“Slavery is founded on the selfishness of man’s nature; opposition to it on his love of justice.” Abraham Lincoln
Recently, President Donald Trump stated, in regards to human trafficking:
“It’s a very, very terrible problem, it’s not talked about enough. People don’t know enough about it and we’re going to talk about it and we’re going to bring it out into the open and hopefully we’re going to do a great deal to help prevent some of the horrific, really horrific crimes that are taking place.” (Reuters, Feb. 23, 2017)
Human trafficking can take on any sort of involuntary bondage or servitude. Quite often there is a sexual component to this issue, especially when it involves trafficking in developed nations. And as Donald Trump has stated, it is an issue that gets too little coverage in the media. Oh, and just to make it clear, this is not a partisan issue as I quote former president Barack Obama on this issue at the end of this article.
If we want to help the victims of this practice we need to bring it out into the open. This will put pressure on politicians to act.
In my most recent book in the ”Freedom from Conscience” series, “Freedom from Conscience – Descent into Darkness” the protagonist, a state legislator who is a former vigilante serial killer, must go undercover in an exotic dance establishment, that is in reality a front for a sex trafficking operation. She partners up with a young Russian woman who is seeking answers as to the whereabouts of her vanished sister when someone begins to threaten her family after she begins to expose this issue. https://www.amazon.com/Freedom-Conscience-Descent-Into-Darkness/dp/1612965989 Again, sex trafficking and human slavery merely are not merely an interesting plot to a psychological thriller or action movie, or is it something in which the magnitude far exceeds the attention it receives in the corporate media news outlets. And again, this must change.
Around the early part of the 21st Century there was a fair amount of news coverage of the plight of eastern European and Russian women being tricked or forced into sex slavery. As is usually the case any time war or economic circumstances makes people vulnerable to exploitation there will be those who will capitalize on the misery of others. The situation in the former Soviet bloc nations was dire; criminal gangs worked with impunity, there was little if any work available and the ability of law enforcement to tackle such things as human trafficking was severely limited. Sometimes women sought any employment and were willing to be transported to nations in Europe, the Middle East and North America. More were tricked into believing they were being hired as nannies or models only to have their passports confiscated and forced to work in brothels, sex clubs or as private mistresses. Some estimated that hundreds of thousands of women got caught up in this.
As the economy of the former Soviet nations has improved and the legal infrastructure has become more efficient and accountable the numbers from these regions have decreased, but it still exists. In fact victims and perpetrators can be found in most advanced nations, although, as stated earlier, war and economic uncertainty create a perfect breeding ground for this sort of activity.
Recently some reports have trickled out of the Middle East of Syrian and Yazidi girls being forced into sex slavery by ISIS captors. And in other areas affected by war, or where massive migrations are occurring, people can become easy prey for these operations, even on the southern borders of the United States. As for forced labor this is another aspect of slavery that exists in some areas of the developing world; to assume that slavery ended in the whole world when it ended in the USA is quite naïve.
To his credit President Obama had addressed this issue during his administration:
“When a man, desperate for work, finds himself in a factory or on a fishing boat or in a field, working, toiling, for little or no pay, and beaten if he tries to escape — that is slavery. When a woman is locked in a sweatshop, or trapped in a home as a domestic servant, alone and abused and incapable of leaving — that’s slavery.
When a little boy is kidnapped, turned into a child soldier, forced to kill or be killed — that’s slavery. When a little girl is sold by her impoverished family — girls my daughters’ age — runs away from home, or is lured by the false promises of a better life, and then imprisoned in a brothel and tortured if she resists — that’s slavery. It is barbaric, and it is evil, and it has no place in a civilized world.” https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/foreign-policy/end-human-trafficking
And President Donald Trump has also stated:
“My Administration will focus on ending the absolutely horrific practice of human trafficking”
One can find a summary of the domestic and international measures his administration is taking to combat this evil here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-taking-action-end-human-trafficking/
We can help by making sure this is an issue that gets attention in social media, the regular media and that we encourage our elected representatives to address this problem as well. The people who exploit human beings benefit from keeping this out of the public eye. It is time to make sure they are exposed and brought to justice.