Human Trafficking

What is human trafficking?

Human Trafficking is the exploitation of vulnerability for commercial gain. It can happen anywhere, to anyone, this is because there are vulnerable people everywhere.

We refer to the Chain of Human Trafficking; a complex criminal network of people. From diverse cultural, economic, occupational, and religious backgrounds, they link together to form the chain of Modern-Day Slavery.

Modern Day Slavery is a term that can be used interchangeably with the term Human Trafficking. Both terms refer to the chain enforcing the victims to be enslaved.

HOW HUMAN TRAFFICKING HAPPENS

There are four stages of how to determine if a victim has been trafficked or not. All four of these stages must have been present to classify as a trafficked victim.

  1. Tricked
  2. Transported
  3. Trapped
  4. Used

Tricked:

Trick, what is human trafficking
The definition of trick

A person is tricked or lured into an opportunity. This could be a job, modeling or sports contract, or anything else, often which is too good to be true.

Transported:

Transport, what is human trafficking
The definition of transport

The victim is transported to another location. It can be between rural and urban areas, city to city, or to a different country.

Often a trafficker will assure their victim that they will not need to pay for the transport, nor worry about a passport or visa (in the case of cross-border transfer), and that upon arrival they will be housed for free and food will be provided.

Trapped:

Trap, what is human trafficking
The definition of trap

Once a victim arrives in the traffickers’ desired location for him/her, that person is then trapped, which is the third stage. While trapped, the victim may be housed for free at first, food will be supplied, and they will be given drugs to keep them calm and to become addicted and more dependent on their traffickers. After a few days or a few weeks, they will be required to pay back all the transport, accommodation, and food costs, and drugs that they’ve become addicted to.

They may not be able to understand or speak the local language, and they will not have the job or contract that they were promised. The traffickers will then tell their victims to get to work, whether that be through slave labour, prostitution, or other forms of slavery. If the victims do not comply, the traffickers will threaten them (not necessarily empty threats) with beatings, with threats to the victim’s family or friends to harm them by abuse, beatings, or even killing them, and will stop at nothing to ensure the victim’s obedience.

At this point, is when the victim is used.

Used:

Use, what is human trafficking
The definition of used

Victims of Human Trafficking are used in forced labour, prostitution, organ harvesting, child soldiers, child marriage, subjected to female genital mutilation, ceremonial circumcision, genocide, rape as a weapon of war, forced to perform pornographic acts on film, bonded labour, or even work on “baby farms” to produce babies to keep up with the supply or demand.

While this is not an exhaustive list, it gives a glimpse into the harsh realities that victims are subjected to each and every day. Unfortunately, not one country in the world is exempt from trafficking.

MODERN DAY SLAVERY

Modern Day Slavery (Human Trafficking) is the world’s fastest-growing criminal industry.

We define a Modern-Day Slave as:

  • A person owned by another person, having no freedom of action or right to property.
  • Someone forced to work for another against his/her will.
  • A person forced to work for another without receiving a salary due to a debt.
  • Someone who works in harsh conditions for low pay.
  • A person under the domination of another person or some habit, substance, or influence.

WHO ARE THE VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

So who are the victims of human trafficking? While we already stated that the victims can be anyone, because anyone can be vulnerable, there is a higher prevalence among women and children.

Women are trafficked for sexual exploitation, such as prostitution, to make pornography, or other forms of sexual abuse; domestic servitude, and forced labour, such as farm work, live-in maids or nannies; and domestic violence, which is the most widespread form of abuse against women in the world. Only 44 countries specifically protect women against domestic violence

Children, especially between the ages of 5 – 17 years old, are trafficked for child labour, according to statistics, at least 250 million of the world’s children (one out of six) work for a living, and nearly half of them put in the same hours as adults. In all of Africa, about two out of five children earn some kind of income, to support their family. Girls are trafficked to become girl soldiers – Tens of thousands of girls are among the 300,000 children fighting in today’s armed conflicts, carrying fully automatic assault weapons by the age of seven or eight years old. However, these girls are also called invisible soldiers, because many of the governments that use these children deny they exist.

Female infanticide (the killing of female children, before and after birth), has been called ‘the biggest single holocaust in human history’, and is a tragedy that befalls many girls. Two million babies are aborted in India each year, the vast majority of them female. The WHO (World Health Organization) estimates more than 50 million women have gone ‘missing’ in China, because of institutionalized killing and neglect of girls. Another horrific reason why children are trafficked, is to become child brides.

ORIGIN AND DESTINATION OF VICTIMS

We categorize countries into three distinct classifications.

These classifications are:

  • Source Country is where the victim is from.
  • Destination Country is where the victim arrives.
  • A Transit Country is generally a country with easily accessible or porous borders, open coasts and corrupt government officials. This is a country that is easy to move victims through.

A country can be classified as one or more, even all three of these titles.

Origin and Destination of victims
Origin and Destination of victims of Human Trafficking

WHO ARE THE PERPETRATORS?

Trafficker is someone who exploits and trades others to make profit, and can be anyone one. We believe that human trafficking occurs because of the fall, when sin and brokenness entered the world. Anyone who has deep brokenness might turn to trafficking as a way to experience power, and wealth.

A pimp (or madam if female) is the procurer and the one who controls the victims. They enforce the rules using fear, guilt, and shame. They use trauma to dehumanize victims, and destroy the identity of victims, making them malleable and easy to use for their purposes. Pimps can be lone individuals or part of extensive criminal networks. Pimps and madams create a complex love-hate, control-dependency relationship in order to make their victims feel trapped and isolated without them, that the victim’s survival depends on the pimp or madam.

WHO ARE THE CONSUMERS WHEN IT COMES TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

The Johns/Janes are the individuals who pay for or trade something of value for sexual acts, and they usually see women in the sex trafficking industry as job performers and as a commodity they can buy. Viewers of pornography are also consumers of human trafficking, and while that might be a controversial stance to take, you can read more about the links between pornography and human trafficking here.

Forced labour happens in many sectors throughout the world, including the chocolate industry, fishing industries, and electronics industries to name a few. Unfortunately, is us the everyday people who drive the demand for such products that industries resort to forced labour in their supply chains.

Supply chain issues
The Global Slavery Index highlights supply chain issues.

LINKS IN THE CHAIN

There are many other links in the chain of human trafficking:

  • Spotter
  • Recruiter
  • Transporter
  • Buyer
  • Seller
  • Harbourer
  • Financier
  • Brothel/Factory Owner
  • Illegal Work Keeper
  • Pimp/Madam
  • Manager/Boss
  • Victims
  • Perpetrators
  • Organizers
  • Customers

The Chain will continue; unless we do something to stop it!

THE BIBLE

The Bible has many important things to say about sin, the forgiveness of sin and the redemption that we have available to us through Jesus, and about Christ’s love for each of us.

Take a look at the following verses:

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103: 12

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:1

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

John 8:7

While it may be hard, these verse are key to our combatting human trafficking, because before human trafficking is a education or moral issue, it is a spiritual issue.

OUR WEAPONS

In order to combat human trafficking, we need to show forgiveness to both victims and perpetrators. As uncomfortable as it is, Jesus came to earth and died and rose again for all sinners; even ones we don’t like. We need to pray, because as Ephesians 6:12 says: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. We also need to love like Jesus loves: sacrificially and whole-heartedly. As Christians, we must be willing to be the light of Christ in dark places.

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