When I travel through USA airports, there are always signs about human trafficking. Below is a picture of one I took recently on my travels through Spokane, Washington.
This sign was on the inside of a bathroom stall.
Seeing the sign made me wonder if people even knew what this meant.
Today, I want to share and perhaps help educate those who don’t know what “human trafficking” even is.
We often hear of drug trafficking… the issue being the one of supply and demand.
It’s the same within the world of human trafficking. As sick as it sounds, I believe it’s even worse than that.
So let’s take a look….
Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labour, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation. Human trafficking can occur within a country or trans-nationally. It is distinct from people smuggling, which is characterized by the consent of the person being smuggled.Human trafficking is condemned as a violation of human rights by international conventions, but legal protection varies globally. The practice has millions of victims around the world.Wikipedia (the links are from Wikipedia and will provide more specific information)
Let’s Break it Down…
You need to understand that human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Yes, it’s just like it sounds…
An individual is trapped into a life where they have no rights, no freedom or choice, and are seen as a commodity–not an individual with human rights.
No one chooses this lifestyle or enters into an agreement knowing the violations–personal, legal, or humanitarian–that they will face.
Often the weak, poor, and under-served are those who are targeted–either sold into slavery or forced into a life that is not of their choosing.
Victims of human trafficking are often subjected to various forms of abuse, including sexual exploitation, forced labor, involuntary servitude, organ removal, or other forms of exploitation.
Each story is different, but there are common threads that make up human trafficking. Here are some key elements.
It has been shown that traffickers (aka low-life skum buckets) will seek out vulnerable individuals.
There is often a promise of job opportunities, education, or a better/happier life. They’ll use things like:
- social media–ads, enticements, and friending vulnerable young people. Think of Amanda Todd 😢who was targeted from across the world and ultimately took her own life as a result.
- job advertisements–especially for those of lower socioeconomic means who want to seek out employment in wealthier countries. Jobs like nanny, housekeeper, cook, farming etc. Read my review of the real life memoir “Out of the Shadows” about a young woman from Hungary who thought she was coming to Canada as a housecleaner, only to find herself enslaved as a sex trade worker.
- personal connections–there are times when recruiters are used to entice people into a situation they didn’t expect. Think about Jeffrey Epstein 🤮 who had young women lure other young people into prostitution and sexually abusive situations.
Transporting for Isolation
Once lured or forced into the trafficking situation, victims are often moved from their place of origin to the location where they will be exploited. Basically, a secondary crime scene.
This may involve crossing international borders or staying within the same country. It doesn’t mean that a person is stuffed into a box in the back of a truck. Nope. They come through airports, train stations, or meet someone at a coffee shop.
Many initially come through the recruitment process with high hopes and expectations.
Others have no idea they’re even a target of traffickers.
The “transporting” for some, is key (hence the ads in the airport bathrooms) because it isolates the victim.
The victims may not be educated, may be illiterate (or be children), and/or not speak the language of where they’re taken. Asking for help becomes nearly impossible.
There’s also the fact that some may come from a country where the police are not trusted, so going to the authorities may not be an option either.
The Exploitation …
Upon arrival at the destination, victims are subjected to exploitation.
Exploitation can take various forms, including forced labor in industries like agriculture, construction, domestic work, manufacturing, or even begging on the streets.
Some victims are forced into prostitution or subjected to sexual exploitation.
Control and Coercion
Human beings are the commodity and those running these disgusting recruitments use many tactics to keep control. Including:
- abuse of all kinds
- threats against family members
- confiscating documentation (passports)
- debt bondage
It goes back to the exploitation and isolation. Anyone who is coerced, blackmailed, humiliated, and abused, ultimately lose their ability to speak up and fight for themselves.
This is happening all around us right now and we don’t even realize it.
Enslavement and/or Lack of Freedom
Victims typically experience severe restrictions on their freedom, movement, and communication.
Isolated and afraid, their ability to seek help or escape their situation is limited at best.
There’s no free-will. There’s no freedom at all. This is slavery.
Well, just like the drug trafficking, there is a ‘market’ for human beings. How fucking sick is that?
If there was no money in the trade, then it would stop. This is however a global issue that involves very organized criminal rings of traffickers.
Let me know your thoughts.
I hope this has shred some light on the subject for you.
Please ensure that you share it with the younger people in your life. Understanding and educating yourself provides power through knowing.
This was the book I was talking about re:the girl from Hungary who came to Canada and was forced into the sex trade.
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