Sunday, October 6, 2019

What You Should Know About Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is essentially the trading and coercion of human beings in order to exploit them, often for sex or labor. Common names for types of human trafficking include modern slavery, sex trafficking or child trafficking. However it occurs, trafficking is a severe human rights violation. It’s often misunderstood, so here are some things you should know.
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  • Some are More Vulnerable Than Others - Human trafficking can happen to anyone, but groups most vulnerable include women; children, especially those with unstable home environments; the poor or homeless; those with a disability or mental disorder; victims of abuse and anyone who is otherwise part of a demographic that is vulnerable or often left behind in society. These people may be more trusting or more likely to take their chance with a trafficker who offers them protection. Traffickers target them because they know they are easier to manipulate.
  • The Effects are Debilitating - For victims, the dangers of human trafficking are grave. A hallmark of trafficking is the use or threat of violence and abuse, either physically or mentally. Physically, this could mean the denial of food, water or hygienic necessities or physical torture and beatings, leaving victims malnourished or with injuries that require treatment. Mentally, the trauma of the experience can leave victims with lasting disorders like anxiety, depression, and PTSD that likewise require treatment.
  • It Happens Everywhere - One of the biggest misconceptions about human trafficking is that it only happens in other countries; this is false. Countries with unstable governments are more susceptible, but that doesn’t mean it only happens there. Any place that has inequality and vulnerable communities like those mentioned above can, unfortunately, find itself touched by the disease of human trafficking. Most people don’t hear about it because traffickers work hard to keep their victims hidden and obedient.

As the reality of human trafficking continues to be brought to light, it’s best to be informed. If you ever suspect human trafficking, you should contact your local authorities or the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.