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Modern day slavery is a real and prevalent issue that many people may find hard to accept. Though we seem to be living in a time where human rights are prioritized, millions of people around the world are still subjected to various forms of contemporary slavery. Whether it is human trafficking, domestic servitude, child labor, or arranged marriages, these are some of the fastest growing crimes around the world, just behind drug trafficking.

By definition, human trafficking is the act of trading human beings through force in order to exploit them for labor or sexual purposes. The groups of people involved in trading individuals often use fraud or persuasive tactics in order to obtain their targets, of which come from a vast range of demographics. Victims can be of any age, race, gender, social status, or religion.

Today, with the power of social media, traffickers are able to effectively target children as young as 11 or 12 through different types of recruiting, promoting certain events like parties or meetups. However, kidnapping their victims is unfortunately common as well, preying on their vulnerability.

Human trafficking can be divided into a number of categories, including familial, gang-related, prostitution, survival, and domestic.

  • Familial trafficking is when a family member takes advantage of another relative, selling them in order to support a possible addiction or for financial reasons.
  • Prostitution or sex trafficking involves the manipulation of individuals in order to sell their bodies for sexual purposes, thus allowing the trafficker to profit.
  • Survival trafficking often involves the exploitation of the homeless or poor due to their urgency to survive, selling those individuals for profit.
  • Domestic trafficking involves a victim being forced to remain within a given household for labor purposes without the ability to leave at will. Arranged marriages can sometimes fall under this category.

It is a truly heinous crime that needs to be shown to the world in order to stop it. Trafficking is an extremely sensitive subject that many people refuse to listen to, which can have adverse effects. Continued education and spreading awareness is one of the best ways to lead the fight against it, as well as knowing the warning signs of a potential trafficker.

Should you witness an act of trafficking or clearly see signs of a potential victim, speak up and report the event. For more information on the subject, and to donate to a great cause, visit Prevention-Project.org.