Present Day Human Trafficking

            In modern America many people are led to believe that human trafficking is merely an isolated problem.  I know personally when discussing human trafficking the first thing that pops in to my mind is that it only occurs in foreign countries. In 2010 my opinions on that changed. In my hometown of Richmond, Virginia a story broke about police uncovering 12 human trafficking houses where illegal women immigrants were being forced in to sexual intercourse against their will. This showed that human sex trafficking is not only in the states, but it is a lot closer to home then expected.

Human sex trafficking is becoming a big problem in not only the states, but the world. Sources say human trafficking is a 40-billion dollar a year industry world-wide. Human trafficking is a hard crime to get good statistics on because there is so much fear in the victims to come forward and the traffickers are usually very well hidden. Women are usually the ones taking in to trafficking crimes. They are unable to defend themselves and many of the women are immigrants in a foreign country with no resources to receive help. Women then are basically sold for sex and then receive very little if any payment in return for their sexual actions. Many women are raped repeatedly to make sure they understand their male attackers are in control. It is like the women are treated as property and not a human being.

Human trafficking has a lot of similarities to what is being taught in this course. A particular similarity stood out to me in the Bonvillain readings in week 5. Chapter two had some examples about how men regularly used sex with their wives to sweeten a deal. The men would offer sex with their wives as a way of forming friendships or to become trade partners with other men. In Inuit communities men brought their wives aboard foreign ships in order to get higher quality goods. In the reading it is said that the Inuit women had little to no say in the matter, they just had to do what their husbands ordered them to do. This seems highly similar to human trafficking in the modern world. Trafficking incidents are strong examples of male dominance over women. If the men viewed the women as equals situations of human trafficking would not be occurring.

Human trafficking is a crime that truly needs to be stopped. There are a lot of people who are viewing the issue as a modern-day slavery. The world has come to far and become to modern to still allow such brutal acts to occur. Crimes like this really help me look back and see that tough we view our self as humans at our core we are still animals capable of disgusting things. Resources need to be put in to place to ensure this issues is diminished and eventually destroyed.


About bradhelmick

I am currently a senior at ODU.
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12 Responses to Present Day Human Trafficking

  1. Thank you for covering this important issue. Human trafficking is basically slavery by another name. Its devastating to think of what life must be like for one kept as a slave.

    Its very interesting to come at this problem from a criminological point of view. Because this is a field that I am virtually ignorant of, I need to be schooled on it more. You mention that its a crime that is particularly difficult to get good statistics on (because its so underground, or so diffuse). What kind of statistics do you think would be useful to have? And can you propose a way for someone to collect that kind of information?

    In the case of sex trafficking there seem to be many crimes going on at once. For the John, there’s the crime of soliciting a prostitute. For the captor there may be charges of kidnapping and rape. But what about for the woman being held captive? If they come from another country then it seems likely that they have been duped into thinking that this is a way for them to gain entrance to the United States without documentation. Does that mean they have to be deported? What happens to them then?

    As you rightly point out this is a worldwide phenomenon. In particular women may be held captive as sex slaves in other countries and then tourists, from the US and elsewhere, travel to the destination to engage in “sex tourism”. I wonder are there laws in place that govern an American citizen’s actions overseas if one chooses to engage in such activity?

    • Colton says:

      I know virtually nothing of the subject either and I am not sure what kind of research you have done on this topic since February, but I’m researching this topic for a presentation I am making in a Criminal Justice course up here in Canada. I just wanted to point out your one question of americans participating in sex tourism and if they can be charged or not. Since our justice systems are somewhat similar I would assume that since Canada has laws that count towards Canadian citizens on or off Canadian soil, that America would as well. Also the statistics you mentioned: it is estimated that there are 27 million people worldwide in slavery of all kinds, including those being trafficked. thats 1 in every 259 people. Thats sickening..

  2. bradhelmick says:

    It is impossible to get accurate statistics. If some stats could be gathered it would be useful to determine how many people are being sold and in what areas is it more prevalent so something could be done to stop or at least slow it. If the women are lucky enough to get out a live most of them are deported back to their country, but some are allowed to stay. Im sure there are no special laws for American tourist, but they are obligated to follow the laws of that country and if something were to happen to an american citizen depending on the country American would be able to help retrieve them.

  3. steph110604 says:

    There was a story about this recently on the Lifetime Channel. The guy from americas most wanted did a show about human trafficking. It is truly amazing that the US plays a major part in trafficking. Its so easy for trafficking to be hidden in the US since not many believe its a problem here. I believe there needs to be more awareness and more laws that help protect those who are trafficked, when they are finally freed.

  4. kever008 says:

    I work at the body shop and one of the main purposes of our store is to donate money to stop human trafficking. Each purchase from our store has a percentange that goes to human trafficking awareness. I think this issue is really important, and hasn’t been paid attention to as much as it should. I definitely think it has become one of the most important world wide issues of this century!

  5. Melissa says:

    I found your article very informative. I am currently doing a report on human trafficking and was wondering if I could use the photo you have on the top of this article for a visual aide.

  6. rcfalcon says:

    I always wonder how people can do so much harm in other human beings. How can a man do unimaginable things to women having come from a woman? I think its funny that you mention that you use to believe human trafficking only occur in foreign countries and all along it was happening in your own backyard. I use to think the same and thought only the worst, most evil, and lowest of the low people could commit such acts. Come to find out, i went to high school with two alleged men that were running a prostitution business in Springfield Virginia, MY HOMETOWN!! I was very disappointed, disgusted, and in disbelief when i heard the news because not only did i know them, but i was very close friends with them. How could i be friends with such people? When did this happen? Needless to say i’m still in shock. If its human trafficking is happening in our hometowns then it’s very obvious that it is becoming a major issues.

    Here is the link to the sex trafficking in Springfield if you want to take a look at it.

  7. ssisk001 says:

    I thought that this article was very informative. It brings attention to a topic that is widely disregarded in the US unless it is one of our own people that have disappeared (such was the case with Natalie Holloway when they first believed she had been kidnapped and sold as a slave from Aruba). I think that this is an issue that should be touched upon more often in our society. It should not matter whether it is our people being taken and forced into slavery or not. When we abolished slavery in the 1800s our nation took the stand that slavery is not ok. By turning a blind eye towards human trafficking in other nations we are making a statement that says while we don’t approve of slavery for our own nation its ok if you guys do and we’re not gonna stand in the way of it.

  8. alexi deakin says:

    i carnt belive it

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