Josh Hawley, an American lawyer and politician, once said More than 150 years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, slavery is illegal almost everywhere. But it is not abolished – not even here, in the land of the free. On the contrary, there is a cancer of violence, a modern -day slavery growing in America by the day, in the very places where we live and work. It’s called human trafficking. Slavery is the action of owning a slave. Slaves were forced to do many actions that they did not want to do, but were forced to take orders from their owner. Slavery was abolished in 1865, but since then a new form of slavery has become popular (The Facts). This issue is called human trafficking. Human trafficking is a serious issue, but there are ways to avoid this issue and help the tortured victims rebuild their lives. Traffickers can be known to manipulate their victims in several ways (Venusti). He or she knows exactly how to manipulate and scare the victims into not trying to escape. One way the traffickers keep their victims is by threatening them or their families in certain ways. In some cases, the victim can develop a sort of bond which makes the victim stay with the abuser and not even consider leaving or running away. The abductors can be known to act in several different ways. Human traffickers can act as individuals, or they can act in gangs or groups (Venusti). A surprising fact is that most abductors or traffickers hold normal jobs and act as normal people, but most of the time these jobs are low income jobs and are just used to disguise themselves as normal people (Venusti). In most cases these traffickers do not even need a regular job. Traffickers can make a lot of money, sometimes hundreds of billions of dollars just off of one person that he or she has abducted (The Facts). The human trafficking industry is a 150 billion dollar industry worldwide (The Facts). This information is shocking to some people, but to others it is a lifestyle and a way of life (Venusti). Traffickers treat these innocent victims in several different harsh, cruel, an undignified ways. Being abducted by a human trafficker can not only be frightening, but also dangerous in many ways. Victims are forced into uncomfortable and horrific situations. An estimated amount of victims we have in today’s world would be around 40.3 million (The Facts). 81% of victims are trapped and forced into labor, 25% are children, and 75% are women and girls (The Facts). Human trafficking does not affect just one race or sex. It affects anyone who just might be at the wrong place at the wrong time, or someone who can seem vulnerable to the trafficker. Sometimes the trafficker can be someone that knows the victim personally. In some cases it can be a husband, wife, or even a friend. The situation can be known to become worse if the trafficker personally knows the victim, because they know that victim’s weaknesses. Most of the victims that are human trafficked have their own horrible childhood stories, most of the time this why they are targeted. Victims can be lured in by force or by a promise of goods or wealth. These goods could be love, jobs, or even a promise to have a better life then they had before. Victims who are already vulnerable tend to fall for these tricks and scams. When a person who becomes a victim of human trafficking, they begin to be treated without human dignity. Examples of this behavior can be being used for certain acts multiple times, and even bought and sold over and over again. Another reason to show that these victims are not treated with dignity is that they are not given things like human needs and are not taken care of. Some of these people live in harsh conditions, and they also have to endure horrible actions both physically and mentally (Venusti). There are multiple occasions all around the world of human trafficking and these victims are forced to endure these actions and the feeling of being trapped constantly (Williams). There are many cases of human trafficking, and although not all victims survive, some still live to tell their stories. One survivor, Kaitlyn; a young girl who was forced into human trafficking by her boyfriend. In this case, Kaitlyn had lived a harder life before being forced into human trafficking. She had been abusing drugs and alcohol since she was twelve years old, at the age of fourteen she lost her virginity to rape, from there her body began being sold in the sex trade (Marucher). In Kaitlyn’s case, she trusted her boyfriend, and since they knew each other so well, he used this information about her past to his advantage. Today, Kaitlyn shares her story so that other victims know that there is hope, and that they are not alone. Another victim, known as Crystal Isle, also lived a horrific life before being trafficked. Beginning as a child she was raped and sexually assaulted. This obviously continued into her adult life, when she was forced into prostitution. After finally escaping those in her life that were forcing her into these horrible situations, she knew she wanted to get her life together. After gaining custody of her son and going back to school, she then gained the life she always wanted. She is one of the victims of human trafficking that was fortunate enough to survive to live a better life. She was determined to change her life for the better and make the changes. She now helps to raise awareness for the many other victims of human trafficking and prostitution (Isle). Many other survivors live to tell their tragic stories in hopes of saving and helping out fellow victims (Marucher). There are several ways that people today can take the initiative and help to raise awareness for human trafficking (Williams). There are not many actions that have been taken to stop human trafficking. In these situations there is known to be a lack of government and law enforcement (Williams). Some places around the world have tried their best to stop human trafficking, but because of its popularity it is difficult to put an end to. In Toronto, police have made 280 arrests in relation to human trafficking, but only forty have resulted in convictions (Williams). Unfortunately, the cases could take three years before they can even go through the system (Williams). Fortunately, there are multiple solutions that can result in this issue being taken care of. One of the best solutions is the Nordic Model. The Nordic Model criminalize the buyer and the pimp, while decriminalizing the individuals or victims forced into the situation. Organizations like this one help to provide the services that the victim needs. This trafficking issue is so serious that a National Human Trafficking Hotline has been made. It normally receives an average of ninety calls a day. In the last ten years it has gained more than 40,000 cases. The calls and cases come from survivors who have called for help and assistance. The victims share their stories and receive the help they desire. Although there has not been a whole lot of actions that have been taken against human trafficking, the Department of Justice is taking a stand and so is the Attorney General. They are planning to dispose this topic by using what they can. Law enforcement tools, financial resources, and partnerships with many officials are being used to take a stand (Williams). There are also many solutions that victims should know about. In order to avoid being abducted by a trafficker, there are certain steps everyone should know about. All people, especially women, should stay alert and be aware of their surroundings at all times, but especially when women or young girls are traveling. Another thing everyone should be careful of is a passport. Do not let anyone hold on to personal items such as a passport, and a smart idea would be to keep an extra copy of it. If it is possible, never travel alone; stay with a group. One more thing to be aware of is that people should not expect traffickers to look scrappy or homeless. Most traffickers are dressed nicely and are good looking. If everyone would look out for these signs and would protect themselves correctly, the chances of human trafficking would be reduced (Safe Foreign Travels). Human trafficking is already a serious issue in today’s world and is growing rapidly, but actions have been taken to prevent it, and there are several ways we can help too. This issue is important and has become so popular that actions have had to be taken. As human beings, we need to help and spread awareness about this issue. If we do not take a stand now, human trafficking could potentially grow and get even more popular. If young girls knew this information, they would know how to prevent themselves from being trafficked. If more people have the knowledge of this issue, we could finally put an end to human trafficking for good.
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