Human Trafficking: The Slavery of Today

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When we examine the traditional definition of slavery, it focuses on one human being taking ownership of another human being (Kara 66). Traditional slaves were transported by lengthy voyages at sea, however with advancements in transportation technology victims of human trafficking can be quickly and easily moved around the world (Kara 67). “Trafficking, prostitution, and slavery have existed since the beginning of mankind and, while at times have been prohibited, have continued to exist (Uy 215).” Slaves can be exploited virtually forever with a form of slavery known as bonded labor, which has existed for centuries. Individuals involved in this type of slavery are often loaned money with the agreement to work of the debt; unfortunately, the pay is so low the debt is almost never repaid (Kara 67). Despite legislative efforts to pass effective anti-trafficking and anti-forced labor laws, the overwhelming focus has been on preventing sex trafficking. This coupled with the increased notoriety of sex in today’s society has led to a significant decline in the amount of resources allocated to combat labor trafficking (Uy 206).
In today’s world, there are 12.3 million victims of forced labor and sexual exploitation at any given time. Forty three percent of individuals trafficked are used for commercial sex, while thirty two percent are used in forced labor enterprises. The remaining twenty five percent end up used for a combination of sex and labor trafficking, or are used in some other unknown trafficking operation. Victims of commercial sexual exploitation are comprised of roughly ninety eight percent women and the remaining two percent are men and boys. However, children make up somewhere between 40 to 50 percent of the individuals...

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