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13 comments   Listen   Print   article:274097:19::0
In the Media

Human Trafficking: The Silence of Slavery

By KJ Mullins
Jun 13, 2009 in Crime
They are silent, nameless. They are there to satisfy men who pay their keepers for a quick sex act. They are the victims of human traffickers. They could be you.
Women and children from any corner of the world can become cattle for those who deal in the flesh. It's a multi-billion-dollar business and very organized.
Whether those involved lure pretty girls away from their countries or outright kidnap travelers they have one goal, making money.
In Europe INTERPOL tries to fight the crime by checking those at border stations and comparing travel documents with the person.
The United States estimates that 600,000 to 800,000 men, women, and children [are] trafficked across international borders. Eighty percent of those are women and girls, with 50 percent being minors.
Las Vegas is one of the popular spots for human traffickers to bring their minor victims. Being arrested isn't a way for many of the girls. The girls often do not trust any man, including a police officer.
Las Vegas Now reports:
"We just put them in a category and really don't look at their faces. We just assume they are over 18. We assume that is what they want do and that is it. We do not question any further. So it is very easy for traffickers to do their job," said Tina Frundt, a survivor of trafficking.
On Friday there was a rally down one of the popular streets where the selling of nightly favors takes place in Las Vegas, Sahara Road. The march and candlelight vigil hoped to bring awareness to the problem and to remember the victims that have been lost to traffickers.
The modern slave trade brings criminals ten billion dollars a year. Most of the captured in human trafficking are sold into prostitution, sexual servitude, or other forms of sexual exploitation.
There are strict laws against the trafficking of humans but those laws are broken repeatedly. The money factor is too high for the criminals not to take the risks.
Victims are getting rights in some countries. In Canada temporary resident permits are given to trafficked persons for up to 120 days.
Human trafficking is very different from people smuggling. In the case of people smuggling the people request and pay to be brought into a country illegally. When it comes to human trafficking the victim has no say to where they are going. They have no rights, they are simply the product of the trafficker's whims.
Often in undeveloped nations women go to a job interview believing that they have a chance to make some money. They are then drugged and sold off.
Children are at times sold by their parents who believe they would be better off than living in the poverty at home. They are also kidnapped and at times their parents killed in order to provide the underworld with another product.
Silence allows the crime to repeat. Victims who have been beaten down until they are blank slates can't raise up to help themselves. They need for the silence to be broken in order to be free.
article:274097:19::0
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