Even though many people are unaware of it, the trafficking of humans is quite prevalent in our modern society. Statistics reveal that as many as 45.8 million people are thought to currently be slaves, with 68% subjected to forced labour, 26% being children and 55% women and girls. Those that are trafficked are controlled against their will, and exploited for somebody else’s benefit. Every year hundreds of billions of dollars are made in illegal profits as a result of human trafficking.
The majority of the victims have been betrayed by somebody that they know and trust. Violence, deception, debt bondage and manipulation are other means by which the individual is initially forced into slavery, and fear and additional methods of breaking their will keep them there. At least 74 countries are frequently involved in human trafficking, and over 136 different types of goods manufactured using slave labour.
There are three main areas involved in the trade. These are:
1. Movement – Recruiting, receiving and/or transporting victims
2. Control – Threat, abduction, use of force, abuse of power or payment to somebody who has physical control over the victim e.g. a parent
3. Purpose – Sexual exploitation, forced labour, or organ removal
Victims of human trafficking are normally forced into several different types of slavery.
The main ones of which are:
1. Sexual Exploitation – Individuals are forced to perform non-consensual or abusive sexual acts e.g. porn and prostitution. The victims can be of any age or gender, and are normally deceived with promises of a better life for themselves or their family. They are controlled with violence or abuse, and many of their ‘owners’ create a drug dependency in their workers in order to force them to remain and satisfy the need.
2. Forced Labour – These victims are required to work extremely hard for long hours, and then hand over most of their wages to their traffickers. Many of them are brain-washed to believe that they have no choice, and make no attempt at breaking away.
3. Domestic servitude – There are many people that are forced to work in private homes, where they kept completely isolated. Their movements are closely monitored and the freedom that they are allowed is extremely limited.
4. Organ Harvesting – There is a never-ending demand for organs on the black market and many people are trafficked in order to help meet this. Kidney removal is most profitable because it involves the lowest risk to the ‘donors.’ Many of the victims may still die or suffer other complications, however, because of poor post-operation care.
5. Child Trafficking – The trafficking of children takes up a large percentage of the current slavery in the world. These youth are often exploited by those who should be protecting them, and their young lives become filled with abuse and fear instead of laughter and freedom as a result.