The Truth Behind Human Trafficking

Twist of Fate by Anita Fisk is a suspense novel about a woman who escapes the clutches of a human trafficking ring. It tackles a shred of the issue of human trafficking, which is a common and rampant crime today. Like the protagonist in Twist of Fate, millions of people from around the globe are becoming victims of this vehement crime. Women, children, and people coming from minority groups are particularly vulnerable to being trafficked. They are either turned into prostitutes, slaves, forced laborers, and more. The number of people lured into being trafficked has become unprecedented over the years. To learn more about this issue, this article briefly discusses below some of the essential things that people should know about human trafficking.

Definition of Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a grave violation of human rights. It is the coerced, forced, and fraudulent trade of humans for the purpose of commercial exploitation, forced labor, and sexual slavery. It includes recruiting, harboring, and transporting people into an exploitative situation through the use of deception and violence. To put it simply, human trafficking involves the use of people – their body or labor – against their will.

Human trafficking is considered a serious crime. It is a global issue that needs urgent addressing because of its widespread presence. In the United Nations’ Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, the crime of human trafficking is particularly determined with the presence of three elements: recruitment, harboring, transfer, and transportation of people as the act; threat or use of force, abduction, coercion, deception, fraud, and abuse of power or vulnerability as the means; and exploitation as the purpose.


Common Types of Human Trafficking

There are three common types of human trafficking: forced labor, debt bondage, and sex trafficking. Forced labor is the largest sector of trafficking in the world. It refers to the situation in which people are forced to work (often hard labor) through the use of violence and intimidation. Forced labor has been around for a couple of centuries. During the period of slavery, for example, forced labor was a common element of slavery practices. Today, around 21 million people across the globe remain victims of forced labor.

Debt bondage is quite similar to forced labor. It also coerces people to work against their will. However, the difference between forced labor and debt bondage is that the victims of the latter are forced to work inequitably in order to pay a debt. Under debt bondage, the services of the victims are used as security for the repayment of a debt, but oftentimes, the terms of such repayment are not clearly or reasonably stated.

Sex trafficking, on the other hand, is a type of human trafficking that is carried out for the purpose of sexual exploitation. It occurs when people are forced to perform commercial sex through the use of coercion and fraud. This type of human trafficking disproportionately affects women and children. Minors (i.e., those under the age of 18) who are engaging in commercial sex are automatically considered as victims of sex trafficking, regardless of whether or not there is use of coercion, force, and fraud. 


Truths about Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. It is atrocious, immoral, and unethical. Despite the increasing global clamor against it, however, human trafficking remains a rampant crime that victimizes millions of people from around the globe. The reason behind this is largely business. According to reports, human trafficking earns illegal global profits of around $150.2 billion each year for traffickers. Of these profits, more than one-third ($43.2 billion) is generated from forced labor, while the remaining two-thirds ($99 billion) are from sexual exploitation.

As mentioned, the number of human trafficking victims in the world is quite disproportionate when it comes to gender. Globally, it is estimated that around 71 percent of trafficked people are women and girls, while men and boys account for only 29 percent. Under sex trafficking, particularly, the number of female victims is staggering. About 98 percent of sexually exploited victims from around the globe are women and girls. In the United States, many victims of sex trade are runaway girls who were sexually abused as children.

According to the International Labour Organization, although there are increasing estimates of human trafficking victims around the world, assessing its full scope remains somehow difficult because many of its cases often go undetected. According to estimates, only about .04 percent survivors of human trafficking cases are identified. This means that the vast majority of cases of human trafficking really go undetected or unrecognized.

Overall, human trafficking is indeed a global issue that needs urgent addressing. It has victimized and continues to victimize millions of people from around the world. Women, children, and the marginalized sectors are particularly vulnerable to becoming victims of this atrocious crime. For this reason, they are the ones to need utmost protection from domestic authorities and international institutions. Despite the concealed nature of most of its cases, there is a strong need to combat human trafficking now more than ever. This is to prevent more Twist of Fate narratives from happening in the real world.

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