Inside the World of Human Trafficking

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like an object being forced to do things you don’t like or feel comfortable? Human trafficking is a big problem in the US and all over the world. Older women, even young girls, are being slaved to participate in a sex labor, labor trafficking, and even forced marriage. In the article, Human Trafficking: A Call for Counselor Awareness and Action it mentions Human Trafficking described as a form of modern-day slavery (Bales & Lize, 2005), human trafficking profoundly violates the rights of its victims (Edward 36).

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Counseling is provided in the United States to help recover from Human Trafficking. It is important to seek help before it impacts you in any way. Human trafficking has impacted about 24.9 million a year, 16 million is in a private sector exploitation, 4 million is in state-sanctioned forced labor, 4.8 is in sex trafficking and forced labor marriage (humantraffickingsearch.org). As years pass by the numbers on girls getting trafficked keep on raising. It is important to know the human rights and when you are being trafficked.

First, sex trafficking is a dangerous act that forces most young girls between 13-18 to participate in commercial sex and other things. Girls are in higher chance of catching HIV, Aids or any diseases when forced to participate. In most cases, this is also lead to young pregnancy or even losing the child to abuse. If they do have the child, they are most likely forced to getting married to make it seem like they are happy. According to Edward, Traffickers are found in very visible situations, such as street prostitution, as well as more underground locations (37). These locations are dangerous yet make it an easy target to be located. Edward also mentions that most of the girls are unhappy teenage girls who want to get away from their dysfunctional families and can be lured by promises of money and a better life (38). Others are usually trafficked in clubs while being intoxicated and they are kidnapped and brought to the Brothel (a Prostitution house).

Next, labor trafficking is a force, fraud, or coercion to induce an individual into one of many forms of forced labor situations, including involuntary servitude and debt bondage (U.S. Department of State, 2005) (Edward 38) . Involuntary servitude is when you have two types of threats. The first threat is to harm an individual, or one or more members of his or her family if the victim does not provide some form of work (38). The second threat is telling the legal authorities . If a victim is illegal they are likely to fear someone telling the authorities, so they work for anything the trafficker demands. The working conditions they are forced to work in are unprofessional and closed out in an area where no one can find them. They are forced to work a huge number of hours with no breaks.

Modern-day slavery still exists. There are different types of slavery in this world, but Human trafficking defines them all. Back in 1619 when slavery started it was mainly about race and labor. Today in 2018, we are dealing with slavery in a sense of forcing others to participate in commercial sex, labor, marriage, etc. Edward mentions how slavery today has less to do with color and more to do with poverty and vulnerability. When people are poor and desperate, they are more vulnerable to trafficking tactics (39). He also used an example on illegal aliens having to move countries to work for their family. We are currently still going through an issue where people around the world are complaining that illegals are taking our jobs. My father was an illegal alien with a good job and when he got deported everything changed drastically. It was a difficult situation but created success today. Human trafficking takes people who are struggling and creates it more difficult in life for them.

In Addition, Human trafficking is a serious illegal act. When in this situation, girls feel depressed, have anxiety, PTSD, and can even lead to suicide. Some can’t even see their family due to the amount of work they are doing. We are still dealing with modern day slavery today and with more studies found we can help prevent Human Trafficking and counseling can also help the ones who are going through this. Lastly, The issue of human slavery begs for caring counselors to advocate for, treat, and study these often-invisible victims (45).

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