7 myths about human trafficking in the present day – and why it is vital that we cease believing them

(Photograph: Worldwide Justice Mission)

Human trafficking in the present day is a multibillion-dollar international legal trade that is greater than ever. On high of this, the Covid-19 pandemic has made some teams much more susceptible to trafficking and exploitation. As Christians, we have to take pressing motion to stop rises in trafficking and trendy slavery, but many individuals don’t imagine that slavery and trafficking nonetheless exist – or are believing myths about the way it occurs. Listed here are some fantasy busters to make us all assume twice.

Fantasy 1: Human Trafficking and Slavery do not exist anymore

Actuality: Whereas many individuals assume that slavery ended way back, not so many individuals know that there are presently 40 million folks in slavery – extra folks than ever earlier than. Shockingly, one in 4 victims are kids. Slavery is actual, brutal and it is occurring in each nation on this planet.

This is not simply occurring overseas – the Centre for Social Justice lately printed a report which means that there could also be as much as 100,000 victims within the UK alone. The truth is, human trafficking is without doubt one of the high three legal industries on this planet, producing over £100 billion a 12 months.

Lately, IJM supplied coaching to a neighborhood church within the Dominican Republic in order that they might have the ability to recognise the indicators of human trafficking in their very own group. When a instructor seen that certainly one of their college students was now not dwelling at dwelling, the headteacher (who was a member of the Church congregation) alerted IJM that the 14-year-old lady is perhaps in a harmful state of affairs. Final month, IJM labored alongside the native police and found that the lady has been trafficked right into a pressured marriage state of affairs with a 58-year-old man. The police have been in a position to convey the lady out of that state of affairs efficiently.

When church buildings be part of the combat to cease slavery, change occurs.

Fantasy 2: Human Trafficking would not impression me

Actuality: If you consider human trafficking, you may think a person visiting a brothel. What most of us do not realise is that human trafficking impacts us all on daily basis – all of us use merchandise which might be more likely to have trendy slavery within the provide chains, from clothes to espresso to chocolate to your cell phone. The truth is, a surprising 77% of UK corporations have stated that they imagine there’s a chance of slavery of their provide chains. It is an uncomfortable thought that the cobalt in your telephone battery might have been mined by a toddler in pressured labour within the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Taking motion towards slavery is as much as all of us.

Fantasy 3: Trafficking is all the time about forcing girls into the intercourse commerce

Actuality: Whereas intercourse trafficking is a serious international subject, it isn’t the one sort of trafficking. An estimated 25 million persons are presently in pressured labour slavery globally. Pressured labour slavery sees kids, women and men face hazard and abuse in locations like factories, farms, quarries, brick kilns and fisheries. Individuals are additionally trafficked and compelled to commit crimes, pressured into marriage or to have their organs harvested.

Expertise makes new sorts of trafficking potential too – like on-line sexual exploitation of youngsters, or ‘cybersex trafficking’.  This vile crime sees intercourse offenders from all all over the world, together with the UK, pay to look at livestreamed abuse of younger kids.

Regulation enforcement businesses are warning that Covid-19 lockdowns have created the proper storm for will increase in cybersex trafficking. Western intercourse offenders in locations just like the UK have been spending extra time on-line, and kids in locations just like the Philippines are locked in with their traffickers.

Fantasy 4: Victims of trafficking are all the time kidnapped and bodily unable to depart their state of affairs

Actuality: Whereas this may occur, extra generally traffickers prey upon vulnerabilities like lack of earnings, poverty, household medical emergencies and isolation with a view to enslave folks – all of that are exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Usually, traffickers promise an ideal job or schooling alternative, and construct a relationship with the sufferer in order that they belief them, solely to abuse that belief later. Many individuals are trafficked by folks they know, together with their very own households.

Whereas some victims are bodily unable to depart, many are stored in that state of affairs by coercion, debt, violence, worry or manipulation fairly than being bodily locked in. Some traffickers take away the sufferer’s passport or threaten their household.

When Kim (title modified for safety causes) was simply 12-years-old, her neighbour promised he would assist her and ship her to high school if she moved in with him. At first, he handled her properly, however then a number of months after she arrived, he began sexually abusing her in entrance of a webcam to stream to prospects all all over the world. Kim described the maintain that her neighbour had over her, “it was like he had a complete grasp on me and it was so tough to interrupt away.”

Fantasy 5: Human trafficking solely includes girls and ladies

Actuality: Whereas girls and ladies represent the vast majority of detected trafficking victims, virtually a 3rd of victims of human trafficking are male. In Thailand, 1000’s of males are trafficked into the £7 billion fishing trade that places prawns on the cabinets of many UK supermarkets. The truth is, a current examine of migrant staff within the Thai fishing trade discovered that solely 13% of staff reported truthful labour circumstances at sea. Many staff confronted low or no wages, lengthy hours, together with 13-hour days, violence and – in some instances – they even witnessed homicide.

Fantasy 6: Survivors of trafficking are powerless

Actuality: Whereas survivors of trafficking have usually skilled excessive trauma that takes years to heal from, many additionally play a key position in stopping others from experiencing abuse. Worldwide Justice Mission, the most important worldwide anti-slavery organisation, has witnessed decided survivors present important intelligence for police operations, and courageously testify towards traffickers in courtroom to cease exploiters from harming others. Some have even volunteered to accompany police on operations to seek out and free others.

Pachaiyammal spent years in slavery along with her husband, pressured to crush rocks in a harmful quarry. She is now normal secretary of an affiliation of 1,500 former pressured labourers advocating for change, and she or he has personally accompanied police on operations to free over 100 folks. Others, like Raj (title modified for safety causes), who was trafficked into pressured labour in a brick kiln aged simply 7 years previous, have skilled to turn into social staff or attorneys to assist others entry therapeutic and justice.

Fantasy 7: The issue is just too enormous — there’s nothing I can do

Actuality: The size of the slavery in the present day can appear overwhelming. Slavery is greater than ever, however it’s additionally extra stoppable than ever: slavery is illegitimate virtually in every single place which signifies that when international governments, legislation enforcement and companies select to behave, traffickers might be held to account and exploitation can finish.

With will increase in vulnerability as results of the pandemic, it is extra pressing than ever that motion is taken to cease ruthless traffickers preying on folks’s desperation. All of us must recognise that it is a international subject that every of us are related to and that every certainly one of us has a job in ending. From utilizing your voice to boost consciousness and advocate for change, to praying or donating to anti-slavery organisations. Will you select to take small steps in the direction of a future the place all are free?

Discover out extra: www.ijmuk.org

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