The Epidemic of American Trafficking


Caiden Leyva, Staff Writer

The Epidemic of American Trafficking
By Caiden Leyva, Staff Writer

National Human Trafficking Resource Center phone number – 1-888-373-7888
Kidnapped. Trafficked. Tortured. Sold. Used.
Slavery and human trafficking are not new by any means. Even though slavery in the United States was prohibited with the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, the practice is still prevalent in America and so many other countries. According to the U.S Department of State, 25 million people worldwide have been trafficked and are currently living in slavery. There is no exact number, but there have been 15,600 (reported) cases of trafficking in the United States within the last year, and there is no way to even get a good estimate on how many victims there are in the US.
The Department of Homeland Security defines human trafficking as the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sexual act. This can be done in several ways, such as kidnapping, blackmail, exploitation, or forced codependency. Once the person has been trafficked, generally two things can happen. They may be sold into slavery; whether abroad or domestically, slaves are everywhere. In salons, farms, wealthy households, and many other places. The other option that may happen is that they are sold into sex slavery. Instead of manual labor, the person is forced into prostitution. People in both of these lives are unable to escape them. If they were kidnapped, then odds are they will be unable to return home. Most people also get forced into drug addictions too, so they form an involuntary dependency on their masters.

It is worth stating by itself that a quarter of all people trafficked every year are children under the age of 18. This applies for both labor slaves and sex slaves. Children who were as young as three years old have been rescued from trafficking. The Child Liberation Foundation has found that children are sold into sex slavery at least 30 times a day, and in 2018, 56% of all human trafficking legal cases were involving children. The most disgusting thing about all these statistics is that 90% of all trafficked children are trafficked from home. Their family members, fathers, mothers, siblings, uncles, aunts, grandmothers and other family members have sold their children into a life of abuse, or “loaned” them for favors.

Industries this widespread and rich can only be taken down by an international fight undertaken by governments across the world. The United States has taken particularly strong action against trafficking recently; according to the Government Accountability Office, there are three main things that the US government is doing to combat human trafficking: 1. Preventing trafficking by educating people on trafficking and spreading awareness. 2. Protecting the victims. This includes offering safe areas for people, offering some kind of counseling, and offering legal assistance. 3. Prosecuting these criminals. Courts offer the worst sentences for these terrible people, and governments give clues for how to find people who are being trafficked in plain sight.

Human trafficking is a disgustingly heinous crime. People get stolen from their homes or exploited by loved ones. Millions of people have been trafficked and are enslaved, with nearly a quarter of them being children. These sick and twisted people deserve punishment, but this can only happen with the help of both government agencies and average citizens like you and I. Governments and organization across the globe are working tirelessly to rid the world of slavery, but often times cannot do anything.
Things you can do to help combat human trafficking can be found in the U.S. Department of State hyperlink included.