This week, in between grad school homework, I was able to finally take some notes on the human trafficking information I have. It’ll be a process for me to get all of that into a me based blog with cited sources. This week, the information is from Love146 and a publication they have entitled The Problem and one entitled United States Child Trafficking Facts. The story behind the name is fascinating and available at love146.org as are the above listed publications.
Here’s the reality on trafficking:
Most countries are involved in trafficking
- Some are the source of the vulnerable children
- Some are a place those children pass through
- Some are the destination for those children
This includes Europe and North America.
Some people who are trafficked are forced into prostitution and pornography. Others are forced labor in domestic, factory, or agricultural work (and that includes here in the US). We as US citizens may cry foul on sweatshops overseas, but don’t realize that there are people tricked into coming to the US and put in the same conditions and paid just as bad (which is next to nothing if they are lucky). In some countries, the children are forced to b soldiers which can include:
- leading troops through mind fields
- forced labor similar to domestic work
Children throughout the world are at risk of becoming the supply because there is a demand (as perverse as that is). Criminal gangs, pimps,and pornographers seek to profit from this demand by enslaving and abusing children. The most at risk are those in poverty, lack of education, minority status, gender bias, and homelessness. That means in most countries the most at risk person is the poor, uneducated, minority female that lives on the streets. In the US for domestic trafficking that means the girl probably is not white.
Victims are often threaten, beaten, and starved to be conditioned by their captors for the fate that awaits: usually sex with multiple customers everyday. The victims eventually are ‘broken’ and learn to force smiles for pedophiles, sex tourists, Et al. that frequent their establishments.
The exploitation/abuse can cause severe psychological/physical damage including HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases or conditions. Abuse includes:
- gang rapes
- forced abortions
Common methods of traffickinginclude:
- physical force (common for child soldiers)
- Coercion (debt relief for family, job, marriage, etc.)
- Physical & Emotional Abuse
- Threats against self and family
- Passport theft
The US has 14,500-17,500 people trafficked into the US. Even more trafficking victims are taken from people already here. And that information was from 2004, the numbers could be even higher now. I find that to be absolutely appalling. Most victims that are from within our borders when trafficked are either runaways or abandoned.
Common themes that lead to child prostitution:
- sexual abuse as a child
- parental neglect
- parental drug abuse
- emotional/physical abuse from a family member
And the average age for entry is 11-14 years old (5-8th grade).
If you thought prostitutes were only adults, think again. The young ones are forced and the adults may have been in it at the same age as the young ones and for all the same reasons.
If you are reading this and are a trafficker, be forewarned that you will be found and brought to justice. Children are not to be profited from, they are to be embraced, truly loved, and nurtured to follow the one true living God in all of His amazing awesomeness.