Human Trafficking in the Age of Social Media

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Human trafficking is an everyday recurrence. Lots of people have heard about Human trafficking, but aren’t sure how much of a global issue it truly is. The average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12 to 14-year-old(Do something-Human Trafficking), better known as your teenage or adolescent years. Human trafficking is a problem that must be solved for people at any age, though it starts with adolescents as a result of social media platforms and vulnerability to the outside world.

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Human trafficking has not eased up but increasingly been problematic. Dating further back to the Greeks, Romans, and Medieval times, it can now be more commonly known as a form of modern slavery. There are lots of different forms; sexual exploitation, forced labor, debt bondage, being that 79% is sexual exploitation(UNODC). Human trafficking has grown and could even be considered a business . It usually starts in origin countries like Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa (in text citation) so the recruiters can use migrants and bring them to new areas. It is crazy to think that 600,000 to 800,000 women, children and men bought and sold across international borders every year and exploited for forced labor or commercial sex (U.S. Government). Some may get kidnapping confused with trafficking, though kidnapping is taking someone illegally against their will usually for ransom while human trafficking is illegally trading a person to benefit themselves. Human trafficking is such a very controversial topic because of the lack of knowledge and the realism of how many people it effects for example, 20,000- 50,000 are trafficked into the United States a year ( Leonard A. Steverson,Alese C. Wooditch).

One very easy way for predators to lure younger people in are by social media. Social media platforms have created an easier leeway to target vulnerable adolescents who have some form of social media. Our world is constantly growing and becoming bigger with technology and there are many advancements; most people you can look up online and find just about anything about them. These predators are watching, and they’re listening says (in text citation) Inspector Jim Klein, commander of the NYPD Vice Enforcement Unit. Traffickers can use snapchat, instagram, facebook, twitter, etc to track and communicate with people. For example they set up a fake account and catfish you into thinking they are someone other than themselves. With one click onto someone’s profile you can easily access who their friends and family are and even where they live. Which is why social media plays such a big role and if you are no experienced and careful anyone can access your information. It is estimated that 76 percent of transactions for sex with underage girls start on the Internet ( Ark of Hope). Children/ teens are growing up with social media and therefore it is becoming a bigger issue especially if you do not use it properly.

Adolescents have less experience and knowledge to the outside world as well as capability to defend themselves. Most children haven’t been exposed to everything that is out in the world due to age, and what parents tend to keep from children to keep an innocent mind. Therefore with less knowledge adolescents are easier to manipulate than adults. In the trafficking world more money can be earned from young girls and boys in sexual exploitation especially virgins (Ark of Hope) so they are targeted. Home financial situations do come into play as well, because children can be sold for more money some families have no choice but to sell their child and the child has no say in it and cannot defend themself.

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Human Trafficking in the Age of Social Media. (2019, Jun 17). Retrieved from