Human trafficking is an international crime, yet it remains one that is not readily recognized nor appropriately accounted for when found. All around the world, cases of trafficking have been reported, yet very few have been adequately addressed given the nature and gravity of the offense. true means. Having the gut-wrenching experience of encountering and combating this ancient predation on humanity, I can state from field experience, as well as being the former Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Anti-Smuggling Activities in HQ, Washington D.C., that law enforcement globally struggles with this blight. It is infinitely easier and even politically more advantageous to target organizational level narcotic and terrorist smugglers, than human traffickers. Why? Human traffickers move human cargo – human beings who are routinely intimidated, even threatened to the point of punishing family members who reside foreign should they attempt to cooperate with law enforcement!
This does not even take into account that the scarce law enforcement resources globally assigned to combat these issues lack the funding to fully prosecute the resulting cases. Think about it, when have you heard of a human trafficking case that did NOT result in death ever be prosecuted? In the case of a drug seizure, there are the drugs and the smuggler(s). The drugs/evidence are stored and the bad guy(s) has his or her day in court. In human trafficking cases, often numerous individuals must be housed, protected, cared for with their specific concerns, language, children, health, wealth, credible or fabricated fear, family visitation, legal representation, policy etc..
Even though human trafficking can be classified into two broad categories; labor trafficking and sex trafficking, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has listed 25 sub classifications to the types of trafficking. Keeping in view the wide range of trafficking types, it is important to understand that many of us are subject to it even unknowingly, and we must address the concern.
To find out if someone around you is experiencing human trafficking, you need to look closely into the physical, social and behavioral symptoms listed below. The story must not end here, you need to put yourself to their help, fight against human trafficking and make sure you defeat it!
We walk the streets with human traffickers every day without even knowing of their reality. Traffickers can be of any age or gender and they can be strangers, peers, friends and even relatives. Similarly, anyone around you might be a victim of trafficking. You might not see it as people may not say it in the open, there are a lot of people around you who have fallen victim to human trafficking, and they might need your help.
“Defeating human trafficking is a great moral calling of our time.” – Condoleeza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State
- Frequent sexually transmitted diseases reported
- Multiple pregnancies
- Bruising and burns
- Suicidal actions/ self-harm
- Respiratory issues
- High absenteeism from school/work
- Speaking difficulty
- Social awkwardness
- Sudden change of dressing or friend circle
- Increase in drug usage
- Inability to concentrate
- Contradicting thoughts/stories
- Lost in thoughts
- Reflects depression/ anxiety
- Heightened Aggression
- High feeling of guilt and shame
Seeing any of these symptoms, especially more than one, in people around you may be reason for alarm. They may need help and guidance to get through what they are going through, and we must stand tall to play our parts. Take a stand today, talk to them, offer help and do everything you can to support victims in recovering from their traumatic experiences. Arm yourself and go to war with human trafficking, before someone you love falls victim to it too.
SAY NO TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING!