Human trafficking has been an issue that has plagued our culture for quite some time. January serves as a month to create awareness around the topic. Human trafficking includes both forced labor and sex trafficking. This issue has robbed millions of their peace and dignity and has caused heartache for victims’ families and friends. Trafficking can harm not only citizens of the United States but all over the world. 27.6 million people are estimated to be subjected to human trafficking around the world. Those who are most vulnerable are those in instable situations. Many of us can sympathize with the fear of unknown situations, after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sex traffickers’ prey on people who they view as vulnerable, young people are especially at risk. They lure people in with promises of love, affection, and protection. Many times, they contact people through social media. Labor trafficking situations look a little different but are just as exploitive and dangerous. These instances sometimes include debt bondage, forced labor and involuntary child labor. It is common for people to force humans into working in inhumane conditions with little or no pay at all.
Here are some ways to identify people being affected by human trafficking.
-Living with employer
– Inability to speak to people alone
-Signs of physical abuse
-Multiple people living in a small space
-Scared or fearfulness when approached
– Paying with someone else’s money
– Changes in appearance
-Tattoos and gang affiliation
Something to understand is that many people are being affected by these horrible issues right in front of us. Pay attention to your surroundings and ask for help if you feel like someone is in danger. 1-888-373-7888 in the National Human Trafficking Hotline number you can call anytime to ask for help. Together with more awareness we can help less the detrimental impact of this issue.