Acrossthe world, human trafficking is one of the most profitable illegal businesses forcriminals to get into. Every year, the act of human trafficking itselfgenerates about $150.2 billion dollars. Human trafficking is often comparedwith drug trafficking, but humans themselves are more profitable because theycan be bought and sold multiple times while still holding their high value.
Onthe other hand, drugs can only be bought and sold once because they are sold topeople who consume them and make them disappear once put into their bodies. Although slavery was abolished inthe United States in 1865, human trafficking is a form of slavery in the modernday. The act includes people kidnapping innocent citizens and smuggling andtrading them to predators across the world. The two main reason that thesepredators traffic people is so they can use them for sexual or labor purposes. Eachyear, around 14,500–17,500 people from around the world were trafficked intothe United States. However, a majority of victims of human trafficking areUnited States citizens. Approximately 40,000 Americans are illegally bought,sold, and exploited throughout the country, making the total number of peoplebeing trafficking including citizens and immigrants up to over 57,000.
Acrossthe world, there are around 20-30 million people being trafficked. In 2000, the United States passed alaw protecting the victims of human trafficking called The Trafficking VictimsProtection Act. President Clinton passed this act due to the high rising ratesof people being trafficked in the United States. The Trafficking VictimsProtection act provides different resources for these people in order to helpthem get back onto their feet from the trauma that they have suffered. Thesedifferent resources include shelters and housing to prevent them from beinghomeless, translators for those who do not speak English, job counseling,skills training, and medical care. Medical care is extremely crucial to thesevictims and their survival, especially victims of sex trafficking. Sex trafficking, as defined by theTrafficking Victims Protection Act, is “a commercial sex act is induced byforce, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such acthas not attained 18 years of age. It includes the recruitment, harboring,transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services,through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection toinvoluntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery,” (United StatesCongress, 2000).
Victims of sex trafficking are held as slaves and forced toperform different forms of sex acts including rape, prostitution, and exploitation.The traffickers usually induce different forms of psychological abuse andthreats in order to keep these people from escaping or going to the police toreport the crimes that are committed. If they do attempt to escape thetrafficker, they are often beaten and show signs of physical harm to prevent itfrom happening again, or to show the other victims what will happen to them ifthey attempt to escape or report their captors. Primarily, women and children arethe two groups of people that are victims of sex trafficking. They represent80% of the 20-30 million people trafficked each year.
The captors typicallytarget women and children from impoverished places of the world because theyare less likely to be reported to the police as missing. Another reason womenand children are targeted from impoverished cities is because the traffickerslie to them and promise them a better life, offering them jobs as babysittersand jobs in factories or as cooks. Initially the victims imagine a better lifefor themselves with more money living in a better country with more freedom,however they do not know the true intentions of their traffickers. Most of thewomen being trafficked have children, which is beneficial for the trafficker. Thesechildren are usually smuggled with their mothers and held as hostages, givingthe women more incentive to work and do as their captors say because they donot want their children being killed. Not only are they held as hostages, insome situations they are also sold and exploited into the sex traffickingindustry.
The Organization for Security and Co-operationin Europe’s main focus is to promote human rights, and is ranked as the largestregional security organization. They were recently involved in an ininvestigation taking place in the Netherlands, involving a person who wasinvolved in sex trafficking. They found that he had held 4 victims and sexuallyexploited them on a daily basis. Each month he generated $18,148 dollars permonth.
He was found the be sexually exploiting them for around 7 months,generating $127,036 dollars. Seeing that this man generated over $100,000American dollars in 7 months, meanwhile the average salary in the United Statesis just about $50,000 dollars for a 12 month time span. Recently,in November of 2017, two men were found and arrested for human trafficking inCherry Hill, New Jersey. Kenneth Crowell and Barry Schiff from Harrisburg, PAare currently being accused for holding 6 innocent women and forcing them into prostitutionand involuntary servitude. For three years from 2014 to 2017, these men heldthese 6 girls and forced them to perform sex acts at various hotels in CherryHill and the Philadelphia area. When the women tried to leave, they physicallytortured them and produced threats in order to keep them in their presence. Onewomen claimed that when she tried to leave, the men told her that they wouldchop up her body and throw the pieces into the river so that they would not becaught. They also told the woman that they knew where their children were andthat they would kill them as well.
The victims that these two men held wereforced into sex trafficking based on the definition mentioned in previousparagraphs. One woman was addicted to heroin and living out of a hotel when shemet these two men, and they told her that they ran an escort business but inreality it was a prostitution ring. Another victim spoke out and mentioned thatshe was addicted to Percocet, and she bought pills from Crowell and Schiff. Inorder to pay off her debt from the Percocet, she had to work for these two menin their prostitution ring. The victim that was addicted to heroin worked fromtwo hotels based in Cherry Hill and brought home Crowell and Schiff over $3,000dollars each day.
The most common places that humantrafficking occurs are sanctuary cities and states with a high immigrationpopulation. A sanctuary city is a place that limits their cooperation with thenational government, in order to prevent the deportation of undocumentedcitizens. New Jersey, California, New York, Texas, Georgia, Florida, and manymore are states with a high immigration population, and are also states thathave high rates of human trafficking. A sanctuary city or state is perfect fora trafficker because the victims they are smuggling into the country want to beas safe as possible when it comes to being deported. Typically, these traffickerspromise their victims a better life in a sanctuary city or state where theywill be safe from deportation in order to get their cooperation when beingsmuggled into the country. Human trafficking is common in areas with highimmigration because immigrants that are coming to the United States go toplaces that have more opportunity to hire them regardless of their immigrationstatus. Each year, around 2.
5 millionchildren go homeless in the United States. These children may leave their homesfor many reasons, the most common reason is to escape the psychological andphysical abuse that occurs at home. Homeless American children are the perfecttarget for these predators. In fact, the National Center for Missing andExploited Children estimates that 1 in 6 children are at risk for becomingvictims of exploitation. These children have nothing going for them, so whenthey meet someone who promises them a better life and to help get them back ontheir feet, they are more willing and less hesitant to follow their stepsbecause they do not know any better.
The traffickers promise these children thingsthat are hard for them to get, for example, a place to live, food, and a jobfor them to make some money. Little do these children know that this person isa predator and they may be sold and sexually abused.