The human trafficking industry has grown into a $32 billion industry worldwide. Despite the best efforts of law enforcement agencies, human smugglers manage to transport 600,000 to 800,000 people across international borders each year. The victims are typically sold into various types of slavery and subject to torturous living conditions.
Human smugglers use various means to transport their victims into a number of different countries, including the United States. At times, the victims will enter a country legally, then overstay their visas. In other cases, they are covertly smuggled into these nations. Human trafficking has now become a dire issue in developed countries as well as third-world nations.
The Human Trafficking Industry
Pierre Henry, the director general of Terre d’Asile, a French organization that assists asylum seekers, told radio broadcaster FranceInfo that the human trafficking situation is getting worse. “It is absolutely necessary to crack these various networks that thrive on the misery and credulity of a certain number of people, and it is to be hoped that the victims will be protected,” he said.
Human trafficking victims are typically enticed by false promises of higher-paying jobs and a better quality of life; people will pay thousands of dollars to traffickers to bring them into a particular country. Rather than a better life, these victim are led into a variety of occupations that are worse than the circumstances they left behind in their homelands. “Exploitation today includes, in addition to sexual exploitation, labour, forced services, slavery, servitude and even organ harvesting,” Henry said.
Upon arriving at their destination, the victims – many of whom are young children – are sold into slavery for a hefty price. The individuals who purchase some of these slaves can earn a steady flow of income through forced prostitution, pornography, and other types of sex work. It is the ultimate con; disadvantaged individuals are deceived by promises of a better life, and then they are summarily sold into a life of oppression for a pretty penny.
Human Trafficking In The U.S.
Many Americans erroneously believe that slavery was eliminated in the 1860s. However, thousands of people are still living in bondage on American soil. Many of these victims are runaway children and the homeless. A significant percentage of these individuals are foreigners who were brought into the country illegally.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is one of the American agencies that hunts down and arrests human traffickers. Through their efforts, they have helped thousands of victims to gain freedom from slavery. Despite the fact that many on the left are pushing to dissolve the agency, other Americans understand that organizations like ICE are essential in the fight against human trafficking.
Calls to abolish ICE are ignorant, inhumane, and irresponsible. Open borders advocates are quick to shout “racism” when conservatives tout the nation’s immigration enforcement agencies, but their silence is deafening when it comes to the victims of human trafficking.
Combating Human Trafficking
Fixing the problem of human trafficking is no easy matter and Western nations are having difficulty finding and apprehending the criminals who run the modern-day slave trading enterprise. Fortunately, there have been some successes. In 2016, the State Department released a report explaining that convictions for human trafficking have risen about 37% worldwide.
Despite this progress, the United States still has a lot of work to do when it comes to stopping human traffickers. An estimated 17,000 to 18,000 people are still being trafficked in the United States annually. These numbers do not include illegal immigrants who are entering the country to work.
President Donald Trump declared that he would fight human trafficking with the “full force and weight” of the United States government. He was involved in the passage of a bill designed to combat traffickers online. Moreover, human trafficking arrests were approaching 6,000 as of June 2018, almost doubling last year’s numbers. Under President Obama, arrests for human trafficking never rose above 2,000.
If these early signs are any indication, Trump might accomplish more in the fight against human trafficking than any of his predecessors. Hopefully, his efforts will have an impact on solving this issue worldwide.