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Open Collection of Student Writing (OCSW)

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is an issue that is just as prevalent in the United States as it is around the world. Trafficking is defined as “modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.”[1]

The National Human Trafficking Hotline reported that there were 7,500 cases of trafficking in 2016. California and Texas are the leading states with 1,300 and 670 cases, respectively. Florida came in a close third with 550 cases.[2] Bringing trafficking a little closer to home here in Utah, recently KSL.com reported an Ogden couple that was accused of running an operation out of their home. This couple was said to have used “various forms of force, fraud and coercion to keep at least four women working for them.”[3] Each victim explained what was done to them during their time being held from December 2015 until January 18, 2017, when one of the women escaped.

With human trafficking being a $32 billion industry, it is amazing to know that the average price of a slave globally is $90.[4] With a price that low, it is hard to put in perspective just how many victims there are out there. 20-30 million victims, in fact. Out of the 20-30 million, about 11.4 million are women and girls compared to the 9.5 million that are men and boys.[5] This is a horrific number that needs to be lowered as soon as possible.

Traffickers look for victims who are susceptible for a number of reasons. These reasons could include “psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters or political unrest.”[6] In America, the biggest social event for human trafficking is the Super Bowl. With so many thousands of people in a small arena, it makes it easy for predators to find victims and kidnap them into the operation.

As a parent of two children, I wanted to research this topic in more detail to be informed of all the potential dangers that lie just outside of our doorsteps. I find it amazing at how high the numbers are simply because parents in this day and age keep such a close eye on their kids. Kids can’t go to the park alone without someone calling to police on the parents. I feel like this number would have been more reflective of the early 1990’s when kids, like myself, ran freely outside for hours and parents didn’t worry about the safety of their kids.

Human trafficking needs to be talked about more in schools and parents need to be better informed that this is something that could happen to them; it isn’t just something that happens in other third world countries.

To report suspected human trafficking, call 1-866-347-2423. For any information or to be better informed, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733).

Notes

[1] https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/what-human-trafficking

[2] http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/human-trafficking-increased-2016-organization-reports-n717026

[3] http://www.ksl.com/?sid=43871115&nid=148

[4] https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-human-trafficking

[5] https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-human-trafficking

[6] https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/what-human-trafficking

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