What is Human Trafficking?
Human Trafficking is categorized as an extreme offense and a major violation of basic human rights. Thousands of men, women, and children are kidnapped each year by human traffickers, in their own countries, and across borders as well. Every country in the world is negatively affected by trafficking, whether it is a country of origin for trafficked victims or, a transit or destination for trafficked victims. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that as of 2012, 20.9 million people worldwide were victims of human trafficking and out of those 20.9 million people; 68% of them are “trapped in forced labor”, 26% are children, and 55% are women and girls. More recent statistics estimate about 30 million people who are now being trafficked; making Human Trafficking the third largest illegal industry in the world, just trailing behind illegal drugs and arms trade.
Map via http://sextraffickingglobal.weebly.com/worldwide-regulation.html
Where is Human Trafficking the WORST?
At the top of the list created by the U.S Department of Justice, Myanmar, Sudan, and Haiti are the top three countries with the highest rates of trafficked people. Thailand used to accompany this select list of countries but has been downgraded by the U.S Department of Justice because of the government’s vigilant efforts to decrease and eliminate Human Trafficking.
In Myanmar, the Rohingya community in Myanmar has been heavily oppressed by the government and people of other communities. Human Traffickers have been praying on the desperation of these people who are looking for a better place to live. It has been reported that Human Traffickers have used the method of “fraud” to lure these people into their trap. They guarantee transport to Thailand or Malaysia, and the people have the “option” of moving to another country such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand, or a Western European nation such as the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Switzerland, or Portugal: in which these people have the option to lead normal and successful lives without oppression.
The trade between Myanmar and Thailand, fortunately, took a significant toll after Thai authorities located a mass grave near the Thailand/Malaysia border of what appeared to be bodies of Rohingya refugees.
Unfortunately, because of current political tensions in Sudan, recent reports on Human Trafficking have NOT been created and won’t provide valid and relevant data to the current year.
What YOU Can Do To Help
People who are being trafficked, or forced to commit acts against their will often exhibit signs that are easily noticeable. Polaris, an organization working to fight Human Trafficking in the United States and abroad has listed common signs exhibited by trafficking victims or other victims forced to commit acts against their will.
Common Work and Living Conditions: The individual(s) in question
- Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
- Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
- Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp/manager
- Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
- Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
- Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
- Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
- Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
- High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)
Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior
- Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
- Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
- Avoids eye contact
Poor Physical Health
- Lacks health care
- Appears malnourished
- Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
Lack of Control
- Has few or no personal possessions
- Is not in control of his/her own money, no financial records, or bank account
- Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)
- Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)
- Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address
- Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
- Loss of sense of time
- Have numerous inconsistencies in his/her story
This list is not exhaustive and represents only a selection of possible indicators. Also, the red flags in this list may not be present in all trafficking cases and are not cumulative. Learn more at www.humantraffickinghotline.org.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS BEING TRAFFICKED PLEASE CALL THE NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE HERE: (UNITED STATES) +1 (888) 373-7888
http://globalmodernslavery.org PROVIDES A LIST OF ORGANIZATIONS IN YOUR CITY/PROVINCE/STATE/REGION AND THEIR PHONE NUMBERS, EMAILS, AND HOURS OF OPERATION (MAJORITY ARE 24/7). IF YOU OR SOMEONE IS BEING TRAFFICKED PLEASE LOOK FOR THE NEAREST HELP ORGANIZATION.