What if someone told you they would give you everything you have ever wanted and all you have to do is follow them, Would you? This happens to over 50,000 people each year. The question is how is it happening to so many people? People are being offered opportunities that would not necessarily be available to them and they are trusting that person who offered it to them. That might not mean following a strange man into a white van. It could be a person you trust, human traffickers can look like anyone.
According to an article written by Brad Riley, human traffickers can take lots of forms. The first form a human trafficker can take on is a provider. This is the form we talked about in the first paragraph. With this form, they can provide things the person wouldn’t be able to provide for themselves. The second one is a pretender. This person will pretend they are something that they are not.
This person may say things like “since you are like my sister, you can do this”, but in reality, you are not. The third one is a promiser who makes promises to do things or get things for you. The fourth is a protector. With this on you may not always need to be protected. They could be keeping the person away from their friend/family saying they are trying to protect them. The fifth one is the punisher. This person will punish you with things you have to do for them in return for doing something wrong.
In the end, this person will always get something out of it. How can you tell if a person is being trafficked?
There are many signs that a person is being human trafficked. This article by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has many indicators of human traffickers. The first one for instance is fear or anxiety. They could fear that if they do not do their work they will get in trouble or even if they do something wrong. The second one is suffering from injuries. This one is a big one. If they appear to always have bruises that could be a sign of human trafficking. The third one is if they never want to come out, they always have to go straight home. They make excuses for never being able to hang out or never being able to leave the house. The fourth one is if they apologize a lot. They were always saying sorry for things they couldn’t control. It doesn’t matter where you go there is always going to be human trafficking.
Do you watch the super bowl, what if I told you that the super bowl is known for human trafficking? The super bowl is known to have thousands of people. That’s perfect for human trafficking. An article written by Sebastien Malo stated, “ U.S Police arrested about 750 people in nationwide sex-trafficking sting operations ahead of last year’s Super Bowl, the largest sweep since operations began 13 years earlier.” Many of us have questions about that. One of the questions you might have is how did this happen to over a thousand people. It’s as simple as telling a lost kid your going to take them to their parents, but instead kidnapped them, or waiting until they are walking back to their car and taking them. Human traffickers are sneaky. That article just proves that human trafficking can happen anywhere.
How do people who don’t go to big events get human trafficked? Targets- Though any girl can become a target, there is generally a certain “profile” driving selection. Pimps find it easiest to manipulate vulnerable girls with low self-esteem, or girls who come from a hard past. Courtship- The pimp will get to know the person or provide her with things she can’t get herself. He will always establish himself as the victim’s boyfriend, so they can have that sense of protection. Isolation- The pimp will work on trying to isolate the victim from whoever could object to their relationship. Transition- The pimp may introduce the ideas of prostitution. Control- The pimp will control every movement the victim makes (Renting Lacy 54).
Do you know the places where human trafficking is at its worst? According to an article written by Deidre McPhillips, these are the top 5 places. Number 1 is Russia. “ Russia recently expanded bilateral agreements with North Korea that allow for labor camps and “slave-like conditions” for workers within Russian borders. About 20,000 workers from North Korea are sent to Russia each year.” You may be saying well they are getting paid for this, but not all of them are not only that but it’s considered to have slave-like conditions. Human trafficking is known for slave-like conditions. But instead of them saying human trafficking they say slave-like conditions. Number 2 is China. It is said that there are gaps in the state law leaving human traffickers a way to get around that law. Number 3 is Iran. Iran’s government “continued to punish trafficking victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being subjected to human traffickings, such as adultery, prostitution, and illegal immigration,” some of which are punishable by death, according to the report. If they can be punished by death why are they doing this? Children under the age of 3 are working on the street begging. Which gives human traffickers a way of taking them. Number 4 in Belarus. Belarus has a lot of unemployed people which causes them to go into human trafficking. Number 5 is Venezuela. Children and women are lured from poorer regions to tourism hubs. With all of the children and people getting lured into human trafficking what happens when they are saved?
Do the kids get to go home as soon as they are released from their human trafficker? An article written by The Denver post says they are first placed into a Juvenile detention facility for evaluation and detoxification the number of days they are there depends on the number of beds available. The worst place they could go is coed group homes where girls who are removed from sex trafficking are housed with male sex offenders. They can house up to four children with no therapy. The best place they could go into is therapeutic foster care homes, with one or two children who are provided therapy support, training, and oversight. The best outcomes result from the specialized therapeutic foster care model which incorporates foster parents, volunteers, and professionals specifically trained in dealing with trauma resulting from trafficking.
When dealing with human trafficking it’s never going to end. We need to be aware of the danger and know who we are trusting. Don’t be that person who follows the man into the van. Ask yourself, why is this happening to so many people. Don’t be part of the 50,000 people who go missing each year all because someone offered you something you always wanted, or you got mad at your parents and ran away.