Human Trafficking: What You Need To Know

''Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.'' -C.S. Lewis

July 30th is World Against Trafficking in Persons Day. As you all know, I am always writing articles regarding human trafficking, either based on what is happening in the news or as a generality. I thought I could share some resources on human trafficking, as well as some facts regarding this topic. It's not only because of this holiday, but it's something we should all be aware of. 

What is human trafficking? According to the Justice Department, human trafficking is a crime "that exploits a person for labor, services, or commercial sex." A victim is often coerced or tricked into committing acts for their traffickers. Human trafficking is the second highest money making business (behind the drug trafficking business), but is the fastest growing business. 

Now that the definition of human trafficking is established, let's continue to discuss some myths and facts about human trafficking. The myths I share are based on research from Polaris Project and Department of Homeland Security.

Myth #1: Human trafficking is always a violent crime.

Human trafficking doesn't happen like the movies describe. It's not always kidnappings and violence. That does happen, but most times, traffickers can read who is vulnerable and appears weak. They just act like a friend or parental figure. In the book, Stolen, Kateriina described her first encounter with a trafficker, and it wasn't violent. She became friends with her soon-to-be trafficker, as she needed someone to care about her.

Myth #2: Human trafficking is only sex-based.

The two types of human trafficking are sex trafficking and labor trafficking. There is much speculation that there are more cases of labor trafficking than sex trafficking worldwide, but sex trafficking is more prominent and noticed, as well as awareness.

Myth #3: Traffickers only target people they don't know.

Partially true, but not entirely. Many traffickers are family members or friends. Polaris Project states that numerous survivors have said their traffickers were spouses or parents.

Myth #4: Women and children are the only victims of human trafficking.

If you've kept up with this blog, you know how often I discuss men being the unspoken victims of human trafficking. It's almost impossible to know the true number of male victims to human trafficking because they're already less likely to come forward about their experience. Men can be victims of human trafficking, and women can be predators.

Myth #5: Human trafficking doesn't happen in countries like the U.S.

Geoff Rogers, the co-founder of United States Institute Against Human Trafficking, stated that "The United States is the number one consumer of sex worldwide, so we are driving the demand as a society" (Via Fox News). Fight The New Drug gave the example with iPhones. Would Apple produce and sell iPhones if nobody was buying them? Nope! Since people buy the iPhone, Apple sells and produces them. Sex trafficking would not exist if the demand for sex wasn't so high. Look at how obsessed American society is with sex and porn. 

My previous article caused backlash from so-called conservatives for daring to say pornography isn't conservative.

I was surprised to see the fifth one as a myth because it seemed so obvious, but unless you're involved, then it isn't so obvious. Because human trafficking is already a hidden crime, people aren't very educated. I find that hard to believe, because for me, it wasn't hard to learn about. I am more willing to believe people choose to be ignorant about the topic.

Here are some organizations/people you can follow to stay educated on human trafficking or to get involved with:
  1. Tim Tebow/Tebow Foundation
  2. Tim Ballard/Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.)
  3. Jaco Booyens/Jaco Booyens Ministries
  4. Laila Mickelwait
  5. Eliza Bleu
  6. Fight The New Drug
  7. The Exodus Cry
  8. Polaris Project
I hope this article helped you learn more about human trafficking. Since tomorrow is World Against Trafficking in Persons Day, share these facts with your loved ones. Don’t let human trafficking stay hidden. It may seem impossible, but I do believe it’s true. We could be the generation that ends human trafficking. To end, I’d like to end with this quote from William Wilberforce: "You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say you did not know." Let's be the generation that ends human trafficking.

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