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Human Trafficking

Not as Rare as you Think

Taryn Talford, Staff Writer

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Human trafficking has been around longer than most might think. Most people think it only involves women and sexual exploitation. Human trafficking goes all the way back to the before the 1200s, but the 1400s started the European slave trade in Africa. Human trafficking for sexual purposes was first legally known as ‘white slavery.’ Kristiina Kangaspunta classified white slavery as “obtaining a white woman or girl- by the use of force, drugs, or by dishonesty- for sex which is unwanted by the woman or girl.”  Kangapunta, has argued that international governments began to discuss ‘white slavery’ after the Transatlantic slave trade was made illegal in the 1700’s.In 1910, 13 countries signed the International Convention for the Suppression of White Slave Trade to make this form of trafficking illegal. However, despite the new laws, human trafficking still existed internationally.

 

Like said before most people think it only involves women and sexual exploitation but it goes deeper than that. The three most common types are sex trafficking, forced labor, and debt bondage. With sex trafficking it’s adults and or children who are engaging in sexual acts as a result of force, threats, fraud, or coercion. 54% of human trafficking victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation. Labor trafficking is a form of modern day slavery victims perform labor or services through use of force, fraud, or coercion. As of 2017 there was over 1,249 cases of labor trafficking cases.

 

One victim’s story is a girl Tanya. Tonya spent the night in different hotels with different men doing so under a man she didn’t trust. When Tonya was thirteen she met a man Eddie in the apartment complex she lived in. At the age 15 she was runaway and ran into Eddie one night at a bar and went home with him. She eventually moved in with him and started a relationship. It was very casual at first then he suggested she have sex with one of his friends for money. Tanya thought it’d be one time thing but became a routine thing. This all took a physiological and emotional toll.

 

Tanya’s story goes to show how easy it is to be sucked in. Trafficking doesn’t always happen by being taken or kidnapped. It can be people in your everyday life that’ll traffic. It’s important to bring awareness to the issue because it happens everywhere at anytime.

 

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