April 10, 2013
Human Trafficking and Slavery.
Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery which uses force, fraud and coercion for the purpose of commercial sex and forced labor. Human trafficking and exploitation has been in happening across the globe for thousands of years. From the ancient Greek and Romans to the medieval times and even till today. This is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the 21st century, a 9 billion dollar industry. Also the second largest criminal enterprise in the world. Modern day slavery. The 27 million enslaved people around the world who are bought and sold for sexual exploitation, hard labor, domestic work, and as soldiers. Human trafficking was first legally recognized by the term white slavery which obtains of a white woman or girl by the use of force, drugs or by dishonesty for sex which is unwanted by the woman or girl.
Human trafficking brings in an estimated $32 billion a year. The cost to purchase a slave in the American south in 1850 was the equivalent of 40,000 in today’s money; today a slave costs an average of $100. In Ohio about 1,000 children are forced into the sex trade every year. About 800 immigrants are sexually exploited. Nationwide roughly 50,000 people are trafficked into the United States every year. Human trafficking is found in more than 90 cities in the U.S. with the numbers rising.
There are three trends that contribute to the modern day slavery. The first trend, is a recent population explosion has tripled the world population. The second, rapid social and economic change where people have no safety net and no job security. Third, is government corruption, allows slavery to go unpunished, even though its illegal everywhere. An estimated 13 million children are enslaved around the world today. Young women who are forced into trafficking are at the age of 12-14 years old. These children also suffer additional abuse at the hands of their traffickers.
Usually victims of trafficking are sold by families of community members. Most of the time this is a last resort where selling a child may be the only means of survival. Parents are so desperate that parents sell their childs life for as little as $150. Children of slaves become slaves themselves. They are born into brothels, or born into bonded labor. Many people are also tricked by false job offers of loverboy schemes. One form of modern day slavery is sexual exploitation/forced prostitution, forced marriage and child marriage. This occurs in every country in the world. Girl victims under 18 are forced into prostitution between the ages of 10-14. Poverty is listed as a major risk factor for trafficking, so poor people are usually the main targets. Minorities and tribal groups, people in societies who are already destabilized by war, natural disaster, or civil unrest are also targets. Those people are easily tricked and can easily be manipulated. The slaves are recruited from all over the world. Slaves can be sent to factories or dangerous construction and mine sites without the major risk of lawsuits, and no need for health insurance. Slaves in the sex industry have an even bigger profit potential. Women who have been trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation experience a significantly higher rate of HIV and other STDs. These women suffer from tuberculosis, and permanent damage to their reproductive system. What really surprised me was that the superbowl has become known as the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States. 10,000 prostitutes were taken to Miami for the superbowl in 2010. During the superbowl in 2011, 133 underage traffickers were arrested for prostitution. In Ohio human trafficking is a second degree felony. In some states with tough human trafficking laws, offenders could face up to a 100 years in prison. The United States is one of the top three destination points for trafficked victims. California, New York, Texas and Nevada are the top destination states within the country. Los Angeles is also one of the top three points of entry into this country for victims of slavery and trafficking. This trafficking route occurs in a triangle from Los Angeles, California, to Las Vegas, Nevada, and back to Sacramento. Sacramento is among the top five cities in the United States experiencing an epidemic of child trafficking. The diverse communities of these sprawling cities make it easier to hide and move victims from one place to another. This makes it very difficult for law enforcement to locate potential survivors. 10,000 women are being held in Los Angeles underground brothels.