Human trafficking is probably the biggest human rights violation in the history of humanity. This forceful and illegal trade of humans for sexual exploitation or other commercial gains is happening worldwide every day, but nobody knows.
Many expert studies have claimed that there are more numbers of slaves today than ever – not in shackles really but hidden behind the back kitchens, shops, gas stations, and in hospitality, forced to work and under horrible conditions.
They have no freedom to leave howsoever harsh employment they are put into. They are physically and emotionally tortured, violated, and often looked down upon. To their despair, they can’t come out and ask for help.
Victims of trafficking are of all ages and gender. Women are used as sex slaves; men are put into labor, and children are used for begging or pornography. They are trafficked within their own country, to neighboring countries, and between continents as well.
While no one would happily sell themselves or their children into slavery, it is the economic status and high vulnerability in the society that gets them into such a situation. For instance, there may be enough food and shelter but a desire for additional material goods or to gain citizenship into another country. In some cases, there may be a job seeking that later turns out to be forced work.
Following are the major causes due to which people fall prey to human traffickers:
Poverty is a bigger root cause of human trafficking. Lack of necessities of life – food, clothing, and shelter is a prominent driving factor for parents who choose to sell their children.
Unavailability of proper education can also make people vulnerable to human trafficking. A lack of education means decreased knowledge of personal rights and no empowerment in youth or people to change their community. This is what traffickers take advantage of.
Insufficient Economic Opportunities
When people lack basic working opportunities to earn their livelihood, it increases their chances of falling for a human trafficker’s false promises. The situation worsens when they are assured that they will have a way to earn money when they get nothing but are lured into forced labor and sex in return.
In some countries, bonded labor is seen as an acceptable way to pay off debt. Besides, some societies and cultures demean women’s status or treat them as sex objects. Moreover, at times there is political unrest and instability that results in increased rates of trafficking.
For traffickers, it is more profitable to prostitute a woman or a child than dealing with drugs. It is because they consider them as commodities that are reusable and can connect buyers more quickly. They can use them as forced laborers or sex workers and fetch a high cost.
The best way to stop human trafficking is by preventing it from happening in the first place and prosecuting the trafficker straightaway. However, enough investigation and evidence would be required to prove there aren’t any untrue human trafficking allegations.