Many of today’s women and children are being enslaved through the rampant sex industry around the world. Promised a better life and more opportunities, women are sold by their families only to find that they were tricked and are actually being sold into prostitution. There are different forms of human trafficking, all of which involve women being lured away from their families toward a life in which they are constantly indebted to someone.
Here are some statistics about the prevalence of human trafficking from a group called Global Issues Affecting Women:
-The US Department of State estimates 600,000-800,000 trans-national trafficking victims each year.
-The U.S. State Department estimates that 80 per cent of trafficking victims are women or girls (about 640,000
-Human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world after drug dealing, and it is the fastest
Similar to how drug dealing works, the exploiter profits from his sale. However, in this case, the item being sold is a human against her will. Often, women are forced into prostitution or forced to work extremely demanding jobs such as factory workers. Then, the owner of the woman gets to keep the majority of her profits, successfully keeping the woman inferior and needy.
The reason that human traffickers are able to successfully scare their victims into silence and servitude is because they transport them to a foreign location where they have no connections or opportunities to save them. Women are stripped of their belongings and important travel documents in order to keep them from attempting to flee. Owners can easily deprive the woman of food and water to emphasize the power that they have over their victims. Here, the woman is the property of her owner and must abide to what he says or suffer the consequences of abuse, sexual assault, or even death. Often, women are blackmailed into listening to their owners because the victims are threatened that their owner will have her families killed at home if they do not follow the rules.
One of the biggest risks with sex slavery is the prevalence of premature death of the woman. This can be the result of suicide, homicide, drug problems, or HIV/AIDS. Because women are forced to live unhealthy lifestyles at the mercy of their owner, they often fall victim to diseases and fatal situations. Human trafficking is an important issue not only because of the inhumane acts that it entails and the psychological damage that ensues, but also because of the illegal movement of immigrants across the globe.
Just as slavery existed in American history, women are being sold, bought, and transported against their wills. At this very moment, women and children are being help captive, forced to give up their bodies and work without hopes of being able to escape and live a free life again. If you would like to read testimonies of survivors of human trafficking, click here.