Take Action Against Human Trafficking

The Definition of Human Trafficking is:

The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.

You may think this only occurs in impoverished or third-world countries, but this is not true. Human Trafficking occurs even in the US, in large cities and small towns, and in high rise apartment buildings and in the suburbs.

Prevention Address the demand and supply side of trafficking, for example by challenging discrimination against women and girls, addressing the overwhelming poverty which makes people vulnerable to trafficking; changing attitudes which allow some people (especially women and children) to be bought and sold as commodities.

Support for victims Provide immediate assistance to trafficking victims and protect them from their exploiters.

Prosecution Enact and enforce laws that criminalize trafficking in human beings by prosecuting traffickers, as well as pimps, johns and brothel owners; do not criminalize the victims.

People are trafficked into a range of exploitative practices that include: labor exploitation, domestic work, sexual exploitation (prostitution), military (child soldiers), sports (camel jockey), forced begging, marriage, chattel slavery, debt bondage, and child labor.

Human trafficking is the second most profitable criminal activity behind only arms trafficking. An estimated $32 billion is generated in annual revenue from arms, human, and drug trafficking activities worldwide.

Sexual exploitation is the most commonly identified form of human trafficking (79%), followed by forced labor (18%).

An estimated 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked annually in the United States alone.
Most trafficking is national or regional, carried out by people whose nationality is the same as that of their victims. There are also notable cases of long-distance trafficking. Europe is the destination for victims from the widest range of origins, while victims from Asia are trafficked to the widest range of destinations. The Americas are prominent both as the origin and destination of victims in the human trade.

The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 12.3 million people who have been trafficked; statistics range from 4 million to 27 million.

Approximately 80% of victims of transnational trafficking are women and up to 50% are minors. The majority of female victims are trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation, mail order brides, and domestic work. The majority of male victims are trafficked into forced labor such as agricultural, manufacturing, and construction work.

A 2006 study found that 76% of 207 trafficked women interviewed were physically assaulted by their trafficker, pimp, madam, brothel and club owner, clients, or boyfriend. The same study found that 90% of victims reported being physically forced or intimidated into sex or other sexual acts, and 91% of victims reported being threatened with death, beatings, increased debt, harm to their children and families, or re-trafficking.

Some factors that make people vulnerable to trafficking:

Low status and discrimination against women and children.
Demand-without demand for exploitation, there would be no supply.
Humanitarian disasters and armed conflict can exacerbate existing vulnerabilities.

To get involved and/or to learn more, visit one or all of these websites:
www.AssetCampaign.org www.PolarisProject.org
www.Somaly.org www.Unicefusa.org

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