When we talk about slavery, most people will think of an outlawed practiced that no longer exists in modern day society. However, this is not the case. Many vulnerable people are made to work in harsh conditions with little pay and no way of escape right under our noses. Despite it being illegal in most countries, slavery can come in many different forms, and it is not always clear when someone is a victim of this crime. This article will explain to you some of the different types of slavery that can be found today.
Human trafficking is the trade of individuals to use them for forced labor or sexual slavery. Whatever the job, trafficked individuals are exploited and forced to submit to the wishes of a person or an organized criminal gang. However a person gets into such a situation, they will be considered trafficked by the law, even if they were not physically transported anywhere. Human trafficking can occur within a country or across international borders. In any shape or form, it is a serious crime that violates someone’s human rights and is one of the fastest growing activities for international criminals.
Adult Sex Trafficking
Adult victims of sex trafficking are coerced to work as sex workers like prostitutes to earn money for the gang that is exploiting them. Women are particularly vulnerable to being victims of sex trafficking and very often, these victims have no means of escape as their possessions and passports are taken away. Gangs will use threats, force, and other manipulative techniques to make the victim work for them. They often have very elaborate plans to cover up their tracks, but if they are caught, whether they are found to be involved with the aid of sex trafficking or indirectly financing it, they can be punished for sex trafficking crimes.
Some forms of coercion are more subtle such as a “debt” that the victim must pay off before they are allowed to leave. As a result, it might seem like the victim is consenting to work as a prostitute. However, this is not the case. These debts usually require the victim to work for many years, and even when they manage to pay it off, criminal gangs will add to their sum or use other methods of keeping their victims as slaves for much longer.
Child Sex Trafficking
Young children are another group vulnerable to sex trafficking. Just like adult sex trafficking, these children will be recruited and coerced into becoming sex workers. Any individual under 18 years of age is considered a child and cultural or socio-economic reasons are not valid to justify the prostitution of victims. Fortunately, child sex trafficking is illegal in many countries around the world and in many developed countries, these laws are enforced strictly. There are many negative consequences of sex trafficking on child victims including the development of sexually transmitted diseases, psychological trauma, drug addiction, and pregnancy. It is also unlikely that they will receive medical attention for any of these. As a result, many victims of child sex trafficking pass away as a result.
The exploitation of an individual for illegal work while receiving little-to-no pay is still a prevalent problem around the world. Ethnic minorities, migrants, and refugees are especially vulnerable as traffickers take advantage of their desperate situation. Through physical threats, deception, and psychological manipulation, victims will be made to work long hours on often manually intensive jobs. With no healthcare or safety regulations to protect them, many victims of forced labor will suffer from work-related injuries, only to still be forced to work again the next day.
Forced Child Labor
Forced begging, strenuous physical jobs, and high-risk work are some of the ways children are exploited. These children are often found to be treated like slaves and are forced to live in slave-like conditions. With no option to leave or fear of repercussions, the child is forced to remain with the traffickers and carry on doing the work they require. Strict criminal punishment is needed to deter criminals, and when the child is rescued, proper education and rehabilitation are necessary to ensure they do not fall back into the hands of traffickers.
When a person has debt with criminal organizations and has no means of payment, they may be forced to work for the gangs to pay off the acquired debt. Victims are often tricked into getting debt with the most common way of being the promise of work in another country. In some South Asian countries, family members can inherit debt, and it is they who will have to pay it off. With high-interest rates and low pay for their work, victims often end up working for decades before the debt is finally paid off. With threats of violence or deportation, victims will refuse to go to the police and remain working as slaves for the gangs.
Human trafficking doesn’t have to be as prominent as it is today. For more information regarding human trafficking in Reno, NV, get in touch with us today to learn more about how you can make a difference.