespect.. I love your Hub. thank you.


    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 8 years ago from London UK

      Hi Dale, I know what you mean about disturbing. I found it hard to think this stuff really happens so close to home, countries in poverty and a poor legal system, its easier to imagine but in countries like the US and the UK, shocking. I hoped by raising some awareness with a hub page on this issue it might play some small roll in helping. You including my hub on your blog definitely does help a few more people find out about this and think about contacting some of the charities who work with victims find their way to life again.

    • Dale Mazurek profile image

      Dale Mazurek 8 years ago from Canada

      This is very disturbing. My jaw dropped when I started reading some of your stats.

      People need to know this is happening and I think thats why this hub is so important.

      I have now included the hub on my blog.


    • christinecook profile image

      christinecook 8 years ago

      this is so terrible. I too have read about it with absolute disgust.It makes you wonder if their is hope for our world.

      Thanks for writing about this.

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 8 years ago from London UK

      MarygrauSheila, this stuff gets me so mad I feel sick with rage! I cannot fathom treating people so poorly for money or power or whatever.

    • profile image

      MarygrauSheila 8 years ago

      Sad sad sad!!! May all these criminals suffer of guilt an bring themselves foward for judgment.

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 8 years ago from London UK

      Cleo, that you for your comments! I have been out of the US long enough to hesitate to say with authority that something is happening when I am not actually there. I can say that this does happen here in the UK. Just recently there was a report on how kids being 'groomed' online are persuaded to run away from their families and once they do the men will take these girls away from what they know to other cities. Once there they are unfamiliar with where they are and the men share these young (I mean under 16 years old sometimes) girls with other men. This is a very real problem that could affect any vulnerable young person if society does not try to stop it. It is our responsibility to watch out for the young people in our community, even if the kids are not our own.

    • cleo77725 profile image

      cleo77725 8 years ago


      I just wanted everyone to also know that Human Trafficking is a 9.5 billion dollar industry. Also, every 2 minuets a child is sold into this industry. I think it is also fair to say that it is happening to our American children. Bus stops sleep overs..They gang rape them then tell them they are dirty and no one will want them anymore. Also they threaten to kill their family.They prey on young people not just because they are a commodity but because they are vulnerable and tend to have the need to be accepted. This is bigger then you think. It is not just illegal people it is our own children. A lot of the time parents get upset when their kids go missing and are reported as run aways when THEY KNOW their kid would never run away. Sadly to say many of them are trafficked. I live in Houston and we have massage parlors all over the place that offer sex. People seem to think that these prostitutes offer themselves willingly. Sadly that is not true sometimes I am sure.The majority of the time they are slaves. If you don't believe me on how big this industry is. Go to craigslist look at the erotica section. Do you really think that these young women are doing this for fun? It is sick that there is such a huge market for this! Just sick! And we can not continue to dig our heads in the sand and look the other way! Contact your Governor Senator or Representative. Let them know you aren't to keen on standing idly by.

    • profile image

      Stop Slavery 8 years ago

      Hi Kirsten,

      Thanks for the work that you are doing to combat slavery and human trafficking.


    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 8 years ago from London UK

      I am very glad to see that this little article is getting those charities in the links a little bit more attention :). It is one of those things I still find very hard to believe people could do in this modern world :(

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thank you for the links to groups that are doing something about this. It is a serious problem, made worse by the amount of prostitution associate with strip clubs.

    • jxb7076 profile image

      James Brown 8 years ago from United States of America

      This is a very serious (global) problem. Unlike Chattel slavery when you knew who the slaves were. The victims of this type of slavery are difficult to detect, which makes the problem even more challenging to solve.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      In some of the movies that I've seen, such as "Crash" and "Taken," this is the underlying motive of the criminals/antagonists. Thank you for the links.