By Jade Schneider
Human trafficking is the action or practice of illegally transporting people from one country to another, usually for purposes of forced labor or sexual abuse. Society is aware that human trafficking occurs, but turns a blind eye to the severity of it.
Human trafficking statistics state that in 2017, there were 8,759 cases of human trafficking reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Even though there were only about 9,000 cases reported in 2017, there are roughly 68,000 people trafficked per day. There was a national survey conducted for victims of sex trafficking, 3-4 percent said they were forced into it, 62 percent said they were tricked by someone they trusted, and 35 percent said a family member sold them. As the years go on, with nothing being done, this will continue to terrify the public.
We live in a world that allows one’s absolute control over another. Human trafficking is inequality among society with regards to the right of every person’s life, as human trafficking victims are made to sell their born freedom. Their cry for help is shut away in constant oppression and a sense of apathy that has been ongoing for centuries. Human trafficking is a global phenomenon that expands in the form of sex trafficking, bonded labor, as well as organ trafficking. Poverty lies at the heart of it all.
According to the United Nations Department of Defense and Crime, poverty is a compelling factor of human trafficking. Human trafficking is a global epidemic that is completely driven by poverty. Wealth versus poverty is a big indicator of migration. Potential victims have a tendency to attempt to move from an area with extreme poverty to an area with a less impoverished community.
The Center For Poverty Research stated in 2017, 13.9 percent of American citizens were living in poverty. That’s nearly 39.7 million people human traffickers can pick on. According to the Census Bureau, 18.5 million people reported deep poverty, that’s 5.7 percent of all Americans and 46.7 percent of those in poverty as a whole. Control and threatening measures tend to majorly increase once migration to areas with less poverty occur.
Human trafficking is a dark underworld that most Americans don’t perceive, but is right before their eyes. The Daily Signal said, “Hundreds of thousands of people are being sold for sex against their will right here in the U.S. Eighty percent of them are Americans, most of them are children.” Roughly 65 percent of these eighty were children being trafficked. Some of the children are as young as three years old, they could have been kidnapped or sold into the industry by a family member.
The Daily Post stated that, “one in every five men in the U.S. today have bought sex at least once.” These men can be anyone, doctors, lawyers, politicians, even the closest men in your life, like a neighbor, co-worker, or even your father. The Daily Post also states, “American men are purchasing sex in greater numbers than people from any other nation in the world.”
In the United States, the fastest online growing business today is child pornography. The Daily Signal says, for child pornography, the “estimated annual revenue of over $3 billion in the U.S. alone” and that is putrid. The average annual profit for a women being forced to perform sexual acts is $100,000, and criminals look at that as easy money to make. Until the number of people willing to buy sex in the United States is decreased, every saved victim will just get replaced by another victim.
Many of us are unaware that we encounter a victim or predator when we go to the store, the mall, or even out to dinner. We may pass them while driving or we may even smile at them, and that is very scary to realize. Ohio is ranked fourth in the nation for the most reports of human trafficking cases.
What’s even scarier is that Dayton is referred to as a hub for Human Trafficking because of Interstates 75 and 70 making it easy to transport victims. The television news channel WHIO states, “in Ohio alone, 30 human trafficking investigations yielded 7 convictions last year.” On average, 1,078 children are sex trafficked every year in Ohio. These children can be taken from playgrounds at parks, libraries, churches, and schools. Traffickers can pick their victims within 30 seconds of talking to them. The traffickers pick on people who seem vulnerable, people who are easy to trust and manipulate.
Human trafficking is an epidemic that is spreading throughout both the world and the US, and no one seems to care. More and more it seems as though witnesses to this heinous crime stay silent out of fear for their own safety, or because they fear the confrontations that will result from reporting to the authorities.
People need to open their eyes to reality and realize that human trafficking will only continue to get worse until we make human trafficking more aware to the public. Until these victims feel more comfortable to come out about their situation human trafficking will continue to expand.
Until others around the situation realize that human trafficking is starting to become a very big problem, human trafficking will continue to be a more severe problem and loved ones close to home will be the next victims.
Jade Schneider is a Piqua resident