Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry. It takes people and turns them into property to be exploited. For profit, millions of people around the world are relocated, manipulated and exploited. This exploitation may be sexual, as in forced prostitution; forced or bonded labour; domestic servitude and forced marriage; organ removal; or use of children in begging, the sex trade or warfare. People are kept in these situations because they are physically contained; forced to become addicted to drugs; they are told that the authorities will work against them if they manage to get away; or often they are told that they only have to work until they pay off an arbitrary and ever-growing debt: they have no avenue for escape. The person is no longer in control of their own life and the way they live it.
People are trafficked from all walks of life and by all manner of people. According to the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, many trafficking victims have at least middle-level education, both males and females are trafficked, and approximately half of all trafficking victims are children. 95% of victims experience physical or sexual violence. Traffickers, or “recruiters”, are both men and women (52% and 42% respectively), and in 46% of cases the recruiter is someone that the victim knows. Trafficking is a hugely profitable crime that holds very little risk for recruiters, and can affect anybody – so remember and tell people about traffickd.org, as one day it could make a difference to someone you know.
Trafficking is typified by the following:
- Movement of the person from one place to another;
- Use of deception or coercion, abuse of power or exploitation of vulnerabilities by the trafficker, and
- Conditions of exploitation for the trafficked person, including slavery, servitude, or forced labour.
Of course, if you encounter a possibly trafficked person only once or briefly, how can you identify them as such? As per the United Nations’ Human Trafficking Indicators, people who have been trafficked may:
- Believe that they must work against their will
- Be unable to leave their work environment
- Show signs that their movements are being controlled
- Feel that they cannot leave
- Show fear or anxiety
- Be subjected to violence or threats of violence against themselves or against their family members and loved ones
- Suffer injuries that appear to be the result of an assault
- Suffer injuries or impairments typical of certain jobs or control measures
- Suffer injuries that appear to be the result of the application of control measures
- Be distrustful of the authorities
- Be threatened with being handed over to the authorities
- Be afraid of revealing their immigration status
- Not be in possession of their passports or other travel or identity documents, as those documents are being held by someone else
- Have false identity or travel documents
- Be found in or connected to a type of location likely to be used for exploiting people
- Be unfamiliar with the local language
- Not know their home or work address
- Allow others to speak for them when addressed directly
- Act as if they were instructed by someone else
- Be forced to work under certain conditions
- Be disciplined through punishment
- Be unable to negotiate working conditions
- Receive little or no payment
- Have no access to their earnings
- Work excessively long hours over long periods
- Not have any days off
- Live in poor or substandard accommodations
- Have no access to medical care
- Have limited or no social interaction
- Have limited contact with their families or with people outside of their immediate environment
- Be unable to communicate freely with others
- Be under the perception that they are bonded by debt
- Be in a situation of dependence
- Come from a place known to be a source of human trafficking
- Have had the fees for their transport to the country of destination paid for by facilitators, whom they must payback by working or providing services in the destination
- Have acted on the basis of false promises.
- “Like” traffickd.org on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and spread the word about the page – the more people that know about traffickd.org, the more helpful it will be.
- Avoid using those products and services which are associated with trafficking and forced labour. That includes not just the sex industry, but also clothing and products that may have been produced in sweatshops.
- Join a grass-roots organisation. There are organisations in many communities which aim to eradicate human trafficking, whether with direct support or advocacy. Conduct some research (using our Alliance page as a good starting point) and, if there’s not a community group already, why not start your own?
traffickd.org is a centralised reporting mechanism for instances of human trafficking. It is available in multiple languages and on a variety of media, so that no matter who you are, where you are, or what language you speak, you are able to identify trafficked people to relevant organisations and increase the possibility of emancipation.
Several countries have country-level reporting systems, but if someone doesn’t already know the appropriate organisation for whatever country they happen to be in, traffickd.org avoids the need to research it, and forwards information to the correct group. Given that often people are trafficked across borders, this is of vital importance.
When someone submits a report via traffickd.org, the information is collected and passed on to anti-trafficking organisations in the “destination” country (the country to which the person has been trafficked.) This information will be transmitted as soon as possible. Please see our legal disclaimer regarding how information may be collected and used. Note that once the information has been submitted and received by the anti-trafficking organisations, traffickd.org’s role in the process is complete.
If you represent an organisation that would like to show its support for the traffickd.org project or an anti-human trafficking organisation which has not yet been contacted by the administrator, please send an email to email@example.com.
There are a number of websites which provide information about human trafficking. These are some of the better-known ones:
- Anti-Slavery International
- Not for Sale Campaign
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: Human Trafficking Indicators
- UNODC on Human Trafficking
- US Trafficking in Persons Report
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