What is Human Trafficking?
Human Trafficking Awareness
In the simplest terms, human trafficking is the exploitation of a person for the purpose of forced labor, sexual exploitation or obtaining their organs, for the benefit of another whether by force, fraud or coercion.
The exploitation of others has gone on as long as there has been a devil. It is the presence of evil that expels love and compassion for others.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Human trafficking is often misunderstood. It sounds like it’s about transportation and may involve the movement of an individual, but doesn’t require it. Strictly speaking, moving people illegally is human smuggling. Human trafficking is not about transportation. It is about exploitation.
The US Federal law is long and encompassing. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act was passed in 2000. It has since been reauthorized and some changes have been made, especially pertaining to grants to establish task forces and requiring training for health care professionals, law enforcement, department of child and family personnel, and additional language to provide services for victims.
The Global Standard
The United Nations ratified their version in 2000 also. It reads, in part:
(a) “Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;
(b) The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) have been used;
(c) The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered “trafficking in persons” even if this does not involve any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article;
(d) “Child” shall mean any person under eighteen years of age.
A Severe Form of Trafficking
Sex trafficking is a severe form of trafficking. US Federal Law states this clearly. It is the core violation of sexual abuse that makes this kind of exploitation severe. The very body of the person is violated. Frequently, violence is perpetrated before, during, and after the sex act. I know this from my own experience, but also by talking to others who were in the life.
Sex, as it was intended, is a beautiful expression of the union of a man and a woman for the purpose of bonding and benefit within the couple and for procreation. Children are a blessing and the heritage of the Lord. We were created to enjoy making love.
Sex for sale is devoid of love. It is intrinsically coercive because it must be paid for. Obviously, the person being purchased, whether by choice or by force, doesn’t want to have sex with the buyer or they wouldn’t have to pay.
Labor trafficking is basically modern day slavery. It can be right under our noses. Perhaps, a restaurant brings in family, but doesn’t pay them. They might be forced to work by intimidation, language barriers, or violence. Or there could be a farm that brings in transient workers, exploited because they don’t know their rights. Workers may experience rationed food, poor living conditions, being transported like cattle, or endure harsh or abusive treatment.
As horrific as this seems, chattel slavery is happening all over the globe. Some reliable estimates are in the range of 40-45 million people affected. The estimate was been extrapolated from validated data by experts. It is an illicit activity. Most countries recognize slavery of all kinds as a human rights violation and therefore, it is against the law. That makes obtaining actual numbers virtually impossible.
The Trafficking of Organs
Planned Parenthood is under investigation for the trafficking of baby body parts from their extremely lucrative abortion vendors. They committed nearly 325,000 abortions in 2015. The profit margin isn’t high enough for some affiliates, though. So, they have been recorded selling the brains, arms, legs and organs of their victims to researchers.
Organ donation in this country has been instituted to curb the practice of trafficking organs. In some other countries, the force, fraud, and coercion used to obtain organs is a real problem. There is an area of Nepal called Kidney Valley because so many residents have sold their kidneys to traffickers who convince them with harsh tactics.
Human Trafficking is a human rights violation. According to our Declaration of Independence, we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among those, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
These rights are consecutive, not concurrent. You cannot enjoy liberty, if you are dead and you cannot pursue happiness in bondage.
I think we can promote and protect the rights of others within our sphere of influence by remembering and practicing love for all human beings, without arbitrary qualifiers.