By Priscilla Ko, M121 Intern
Over the last month, we’ve delved into looking at some of the corporations in the aid for human trafficking. Through creating sustainable work for the impoverished, our hope at Movement121 is that we may indirectly affect the recovery process for the trafficked. The aftercare is crucial for individuals, and here is where our organization can strategically change lives. It is all too common to see victims rescued only to fall back into the same cycle if there is no smart investment after the prosecution. This is why we are committed in the long-term to truly eradicating modern day slavery.
- It can happen anywhere
Whether in the slums of India or in the concrete jungles of New York, the coerced movement of slaves can occur right along our neighborhood streets. In the United States, the ones at highest risk are adolescent girl runaways, vulnerable to predators and pimps. Sex trafficking still remains the highest incidences, but labor and domestic trafficking have also been reported within the U.S. borders in the last decade. One can visit http://www.slaverymap.org/ to see observer reports made since 2008 through Not for Sale.
- Slaves today are cheaper, more expendable and more numerous than at any point in history
Previously mentioned, the statistics of trafficking victims fall somewhere in a range between 21-27 million slaves. Depending on the type of labor you want, one can negotiate the price anywhere from mere dollars for a one night stand to a bargain of $50 for “ownership” of an individual, less costly its 18th century equivalent. Several places treat livestock and cattle with greater concern than the “property” of slaves, and if the world remains nonchalant at these alarming truths, it will just permit the atrocities to continue.
- Rescuing human trafficking victims is NOT the hardest part
Although the focus is often on the victims currently suffering in slavery, there is a difficulty of equal, if not greater, magnitude. The rehabilitation and recovery that is necessary in the aftermath can be the most challenging part and if left unattended will extinguish any efforts previously made. Dealing with the physical, emotional and psychological scars are likely to affect one’s life forever, and its healing will take invested time. Internal monsters will still haunt, but the enabling to move beyond is crucial for a new turn of life.
- There are less than 100 beds and only about a dozen shelters in the U.S. dedicated for human trafficking
Perhaps due to the underground activities of trafficking within our nation’s borders, there is very little support for domestic victims. Only 22 states have resolved any anti-trafficking efforts, and even fewer have funded residential shelters. On a federal level, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have offered some protection by providing immigration visas for refugees to remain in the U.S.
- Slavery can be eradicated, but at a cost
Quite possibly one of the largest abolition movements was British Parliament’s emancipation of the slave trade in the 18th century. However, it was not solely by the legislation which slavery disappeared, but rather the country’s commitments in following through with its initiated policies. Over the course of the following 60 years, the United Kingdom lost billions in their economic superpower and gross national profits as consequence of abolishing slavery. This is a lesson for the modern day abolitionists as well; we must also be willing to surrender our comfort/privileges/power to ensure that.