Although human trafficking is in the news quite often, there is still much we need to learn about this scourge in our society. That is why I invited Victor Boutros of the Human Trafficking Institute to join me on radio. His organization has put together a helpful flyer titled, “7 Things Everyone Should Know About Human Trafficking.”
First, the problem is enormous. Traffickers are exploiting an estimated 24.9 million victims. That means there are more slaves in the world today than existed during the height of slavery a few centuries ago. The vast majority of traffickers operate in countries where they are likely to get away with their crimes.
Second, human trafficking is NOT about movement. When you hear the word trafficking, you think victims are being moved around. Often, this isn’t the case. The essence of trafficking is coercion, not movement.
Third, traffickers are motivated by money. The wages of sin are enormous when human trafficking is involved. Annual profits exceed $150 billion a year. That is more than the annual profits of Exxon, Microsoft, BP, Samsung, and Apple combined.
Fourth, anyone can be a trafficking victim. It affects children and adults, citizens and visitors, women and men, and boys and girls. Fifth, traffickers vary their tactics. They tailor their tactics to the unique vulnerabilities of each victim.
Sixth, the goal is not to prosecute the victims. Law enforcement wants to put traffickers in jail. And seventh, there is hope that traffickers can be stopped. We are not powerless against this enormous problem. The Human Trafficking Institute has developed specialized programs to help law enforcement in this country and other countries begin to make a difference.
When you hear the facts and statistics, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the magnitude of this problem. Fortunately, many groups are working to stop traffickers and prevent others from becoming victims.