Saving the Children from Human Trafficking

Children who were used in a human trafficking ring./Kay Chernush, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons/US State Department

Ten years ago, the United States officially joined the fray in cracking down on the global epidemic called human trafficking. Ten years later, the fight rages on now that human trafficking has become a multi-billion dollar industry.

According to the U. S. State Department’s 2010 report on human trafficking, there are more than 12 million people who are tied unwillingly to sexual bondage and forced work labor. Free the Slaves, a human trafficking organization, estimate that there are as many as 27 million people working under forced labor conditions.

For many women and children that means being exploited and forced into the sex trade and being turned out by lovers, husbands, relatives or intimidating thugs. They’re beaten. They’re raped, tortured and endure a life of drudgery, physical pain, emotional anguish and a dead-end existence.

That could mean being held against their will in a cell. Instead of freedom, their lives retreat into occupational slavery where only meeting the satisfactory needs of a client can mean the difference between life and death.

That includes women who are forced into human trafficking to pay off a debt, become entrapped with false promises of better employment opportunities and or coerced into a phony marriage for panning illegal activity. Forced child marriages, where Internet and mail-in brides are extremely popular, have become a dominant agenda item for sex slave traders.

Unfortunately, bringing the perpetrators of human trafficking to justice is next to impossible, especially in Third World countries. The number of these people being prosecuted is abysmal. Last year, there were just 4, 166 successful human trafficking prosecution worldwide. That’s basically a tiny fraction of the number of people being held against their will.

 Adding another problem to the human trafficking dilemma is the fact that there are 62 other countries that have never had a successful prosecution of those types of crimes, according to the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons report.        

There’s a lot of noise being made these days about human trafficking. And rightly so. Human trafficking is a proliferation of modern-day slavery with a lot of money at stake. According to Save the Children, an organization that creates awareness about human trafficking, profiteering off of child and human trafficking is worth as much as $32 billion a year.

Web portal Craigslist has been at the top of the food chain in scrutiny from law enforcement officials to consumer watchdog groups in that regards with its recently closed adult services, due to reported to alleged solicitation for prostitution.

The slave trade is going on everywhere, including on the home front called the United States.  After years of policing heavily populated human trafficking countries such as Moldova, Germany, Ukraine, Burma, Yemen, Sudan, the United States included itself as part of a worldwide problem.               

Part of the problem here in the United States is the unaccountability to find or locate the number of missing people in the country. According to the FBI’s 2009 statistics, there were 438, 456 people considered missing in this country. Those numbers are even more glaring when one takes in account the number of African Americans considered missing.

The FBI list that there were 238, 847 African Americans considered missing. Those numbers are even more staggering when you take in account that 194, 515 African Americans were under 18. Where are they? Are they being pimped into illicit servitude and the street hustle game? Right now there are more questions than answers.

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