The number of women enslaved daily is greatly increasing, because the sex industry is growing fast. This is a major problem for our generation and generations to come. Clearly, no one would argue that the selling and buying of people is morally unreasonable, but why is the American government discussing legalizing the profession of prostitution? Many would decide to argue that legalizing the practice of offering sex in exchange for money is a women’s right, she has the choice to do what she desires with her body. Women involved in the practice feel forced to have a career in the sex industry.
Just a decade ago, only a third of the countries studied by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had legislation against human trafficking. (Darker Side, par.1) Women, children, and even men are taken from their homes, and off of the streets and are brought into a life that is almost impossible to get out of. This life is not one of choice, it is in most times by force. UNODC estimates that the total international human trafficking is a $32-billion-per-year business, and that 79% of this activity comprises sexual exploitation. As many as 2 million children a year are victims of commercial sexual exploitation, according the the U.S. State Department.-- Cynthia G. Wagner.
America is known for the freedoms we receive, but did you know that about 100 thousand women are involved in prostitution, and their rights stripped away by the people who claimed the would protect them, given them shelter, and would provide food for them? No you don’t know media doesn’t cover it, because prostitution is a crime that is swept under a large rug and covered up to protect politicians, government officials, police officers, and so many other organizations reputations. When people think prostitution they think free will, they do it because they want to, it is not true, most women are forced into it. What about protecting women form being used in such a horrible, disturbing, painful, troubling way? These women are forgotten, arrested, abused, violated, and so many are killed.
Sadly, another issue that plagues the profession is sex trafficking. It is believed that “100,000 children are forced into prostitution every year in America” (Haltiwanger 10). Opening law enforcement’s eyes to sex work would allow them to look for sex trafficking and encourage brothel owners to not hire minors. After the legalization in Germany, sex-based human trafficking went down 10% (Brown 17). Not only do we have the ability to save people from rape, we also hold the ability to save minors from sexual exploitation.
One reason why human trafficking is a serious crime that many people are unaware of is because it secretly takes place in the United States. Between 2007 and 2012, there were reports of 9,298 different cases of human trafficking (Polaris Project). An example of how unknown this topic is is that 41% of sex trafficking cases and 20% of labor trafficking cases were proven to have United States citizens as victims (Polaris Project). And this is only what we know so far. There are thousands of cases that we don’t know about.
Doing this on a worldwide basis could help drive demand in the sex industry down, and could encourage women and girls in captivity to come forward without fear of persecution. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is a severe issue for many reasons. Firstly, as mentioned above because it is an illegal act, it is hidden underground. Heather Smith suggests that there are around 1,390,000 transnational sex slaves in the world (Smith, 2011). These people come from 127 different countries; are moved through 98 transfer countries; and end up in 137 different destination countries around the world (Trafficking in Persons, 2006).
With nothing being done with the victims after sweeping them up they have nowhere else to return and end back up on the streets. Overall, child and teenage sex trafficking is becoming a worldwide problem, but with the spotlight highlighting the World Cup and the Olympics maybe a solution can be found. From parents putting their children through sex trafficking to the stimulating economy from sex trafficking and organizations trying to promote prostitution awareness.
However, many agencies across the nation are not aware of the amount of human trafficking occurring around them. In a world of tolerance, many individuals are unaware of their surroundings. Kevin Bales of the nonprofit organization Free the Slaves estimates that 10,000 women a year are trafficked to America for the sex industry alone (Young n. pg). Those 10,000 women all past through security check points somewhere, and had many individuals they also interacted with on their journey. Security and Law Enforcement need to be aware of the signs of human trafficking, and be able to serve justice to those that are oppressing the rights of these women and children.
There needs to be a more effective way to eradicate the dangers of human trafficking. The United States has one of the largest percentages of trafficked humans worldwide, however so many individual are unaware of this issue. As many as 17,500 individuals are thought to be trafficked into the United Stated annually, and some have estimated that 100,000 U.S. citizen children are victims of trafficking within the U.S. (Siskin & Wyler, 2010). Since many cases go unreported, these estimates may be fewer than the actual number of victims in the US. There is substantial evidence that supports the ideology that woman and children from low socio-economic status are most likely targeted (Okech, Morreau, & Benson, 2011), of all the people trafficked each year about 70 percent of women and 50 percent are children that are mainly forced into the sex trade (Human Trafficking Statistics).
The New England Journal of Medicine did a study comparing 33,998 infants born to Gulf War veterans and 41,463 babies of other military personnel and finding no evidence of an increase in the risk of birth effects for children of Gulf War veterans (pg.157). This has been such an over exaggerated problem and because of this thousands of Gulf War veterans have undergone countless medical exams, rather than going to get the much needed counseling. The real illness is the fear, anxiety and hopelessness of the veterans; these may explain their "health" problems. Youth at risk is an ultimate fear, for our parents, teachers, political parties, churches and so forth. From teen gambling to kids gone missing to school shootings, the media has done it again by reinforcing fears into our minds that there is an epidemic of youth violence.