What You Should Know About Human Trafficking

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Human Trafficking occurs all over the world. It is a global epidemic driven by poverty.

The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally.

  • 68% of them are trapped in forced labor.
  • 26% of them are children.
  • 55% are women and girls.

It is also estimated that forced labor and human trafficking are a $150 billion industry worldwide.

Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons (TIP), is a modern-day form of slavery. It is a crime under state, federal and international law and is currently the second largest type of criminal activity, exceeded only by the illegal drug trade. Child trafficking, in a particular, is one of the most vicious forms of violence against children experienced within our societies today.

While victims of human trafficking come from a range of backgrounds, including from economically privileged families, trafficking is inextricably linked with persons who lack resources, most notably, job opportunities.Traffickers often target people who have few economic opportunities and those struggling to meet their basic needs. Poverty is a harsh reality many wish to escape from; people become desperate enough to enter into fraudulent employment schemes, to give up their children for provision of cheap labour, or to be deceived into prostitution - a common form of human trafficking affecting both adults and children, through commercial sexual exploitation. 

Becoming educated on the root causes of poverty, including the effects of global trade agreements on workers living in other countries and the human cost behind cheap consumer goods, will help us understand what we can do to decrease global child poverty and thus reduce the trafficking of children and adults.

Following the recent World Day Against Trafficking in Persons - marked on 30 July - we invite you to take action to prevent this prevalent form of violence against children. Join the conversation using #IGiveHope.

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Resources

  1. Borgen Project
  2. Stop Enslavement
  3. Polaris Project

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