The act of human trafficking can be described as the illegal transferring of humans, usually for the purpose of forced labor or sexual exploitation. While forced labor is the biggest form of human trafficking, sex trade comes in second. There are many other forms of human trafficking as well, such as debt bondage (forcing someone to work until a debt is paid), agricultural work, manufacturing, janitorial and hotel services, construction, health and elder care, hair and nail salons, strip club dancing, and prostitution. Although this worldwide issue isn’t getting the attention is should be, hopefully it will soon. In 2012 it was estimated that if nothing is done to address the situation of human trafficking, it is likely to surpass that of drug and arms trafficking within the next ten years.
Most occurrences of sex trafficking happen while the victim is still able to live a “normal” life. There are stories upon stories of people who have lived a double life while being forced to participate in sex trades. One example is of Theresa, who for 3 years lived as not only a teenager who participated in track and choir, but also as a sex slave who was trapped, drugged, and transported to houses in suburbs around Birmingham, MI. Her story started as a 15 year old who unknowingly drank a soda from a young man, who then raped her and took pictures of the act in order to blackmail her. From then on, Theresa believed that if she did not continue to work as a prostitute, her or her family members would be killed or that the many photos of her that had been taken would be exposed to the public, including her family and peers. Her traffickers threatened her while she worked for them, doing things such as killing her...
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...pping them and taking them hostage.
There have been steps taken by police in Michigan to help to minimize the problem, especially in Detroit and surrounding areas, Since the beginning of 2016 there have been forces assigned by police departments to patrol local hotspots for trafficking and to monitor online websites such as Craigslist and Ebay which are popular for the advertisement of victims. While it was expected that this problem would grow, it is becoming less of an issue in places like Michigan due to the steps that are being taken to help not only prevent future trafficking cases, but to find the ones that are already taking place. Although places in the United States are beginning to recognize the problems of human trafficking, there is little hope in third world countries, especially countries that view trafficking as a normal and anything but illegal.
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