Human trafficking involves a complex web of various participants, places and times. It is a hidden crime, in which victims are pressured into silence. Victims of trafficking may not know their rights to legal protection and may fear being prosecuted or punished for crimes or immigration violations committed due to their being trafficked. Governments must hold law enforcement officials and other government officials who get in the way of these criminal investigations accountable and see them brought to justice immediately. Human traffickers must receive punishment with teeth in it, i.e., compensating their victims for pain and suffering plus jail time. Harsher punishment for this crime along with lessening the demand for it is the only way to end this plague on humanity. Campaigns such as Men as Peacemakers’ “Don’t Buy It!” and the Thorn organization, founded by actors Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, bring awareness to the inhumanity of human trafficking.
Authorities can help educate those who may fall victim to unscrupulous employment recruiters who are actually human traffickers, exposing their tactics so that they may become aware of this danger and thus not become another victim. This is particularly crucial for those who have cognitive disabilities because they are often targeted by human traffickers.
The online sexual exploitation of children presents new challenges for those seeking justice and help for victims especially for countries lacking training and resources to bring perpetrators to justice. The absence of trauma-informed care and services for child victims, especially boys (yes, boys are victims too), is a grave concern. Thankfully, governments, international organizations, and NGOs are working together to address this abuse of children. By using advanced cybercrime investigative skills, criminal laws and procedures that secure cyber evidence along with specialized training for prosecutors and judges, as well as cross-border law enforcement cooperation, prosecution of crimes committed online can proceed and specialized care for child victims can be given.
Lastly, all of us can become aware of human trafficking in our area, speak out against it and join the fight to stop it.
Reference: Trafficking in Persons Report 2018: https://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2018/
About Our Author
Rebecca Fahlin I has a passion to help end human trafficking especially when it involves sex trafficking of children and vulnerable adults. She believes everyone has the right to be told the honest truth spoken in love. Disagreement does not equal bigotry and hatred, and agreement does not equal love. Lastly, she believes intolerance in the name of tolerance is still intolerance.