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Human Trafficking in US: Modern Enslavement

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Human trafficking occurs when a human being is sold, traded, transferred, or otherwise exchanged in some way for money, sex, labor, or other commodities (Neighborhood Needs Help). There are multiple types of trafficking such as sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Sex trafficking is the act of sex induced by force or coercion where the person acting on this is not of the age eighteen. Labor trafficking would be the recruitment, harboring, transportation, or obtaining of someone for labor services by force or coercion. There is no demographic that is immune to human trafficking, but research has shown that there was previous abuse, sexual misconduct, or incest in their lives.

In America you will find that one case is that young women are drawn or targeted because they are more vulnerable. Young women can be in contact with men online and will be dangled with things like modeling, acting, dancing, or nannying for wealthy families. These women are promised good pay and will set up a meeting with that online persona where they are abducted and taken to a larger area where they are unknown. For Americans the greatest problem about human trafficking is believing that it does not happen on US soil. When thinking of human trafficking, you think of third world countries. It is estimated that 200,000 women are forces into the sex trade in the US (Archer). Those women are from America; not other countries. Believe it or not but the largest annual human trafficking event is the Super Bowl. American football makes you think of tailgating, parties, and hanging out with friends or family, not enslaved women used for sexual activities. Unfortunately, denial is a defense mechanism the brain uses when something is to hard or painful to understand. In the situation with human trafficking, people find other explanations and views on trading a human being for sexual activities or labor. Some people just turn the blind eye, not acknowledging the issue that is occurring right before their eyes.

Media has misconceptions and portrays human trafficking in an incorrect way. Movies, campaigns, and ads use white children or young women. They also use shackles or tape covering their mouths to represents urgency in the white demographic. With media only portraying one type of audience, it is not allowing everyone to recognize that human trafficking happens diversely to every ethnic group. In human trafficking we are set up to blame the exploiter, but somehow the people still end up blaming and punishing the victim, especially if they are of color. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) states that under the age of 18 someone cannot consent to sex, so they would be victims without proof of any force. Most victims in human trafficking have been in a foster home at some point in their life, they have been psychically and sexually abused, and they have been in the state’s welfare system. If someone feels as if they are or know someone who is in danger of human trafficking, they can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 1-888-373-7888, or text 233733 with “HELP” or “INFO”. They are open twenty-four seven and has a variety of language options.

Works Cited

  1. Archer , Dale. “Human Trafficking In America.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 11 Apr. 2013, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/reading-between-the-headlines/201304/human-trafficking-in-america.
  2. Young.2336. “Human Trafficking in the US: Misconceptions vs. Reality.” Morgan Brenner, Mar. 2018, www.u.osu.edu/osuhtblog/2018/03/06/human-trafficking-in-the-us-misconceptions-vs-reality/.
  3. “YOUR Neighborhood Needs Help #HelpERASE.” ERASE Child Trafficking, www.erasechildtrafficking.org/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI176-qcD_3gIVkVuGCh1upQENEAAYAiAAEgIXnfD_BwE.
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