| Today, January 11, is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. You may already be aware of this issue or this may be the 1st time you are reading about it. But if you are anything like me you are disgusted by this and want to do something about it. I hope that you will read this, get mad and do something! |
WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
Human trafficking is the modern day practice of slavery. Also known as trafficking in persons, human trafficking comprises the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, based on the recruitment, harboring, and transportation of people solely for the purpose of exploitation. Every year traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits at the expense of victimizing millions of people around the world.
Most victims lack social networks, making it very difficult for them to escape the cycle of oppression.
UNDERSTANDING HUMAN TRAFFICKING
MYTH #1: Human trafficking is the forced transportation of people across borders.
Reality: Forced transportation in the absence of slavery-like labor or commercial sexual exploitation is usually considered the crime of kidnapping. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery through labor or commercial sexual exploitation, and does not require transportation to occur, though transportation may be involved.
MYTH #2: Trafficking victims are only foreign nationals.
Reality: Both the U.N. Protocol and U.S. federal law use definitions of trafficking in persons that do not require crossing of international or state borders. Many trafficked persons are victims of internal or domestic trafficking - trafficking within the borders of a single country, and are themselves nationals of that country.
MYTH #3: Poverty and inequality are the causes of human trafficking.
Reality: While poverty and inequality are important factors in making certain populations more vulnerable to being trafficked, they are not the primary cause of trafficking. Trafficking is a criminal industry driven by 1) the ability to make large profits due to high demand, and 2) negligible-to-low risk of prosecution. As long as demand is unchecked and the risks for traffickers are low, trafficking will exist regardless of other contributing factors.
Blaming poverty and inequality alone is not only inaccurate and disheartening, it tends to deflect blame from the key actors that perpetuate trafficking - the traffickers themselves and their customers.
MYTH #4: There's not much I can do about such a huge issue.
Reality: Together - we can make a huge difference! We were founded by regular community members like yourself, as were historic organizations like the Underground Railroad. Organizations like Polaris Project live and breathe based on the contributions and dedication of community members. Making a financial donation, a gift of time, goods, or services, or helping to raise awareness are some of the things collectively that help victims everyday. Please join us and be welcomed into the growing movement to combat slavery today!
This information is from the Polaris Project.