The United Nations defines trafficking in persons as, “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.” (Source: https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html)
Lots of big words? There’s a way to sum it up in one word.
Slavery. Though it’s not the official term, it’s a realistic description of a shocking reality.
Appallingly, slavery is alive and well in the year 2015. According to Department of Defense training I recently took, between 600,000 and 800,000 persons are trafficked EACH YEAR. That’s as many as 2,000 per day. Two thousand of someone’s sons, sisters, daughters, brothers and cousins are trafficked and often forced into the sex industry.
What does modern slavery look like? According to the Coalition against Trafficking in Women, “human trafficking is tied with illegal arms trafficking as the second leading source of criminal earnings in the world [and] global demand for prostitution and forced labor generates 32 billion dollars annually.” (Source: http://www.catwinternational.org/ProjectsCampaigns/Ending.)
What’s more shocking to a lot of Americans is that it CAN happen here. Just recently in Denver, Colo., the FBI arrested traffickers who were prostituting children as young as 14. FOURTEEN YEARS OLD.
“Federal agents have previously found that large events with a national draw bring an influx of people and money into the city. With that influx also comes an increase in child sex trafficking, the FBI said.” (Source: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_27397487/fbi-denver-6-minors-recovered-2-arrested-during.)
So trafficking in persons can affect us all. But what can we do about it? Look here for the answers.
Next week… how can I help stop trafficking in persons?
–Guest Blog by Corey