Human Trafficking is so new to social consciousness that we don’t have the right language to describe it yet. In the words of Martin Delaney, a civil rights activist and colleague of Frederick Douglas, “All slavery is but the arbitrary will of one person over another. “
That is what human trafficking is; it is modern day slavery. It’s a global issue and it is happening in every State in America. It’s been said many times that it is happening in our communities, in plain sight.
Human trafficking is a Human Rights violation. It is loss of liberty. This means the victim is deprived of the right to leave, the right to refuse work, and the right to demand compensation. They are denied the right to exercise choice over their safety and even, their very life itself.
As a community we have to continue to raise awareness of Human Trafficking, and to end the abject circumstances that often predispose victims to human trafficking, otherwise known as push factors; child abuse, poverty, neglect, trauma, homelessness, sexual assault, mental health illness, drugs, and domestic violence.
Victims of Human Trafficking are in need of hope and long term care to prevent their re-victimization by providing comprehensive programs (medical, psychological, educational, housing and material assistance) with full respect and regard for their human rights. We can do this by collaborating, educating and gathering resources.
We have to end the ignorance, stigmatization, and prejudice victims endure as they emerge from the abysmal world of Human Trafficking.
We can combat Human Trafficking by looking closer into places it hides: massage parlors, the internet, gangs, motels, casinos, drug and weapon rings, and sometimes places you wouldn’t expect, such as within families.
We must stand up as a world community against those who still engage in the criminal act of buying and selling human beings.