It can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. You don’t have to be a woman to be a victim and you don’t have to be young to be a victim. You just have to be there.
Kidnapping, women, sex - these are all what comes to mind when people hear of human trafficking, but they only just scratch the surface. In reality, they couldn’t be more wrong.
There is so much more to this vile epidemic, and the three words mentioned above barely scrape the surface of what all there is to human trafficking.
Below is a list of what you can learn about human trafficking and how it can change a life in the blink of an eye.
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. It involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain human labor or commercial sex act. Victims of trafficking can be anyone and live anywhere. (1)
Communities that experience hardships such as adversity, violence, discrimination, economic vulnerability like crime, or dependence may claim easy prey for traffickers. (2)
It is our goal to prevent these heinous acts and promote the welfare of raising human trafficking awareness.
Employees working in private homes are forced or coerced into serving and/or fraudulently convinced that they have no option to leave. (4)
Women, men, or children that are forced into the commercial sex industry and held against their will by force, fraud, or coercion. (4)
Human beings are forced to work under the threat of violence and for no pay. These slaves are treated as property and exploited to create a product for commercial sale. (4)
Individuals that are compelled to work in order to repay a debt and unable to leave until the debt is repaid. It is the most common form of enslavement in the world. (4)
Any enslavement — whether forced labor, domestic servitude, bonded labor, or sex trafficking — of a child. (4)
Women and children who are forced to marry another without their consent or against their will. (4)
There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today. According to the U.S. State Department, 600 - 800 thousand people are trafficked across international border every year, of which 80% are female and half are children. (3)
Common Work and Living Conditions: (5)
Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior:
Poor Physical Health:
Lack of Control:
This list is not exhaustive and represents only a selection of possible indicators. The red flags in this list may not be present in all trafficking cases.
Each individual indicator should be taken in context, not be considered in isolation, nor should be taken as “proof” that human trafficking is occurring. Additionally, cultural differences should also be considered. (6)
In the United States, the Trafficking Victims Violence Prevention Act of 2000 (TVPA) defined and classified human trafficking into two main categories: sex trafficking and labor trafficking. (7)
According to federal law, any minor under the age of 18 engaging in commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking, regardless of the presence of force, fraud, or coercion. (8)
The root cause of human trafficking are traffickers. They are able to identify their next victim through circumstances of poverty, unemployment, displacement, lack of knowledge/experience, broken families, and even cultural practices. (9)
As said throughout the post, trafficking could happen anywhere. As said throughout the post, trafficking could happen anywhere. But the most common places are Washington, D.C., New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Orlando, Miami, and even Houston, Texas.
It’s no question as to why main metropolitan areas are a hub for traffickers, considering poverty, displacement, and unemployment occurs more often in high-volume cities.
Which now brings us to our main topic…
The main thing we can do is raise awareness. It’s vital that we encourage many outlets to end human trafficking. Here are ways to bring traffic against human traffic:
The most effective way to prevent human trafficking is to raise awareness everywhere about the tricks traffickers use to find and exploit vulnerable people. Anyone can help with this effort.
Talk to your co-workers, fellow church members, neighbors, family, and friends about the reality of modern slavery. Join local organizations and volunteer your time. Donate money to groups educating the public.
Speak up at school board meetings, insisting that children are taught what to look for. And as always, purchase anti-trafficking wristbands to further constant exposure about this disease. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to get your own wristband for this cause.
In 2011, President of the USA Barack Obama issued Presidential Proclamation, designating each January to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The anniversary of this proclamation (January 11) became known as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. (10)
There are other days around the world that are used to raise awareness:
July 30 is World Day against Trafficking in Persons, which is observed by the United Nations (UN).
October 18 is Anti-Slavery Day in the UK.
December 10 is the International Human Rights Day.
Many organizations have days that they focus their awareness efforts as well. For example, the End It Movement has the Shine a Light on Slavery Day every February 7.
At the end of the day, we, as Rapid Wristbands and as a society, have one main goal - to raise awareness for human trafficking and end their efforts. It’s time to return the tiny missing shoe, the scarf, the coat back to their owners. It’s time to get them found.
We can help you design your human trafficking wristband to raise awareness year-round, or in coordination with these national and international efforts.