Sex Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery

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            Sex trafficking is a major issue for children, teenagers, and adults across the world. According to Shared Hope International, “Sex trafficking occurs when someone uses force, fraud or coercion to cause a commercial sex act with an adult or causes a minor to commit a commercial sex act.” This global pandemic is not openly talked about and few people are truly aware of its horrors. Sex trafficking has been a worldwide problem for thousands of years and has led to traffickers advancing in their tactics, passionate people creating the foundation to stop this problem, and opportunities opening to get people involved in the fight against this pandemic.

            Sex trafficking has been around since the beginning of time. Sex trafficking itself is considered to be modern day slavery, but slavery in general has been going on for thousands of years. According to Rutgers University Campus Coalition Against Trafficking, “From the ancient Greek and Romans to the medieval times, and up until today, humans have been subject to various forms of physical and sexual slavery.” People have always been taken advantage of in these ways and have found themselves in situations where they have no choice but to follow exactly what their trafficker tells them to do. With how long sex trafficking has been around, traffickers have developed many tactics to use in their manipulation process. One of the most common tactics traffickers use is dehumanization.  As discovered by Psychology Today, “Victims are made to believe that they are helpless and cannot survive without their traffickers’ help. Such alienation fosters a sense of lost identity for victims and a sense of dependency upon their traffickers.” Traffickers are very aware that by using these types of tactics, they can easily mess with a person’s mind to the point that they have exactly what they’re seeking, control. Although these traffickers are doing an illegal and stupid thing to innocent young people, they are not necessarily “stupid” people. Sadly enough, they are actually very smart people who know exactly what they are doing when it comes to bringing in as many people into the trap as they can so they can make a bigger profit.

            Although sex trafficking is still a major problem happening in the world, there are many people seeking to make a difference by rescuing people from this traps. Operation Underground Railroad is a well-known anti-sex trafficking organization founded by Tim Ballard. Its purpose is to save children from sex trafficking. They continually work on putting together dangerous rescue missions to get kids who are being trafficked to a safer place. To make these missions happen, often times Operation Underground Railroad works with both national and international levels to make sure the missions are successful. Once these people are rescued from sex trafficking, Operation Underground Railroad has an aftercare system to help these young victims recover and heal from such a horrible experience. Operation Underground Railroad says they believe, “… that established, vetted aftercare centers are the experts in their country and we are servants. Servants that believe in empowering dreams, vision and hope for each survivor’s future. United we stand in the fight against human trafficking and the healing process of victims that become thriving survivors.” They believe that putting the victims in an aftercare center once they’re rescued is giving them a chance to a normal life that they deserve to have and never truly had a chance to have. Some victims of sex trafficking don’t even remember a time when they weren’t being forced into sexual acts because they became victims at such a young age. To them, the only “life” they’ve ever had has consisted of being manipulated and coerced into things they don’t want to do.

            Sex trafficking is currently being handled well, especially as more people are becoming aware of how big a problem it is. The more people who hear about the harsh realities of sex trafficking will be more motivated to get involved and really make a difference. Although sex trafficking can be a hard and sensitive topic to talk about, it is necessary for people to be made aware of how it really is. The more people who try to “sugarcoat” the problem, the less that will be done about it. “There is an urgent need for more young people to be in the forefront of combating human trafficking, and no one needs to wait until he is directly affected before speaking out against this evil.” The longer people wait to get involved, the worst sex trafficking will get and the harder it will be to tackle the matter. As sex trafficking worsens, people can get involved in multiple ways to lessen how many get pulled into this trap. Even if young people cannot directly participate in missions to arrest traffickers and rescue victims, they can donate money to these causes to help fund these missions that are successful in getting victims into a safer place. Another impact young people can have today is to use the social media platform they already have to speak out against the issue. Most people in the world today are already connected with one another on social media, which can help more people recognize the signs of sex trafficking and be able to join the fight to end the exploitation of people in this way.

            Sex trafficking is as major worldwide problem that is spreading and becoming worse day by day. The number of people being trafficked is increasing each year, and more people are falling into the tactics that traffickers use to bring them into the trap. Unfortunately, there are not enough people who are aware of the reality of sex trafficking. It has been a worldwide problem for thousands of years and has led to traffickers advancing in their tactics, passionate people creating the foundation to stop this problem, and opportunities opening to get people involved in the fight against this pandemic.