Call to Action:
We Must End Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is said to be the modern form of slavery, and I could not agree more. It has systems and people involved at every level to ensure it functions; the mere description of this institution is chilling. Nonetheless, human trafficking must be stopped, in whatever kind and form. This act refers to the use of coercion to acquire some form of labor or commercial sex performance. In the U.S., human trafficking is a serious federal offense with penalties of up to life imprisonment. Despite laws that forbid such inhumane acts, human trafficking occurs in any society, and casualties can be any nationality, race, age, or gender.
Nevertheless, globally, millions of children, men, and women are trafficked, including those in the U.S. The traffickers often look for individuals vulnerable to political instability, lack of social security, economic hardship, and natural disasters. Those who are trafficked often undergo severe physical abuse, starvation, and exhaustion. Human trafficking affects various social institutions such as schools in numerous ways. One can identify human trafficking victims by observing certain behaviors such as physical trauma, signs of substance abuse, coached response to questions, hungry, malnourished, inappropriately dressed, among other signs. This inhumane act must end; therefore, we must learn the causes, effects of trafficking, the impacts on the victims, and how we can end this monster that is taking advantage of our broken society.
Several factors contribute to human trafficking. The traffickers target other people’s weaknesses, unfortunate conditions, inexperience, and unfamiliarity (Blue Campaign, 3). Vulnerability creates a chance for the traffickers since people living in challenging situations can become destitute, and that destitution makes them susceptible to any story and lies. The research further suggests that the poverty that makes it hard for widows and single mothers to meet their daily wants makes them vulnerable to these predators.
Additionally, traffickers target unemployed people and frequently use trickery to convince them to take a job in another country. The political instability and wars, and natural catastrophes that displace people or families, cause economic hardships, making them vulnerable to human trafficking. Susceptible populations like teenagers, placed into the child welfare system, and immigrants, who lack the knowledge or experience of surviving in the different parts of the world, become targets for human trafficking.
Nevertheless, human trafficking creates physical, emotional, and psychological impacts on its victims. Those involved can experience developmental trauma as the traffickers brutalize and objectify their casualties’ intrinsic sense of influence, perceptibility, as well as dignity (Iglesias-Rios et al.). The victims mostly undergo distressing psychological impacts throughout and after the trafficking experience. The research further points out that most survivors ultimately experience post-traumatic distress, hardships in relationships, loss of memory, guilt, depression, guilt, fear, and other disastrous forms of mental trauma.
Many people involved in human trafficking experience physical trauma. For instance, those who are sexually assaulted are often mistreated by their customers and traffickers. They are at times raped, beaten, and abused for a long time. The research argues that there is also an increased menace of getting sexually spread ailments (Altun et al., 22). The lack of appropriate medical intervention makes these ailments spread or exacerbate, which affects a person’s wellbeing permanently.
Furthermore, those involved in obligatory labor may work in unsafe circumstances for an extended period undertaking tedious tasks. This situation is experienced for those trafficked to foreign countries searching for work but are instead slaved into working their debts out (Pattison). They become enrolled in unsafe workspaces with heavy machines or contaminants. Thus, many are subject to severe contaminations, harm, injuries, and exhaustion.
Additionally, those who have often trafficked experience ostracism. These individuals can rapidly become alienated from their friends (Micah, paras.13). According to Micah, alienation results from their personal feelings of guilt and humiliation or relocation as they currently reside away from their community. Either way, those involved in human trafficking can become introverted, alienated, and lose interactions with people. In some cases, some people who go back home or run away from a trafficking condition may even be barred from societal groups. As a result of the humiliation, they experience: they may be rejected by their family and close associates and feel detested and rejected. Regrettably, this loneliness can make them go back to an abusive lifestyle and being trafficked again.
The lack of independent skills is another factor that contributes to human trafficking. Majority of the victims who flee trafficking circumstances do not have advanced education and the resources required to live autonomously. Micah asserts that these individuals may fail to comprehend regulations in the State where they now live or may not communicate using the dialect used in that country (Micah, paras.8). They may have also been trafficked while still young and did not go to school or college. Therefore, after being denied a chance to learn new skills or being involved in the same business for an extended period, casualties can become reliant. When the time comes, they may have a challenge surviving on their own.
Human trafficking generates a lot of money and is among the fastest developing illegitimate industry globally. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the traffickers generate around $150 billion annually, with $51 billion of the amount emanating from labor trafficking. In comparison, $99 billion is made from sex trafficking (Micah, paras.16). The more traffickers take part in exploiting others, the more revenue they generate for themselves. This math is simple. The traffickers obtain cheap labor through trafficking, using trickery to entice people to work for them. They assure them of safe working conditions and fair pay but end up in a situation where they are often coerced to work for long, arduous hours and no or little wages. In rare and uncommon cases, through the use of viciousness or force and psychological trickery, the employers can persuade their workers to still work for them while remaining silent and subservient.
However, the most shocking part of the trafficking syndicate is that it is a cycle that repeats itself. The escape from victimization partly contributes to the human trafficking development. When the casualties age out of their present positions, they are given an employment opportunity as traffickers themselves. While some take their leave, most agree to take up the new position to run the operations to believe that they can run away from their victimization. They are thereby continuing the work of human trafficking as it develops in shocking numbers globally. The impacts of trafficking are far-reaching and affect everyone involved in different societies through the generations that follow. Although the causes and effects are complex, sustainable transformation occurs when the casualties are rescued and their perpetrators detained. The more precarious the punishment for the traffickers, the less likely they will continue abusing others.
Even so, there is hope in this desolate situation that is in the world. Several strategies can be applied to end human trafficking, but everyone has to play their part in creating such a free world. Recent research conducted by homeland security suggests that identifying the leading signs of human trafficking is the first crucial step to saving a life. It is essential to bring awareness to the various social circles about these issues to learn more about trafficking.
Secondly, people should consider volunteering with a local counter-trafficking establishment. Through these establishments, the various trafficking rings will be discontinued. Thirdly, different countries need to contribute funds to organizations that focus on eradicating human trafficking. Finally, a human trafficking hotline established can help report cases of human trafficking because the wellbeing of the victim and the public is vital.
In conclusion, human trafficking entails the use of coercion to acquire commercial sex acts or labor. Human trafficking cases have significantly increased globally, including in the U.S. Human trafficking is caused by several factors such as lack of experience, poverty, natural disasters, political instability, and other factors. The victims of trafficking can be children, women, or men subjected to physical, mental, and social abuse. The traffickers benefit through getting income, cheap labor as well as an escape from the victimization. However, we can apply several strategies to end human trafficking, such as recognizing the offense’s critical signs, reporting a suspected incidence, among other approaches.
Altun, Sukran, et al. “Mental health, and human trafficking: responding to survivors’ needs.” BJPsych International 14.1 (2017): 21-23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618827/
Blue Campaign. What Is Human Trafficking? Homeland Security. https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/what-human-trafficking#wcm-survey-target-id
Iglesias-Rios, Lisbeth, et al. “Mental Health, Violence, and Psychological Coercion among Female and Male Trafficking Survivors in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region: A Cross-Sectional Study.” BMC Psychology, vol. 6, no. 1, BioMed Central, 2018, pp. 1–15.
Micah, H. Causes & Effects of Human Trafficking. January 27, 2020. https://blog.theexodusroad.com/causes-effects-of-human-trafficking
Pattison, Pete. “Nepalese Women Trafficked to Syria and Forced to Work as Maids.” The Guardian, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/jan/01/nepal-women-trafficked-syria-forced-domestic-labour.