Human trafficking is one of the most horrific crimes. In its worst manifestation, human trafficking is akin to modern-day slavery. Victims pay to be illegally transported into a modern country only to find themselves in the thrall of traffickers. They are forced into prostitution, involuntary labor and other forms of servitude to repay debts often incurred during entry into certain countries. The victims find themselves surrounded by an unfamiliar culture and language without identification documents, fearing for their lives and the lives of their families.
The trauma associated with trafficking and its psychological effects can be devastating and, if left unaddressed, can undermine victims’ recovery and potentially contribute to vulnerability to re-victimization. Because traffickers dehumanize and objectify their victims, victims’ innate sense of power, visibility, and dignity often become obscured. Traffickers usually use tactics to make their victims feel worthless and emotionally imprisoned. As a result, victims can lose their sense of identity and security. A variety of psychological symptoms can surface over a period of time even after victims escape or are rescued from the trafficking environment.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
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