Human Trafficking is the modern day practice of slavery. Also known as trafficking persons, human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. It includes the recruitment, harboring, and transportation of people solely for the purpose of exploitation. Every year traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits at the expense of victimizing millions of people around the wold.
Victims of human trafficking are people forced or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. Labor trafficking is widespread and varied ranging from situations that encompass domestic servitude and small-scale labor operations, to large-scale operations such as farms, sweatshops, and major multinational corporations. Sex trafficking is one of the most lucrative sectors in the illegal trade of people, and involves any form of sexual exploitation in prostitution, pornography, bride trafficking, and the commercial sexual abuse of children. Under international law, any sexually exploited child is considered a trafficking victim, even if no force or coercion is present.
An estimated 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked annually in the United States alone. The number of US citizens trafficking within the country is even higher. An estimated 200,000 American children are at high risk for trafficking into the sex industry each year.
Despite this staggering reality, governments around the world are only beginning to address the problem. In most countries, traffickers operate with almost total impunity even in the most severe cases. A lack of awareness in the public exacerbates inaction on the part of authorities.
Check out the Virginia Beach Justice Initiative at www.vbji.org
(excerpt from vbji.org)