Society - People
By: - at May 16, 2013

Human Trafficking: Information and Facts

Most individuals are disgusted when they hear the words human trafficking. These words can leave a bad taste in your mouth. Others want to delve deeper into the subject. People want to know all the little details. They want to know the: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Many look for these answers, but are unprepared or even shocked at the results they find. These specifics can help in prevention methods, as well as other areas of human trafficking. Many are oblivious to the dangers of human trafficking. They do not realize just how much it is present in the United States, Africa, Asia, Europe, and other parts of the world. Victims are everywhere. During any given moment, millions of people are victims of human trafficking.

human trafficking

However many of these cases go unaddressed by people every single day as they blend into society.  Here are 15 facts and information related to this horrible crime:

15)  Human Trafficking Involves Multiple Methods to Trap Victims
kidnappingVictims of human trafficking can be exploited in many ways. However, most commonly victims are misled into the situation. This can happen in instances where someone is trying to enter a country illegally. Every year people will pay to try to escape the horrors of their current situation. Afterward, many find they have entered into something far worse than their prior situation. The second method used to obtain victims for human trafficking is by individuals going willingly. Even willing individuals are usually deceived in one form or another. Many times this occurs when individuals sign debt contracts. Debt contracts are similar to indentured servants. You are paying for your passage as well as the risks involved with getting you into the country. Some traffickers will state one position to the person while discussing terms. Then once the individual has made it out of the country, they will take them somewhere else. This forces trafficking victims into paying back the money in ways such as pornography or prostitution.

Many times victims fall into the third category where deception is used to trap victims. Traffickers will get unsuspecting tourists or citizens to let their guard down. This creates the opportunity for traffickers to obtain the victim either by force, or by deception of other means such as a trip. Kidnapping is another common form of person procurement used for traffickers, especially when targeting children. Depending upon the victim, they may be abused physically, mentally, and or sexually even before they leave their home country. Many times traffickers use drugs such as roofies or forcing victims to use heroin getting them hooked and making them vulnerable to manipulation. Children are most often likely candidates due to their vulnerability and innocence.

14)  Human Trafficking Doesn't Discriminate Against Age
human traffickingYoung or old, the world of human trafficking does not discriminate. Generally there is a market for just about anything. However, most traffickers are more concerned about profits than anything else. Children as young as age three can be kidnapped or even sold to traffickers. Many child victims tend to be vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases. This is due to a variety of reasons, such as unsafe living conditions or lack of protection. In certain countries there are even myths that having sex with a virgin can cure sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS. Many times in traffickers will loan money to the parents or be sold the children by the parents. Generally these result in sexual exploitation such as forced prostitution.

13)  Human Trafficking Happens In Every Region of the World
global human traffickingHuman trafficking is not specified to one specific country, continent, or region of the world. This crime is an issue that is plaguing our society in nearly every corner of the world. Some of these regions go to more extremes than others with this crime. Family, friends, or even parents have been known to participate in the trafficking victims in exchange for some sort of monetary gain. Often times, victims are tricked. These victims are lured with promises of becoming a maid or waitress in another country. One that will pay well and they can live a life of luxury. However they are abruptly made aware of the change. In most cases, victims live the rest of their lives in servitude or prostitution. The United Nations estimates the number of victims at any one period of time to be around 2.5 million individuals, although these numbers are inaccurate. This is due to many cases being unreported or investigated.

One of the reasons human trafficking effects just about every region of the world is because there are few legislation about the human trafficking crime. Although awareness is becoming more relevant, for years there was no legal instrument used to fight the crime. However the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has helped to implement a set standard for all regions. Unfortunately not all countries have punishments befitting these crimes.

12)  Human Trafficking is Committed for More than Sexual Exploitation
camel jockeyOften times, people forget there are crimes of human trafficking for reasons other than sexual exploitation or prostitution. Children can be bought for a variety of inhuman reasons. These can include more less familiar reasons such as camel jockeys. Camel racing is a popular sport in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and numerous other countries. Children have been known to be used as jockeys. Camel jockeys are similar to a horse jockeys. However many countries now have rules and regulations to prevent the child labor abuse these children received as jockeys.

Some victims can be sold into slavery. One of the more gruesome reasons for human trafficking is for organ harvest. These victims can lose organs, but with help can have a chance to survive. Even when victims agree to organ trafficking, they can run the risk of complications. Complications can be minimal issues such as healing time or major issues such as severe allergies. Victims of organ trafficking generally run the risk of disfigurement, extreme blood loss, or even death from complications associated with the organ removal. Many times this is due to the inability to know in advance what organs will be taken, what type of room you will be in, the education of the person removing the organs, and other factors.

Human Heart Ready for Transplant
Human Heart Ready for Transplant

Other times victims are unaware the procedure is even being performed, so they are unaware of the risks or complications involved. Depending upon the organ trafficking case will determine the likelihood for the individual's survival.

11)  Human Trafficking is a Low Risk Endeavor
low legal risks versus the money to be madeEvery day the horrors of human trafficking take place. With such an extreme situation occurring worldwide, you would think risks for trafficking would be high. However in many cases this is untrue. The number of convictions compared to the extent of the problem is alarmingly low. Most areas of the world are unaware how to handle these crimes. Many countries do not have anti-trafficking legislation. Other authorities are aware of the problem, but lack the ability to utilize their training and arrest offenders. The majority of cases are not investigated. People are rarely prosecuted for trafficking crimes. Usually victims receive this treatment because they appear more like prostitutes than victims of a sex crime. Other times it is due to mistaken situations where illegal immigrants are involved. Often human trafficking is the result of organized crime. Each trafficker is usually responsible for a specified part of the journey. Unfortunately the monetary benefits far outweigh the low risks traffickers have.

dead woman on the floor

Unfortunately because it is a low risk endeavor, human trafficking continues to be attractive to criminals. Corruption of governmental authorities is another serious problem for human trafficking. Government corruption generally benefits the trafficker. This can result in low convictions for traffickers, as well as cases going unreported or sometimes even covered up.

10)  Many Cases Go Unreported by the Victim
Many victims can be reluctant to seek help. This reluctance can be due to a variety of issues. However the majority of times, it stems from fear. Fear can come from the risk of deportation or the fear of prosecution for crimes the victim was forced to commit. Other times victims are unaware of who to trust. Government authorities can be corrupted and easily persuaded to look away.

woman held hostage

Many women who are victims of trafficking may be in a debt bondage. These women tend to be reluctant to seek help of any kind. This can include help for health reasons as well. Often times these victims must exploit themselves sexually to earn their living. This can be in forms of pornography or prostitution. These debt bondages are required for the victim to work until the debt is paid off to their trafficker. Many of these victims, however, do not earn normal wages. In most cases, the victims are never able to earn enough to pay the debt. This is perhaps one of the biggest deceptions of all in human trafficking.

9)  The Media Plays a Key Role in the Fight Against Human Trafficking
stop human trafficking
Some countries can limit or prevent certain types of broadcasts. Others go even further and limit or prevent any kind of broadcast or news venue including the internet. The media plays a vital role in the fight against human trafficking. Educating people about the human trafficking issue and how it is affecting our society is important to the downfall of this crime. Awareness and education are two of the most important roles in helping to prevent human trafficking. By providing education on the issue, important awareness is being generated. They learn what to look for and what to do should they encounter human trafficking activities. They also learn what to report to the authorities, and who the proper authorities they need to report to are.

tee shirt stating to stop human trafficking

8)  There are Three Categories for Organ Trafficking
organ trafficking
According to, there are three categories for classifying cases of organ trafficking. However these classes generally affect all forms of trafficking. The first category consists of cases in which the trafficking victim agreed to sell their organs. Most often this is done formally with a signed contract. However informal methods are also used, such as verbal contracts. Other times, trafficking cases fall into the second category. Cases in this category involve victims that were forced into the removal of their organs. This situation has also led to the Urban Legend about waking up in a tub of ice with organs or body parts removed. Other times cases in this category involve the victim having been deceived in some way.

human body and organs for sale

The last organ trafficking category pertains to victims who are treated for various health reasons. During treatment they unknowingly have their organs removed. Sometimes it can be due to illegal procedures. Generally the victim is told they are getting treated for some kind of health reason. These issues can be real or made up. Often they are just used to cover for what they plan on doing. Once you awaken, you may not even know the organ(s) have been removed. Many times victims can even go years before finding out. It is even likely that if no complications occur an individual could statistically never find out the organs were removed.

7)  The Demand for Human Trafficking is Staggering
Each form of human trafficking has its own demands. Victims can be used to produce goods that are in turn imported into other countries such as the United States. Unfortunately consumers play a part in this. Think about economics. In particular, supply and demand. When there is a high demand for a product, supply is created to fill that demand. If the supply is greater than the demand, then production is cut down or the price of the goods goes down. Unfortunately human trafficking is similar. Even by buying consumer products that may seem completely unrelated can benefit those in the human trafficking business. Consumer goods can be made from companies that exploit individuals of human trafficking. Sometimes this can be easily seen, such as right here in the United States. Vegas and many other cities are known for having prostitution. This creates a demand for commercial sexual acts. The increase in demand for commercial sexual acts also increases the need for sex trafficking. These victims can be as young as age three. These children can be used for things such as camel jockeys.

sex trafficking

Other times victims are older. Virgins can also be put at extreme risks, as in some cultures it is believed that having sex with a virgin will cure the individual of serious ailments. Generally this relates to specifics such as HIV or AIDS. Some individuals may even choose to participate in the trafficking. They do this by placing themselves in debt to the trafficker for taking them into another country. Many times they are deceived into thinking they can work off the debt easily. However more often than not, the positions pay poorly and conditions are very poor or sometimes even inhumane. Often victims are treated cruelly and disrespectfully. Those that are able to escape generally work towards recovering for the rest of their lives. Recovery needed by human trafficking victims can be physical, emotional, and sometimes even psychological.

6)  Organized Crime Plays a Vital Role in Human Trafficking
Human Trafficking Crime
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, billions of dollars are earned through human trafficking every year. This creates a gold mine for organized crime. Traffickers and other members of organized crime see each human trafficking victim as a dollar sign. Each person is just another commodity. Something that can be bought, sold, or traded.

Human trafficking is a very profitable business. With such a staggering demand for a low risk crime, many organized crime organizations use all forms of human trafficking. These can include forced labor, sex exploitation, and organ trafficking. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2005 alone, over 127 countries and 137 states reported victims of human trafficking crimes. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released a report providing how human trafficking trends have changed since 2009. This report also provides examples and other methods that need to be completed. One area that they are working to improve is the conviction rate against those who are guilty of human trafficking crimes.

There are a number of ways to help people understand what it takes to make a difference in human trafficking. These methods include being alert. Make sure you are able to report exactly what it is that you saw. It is better to report an incident that is mistaken for human trafficking, then to let a victim continue to be imprisoned. Another great example of how to make a difference is to be responsible of your choices. Research the products you buy, and learn about the companies that make them. Ignorance plays a big role in human trafficking. Whether the ignorance is of companies using the labor or not knowing what to look for, it is easily remedied by educating yourself.

5)  The United Nations is Fighting the War Against Trafficking
UN is against human trafficking or any other infraction of human rights
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has helped to create and setup a variety of mandates and protocols. These procedures are to help prevent, reduce, and punish traffickers. Part of the procedures were to help the victims of human trafficking. This can include both protection and or assistance. These protocols are the only international measure used in fighting human trafficking. Typically countries will work with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime to assist if needed, review if possible, and proceed as necessary. One of the most important parts of these regulations is to ensure the safety and protection of these victims and their families. These protocols and regulations against trafficking are being setup on a worldwide scale. Many laws, punishments, and programs are also being setup on local or state levels as well.

4)  Many Victims Go Unnoticed
Many Victims Go Unnoticed
Each day victims of human trafficking are passed by without notice. These individuals are often chosen due to the lack of people surrounding them in their day to day lives. Traffickers see these individuals as easy prey because they are loners, or are trying to escape their current situation. Many victims typically lead low visibility lives. Often having low visibility either at their job or a job where they can avoid others. Many times the risks of being deported or prosecuted makes victims afraid to come forward. Other times because of their situation, their concerns are ignored. A prostitute trying to go to the police would be a great example of this. The authorities are more concerned about the profession she or he is currently in, rather than why they are there in the first place. Many times victims see reporting to authorities like a double edged sword. Although they can report, typically when the authorities do investigate the situation, most cases are not given an in-depth look. This allows traffickers an easy way to hide evidence, and can also lead to harsh punishments for the victim by the trafficker as well.

3)  Victims Can Willingly Get On Board
Victims Can Willingly Get On Board
Many times victims are deceived into going along willingly with the human trafficking. Traffickers will promise just about anything in order to get a victim to go with them easily. Deceptions can be about love, and the victim can think they have found someone who has finally taken an interest in them. Other times deceptions are about working conditions, or a fabulous job opportunity with decent wages. Even the job position they think they will receive can be a lie. These trafficking victims expect they will be making a decent living, when in actuality they will be making minimal wages. Many times victims are told they will be given service industry jobs like a maid, janitor, yard worker, or waitress. However, during some point of the journey, the passport or other documentation is taken from the victim. The victim is then in the control of the trafficker. Victims of human trafficking typically are forced into horrible living conditions, and in many cases into sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation is the most common reason for human trafficking. Other times trafficking is generally about forced labor.

2)  The United States Government Has Taken a Number Of Actions to Fight Trafficking
ways the US government combats human trafficking
Over the years the United States Congress has passed legislation against sexual exploitation. There has even been legislation passed that was created to ensure prosecution of Americans who prey on children. These Americans can and will be prosecuted whether the act was committed here in the United States or abroad. The perpetrator of the crime can be tried and sentenced up to 30 years in prison in the United States. The United States also works with a variety of other countries and agencies to fight the human trafficking issue. It is a worldwide crime that will continue to affect every country until everyone is working together to prevent human trafficking.

The legislation passed in the United States on human trafficking is not only for prosecution of these perpetrators, but to help the victims. Some require healthcare after being forced into sexual exploitation. Many times victims of sexual exploitation also end up with diseases such as HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases. Often times, women are forced to get abortions when they become pregnant. The abortions performed are generally done in unsafe conditions. This can be due to improper procedure, unsanitary conditions, or various other causes. Many times improper procedures can result in infertility or even death.

1)  We Can Put an End to Human Trafficking
Stop Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is a crime that can be prevented. This task is not something that can be completed overnight. However these changes can be done. All it will take is a good deal of time, effort from all parties involved, and international teamwork. One of the first steps to helping to end human trafficking is to create better laws and harsher punishments for these crimes. One of the top reasons human trafficking is chosen, is because it is a low risk endeavor that yields considerable monetary gain. Currently human trafficking is a low risk crime. This is because many times victims are mistaken for prostitutes. Instead of listening to what the individual has to say, many people in the position to help will judge them before all the details are presented. Every government needs to make traffickers accountable for their actions. This goes from individuals, to companies, and even governments are responsible for their actions.

Human trafficking is a worldwide crime. It affects nearly every populated country in the world. Human trafficking education and awareness are two big ways to help in preventing future trafficking. Most of these crimes are considered low risk to the trafficker. This is due to the fact that most authority figures are unaware of what to look for. In some countries, as sad as it sounds, even parents have sold their children for monetary gain. Countries around the world such as the United States, strive every day to work to help prevent human trafficking by creating better laws and harsher penalties.





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