Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Invisible Slaves

In our midst in every major city in the world and even in small towns are women & children (and sometimes men) who are being abused & exploited in ways no average person can imagine or comprehend. These are the victims of human trafficking. And there are supposedly 27 million of them and I am afraid even more...

Most victims, especially ones who are used as sex slaves in Europe, are lured by a promise of a good paying job. In most cases, human traffickers put up a front of being legitimate businesses to pull in young women desperately in need of a job to support their families. But in the end, most are beaten & raped by the human traffickers themselves before they are even exploited for the traffickers to make profit out of them.

Southeast Asia has been a haven of the sex tourism trade. From Thailand to the Philippines, young girls are forcefully coerced into doing sexual favors for men from the United States, Australia, Europe and even Japan. But today, Greece has become the hub of sexual slavery for women from eastern Europe especially former Soviet Union states. Greece is the geographical gateway of poor eastern Europe to the rich western European Union member nations. From here, women are smuggled to as far away as London and Amsterdam.

Unfortunately, even the United States is not immune to the horror of human trafficking. Young American girls are abducted and forced into sexual slavery by the so-called "pimps." I live in Washington, DC the capital of the most powerful nation of the 21st century but even here, it is rampant. Fortunately, there are many organizations who are helping these girls escape and recover from the trauma of the abuse & exploitation of sexual slavery. But we just don't want safe houses for these women, we want human trafficking abolished...

Human trafficking does not only include sexual slavery.... Human trafficking is basically the exploitation of cheap or free labor. Human traffickers are modern day slave traders. Young children are forced to work in harsh conditions a sane adult would not want to even be in to gather cocoa beans, yes the ones that make our chocolate bars... And you thought children armies were bad.

Human trafficking is one of the major problems facing our world today but it is ignored. Why? Because we want to believe that slavery has been abolished here in the United States centuries ago... It hasn't. It has just taken different forms, far more virulent than the ones during colonial times. Sexual slavery (or should I just call it what it is, prostitution) has helped spread AIDS and STDs to where they are now. Child labor has taken the rights of children not just for a free education but more importantly, to a happy childhood. And there are many forms of modern slavery other than these...

Human trafficking must be put in the forefront of the world media along with AIDS and fighting poverty. They go hand in hand. The spread of AIDS would be diminished by a large measure if we made it harder for pimps to do business. Poverty creates desperation and that desperation leads to harsh consequences that most victims cannot come out of. We must take a stand against human trafficking. If PETA can create headline news about animal cruelty, can't we create bigger headline news against human cruelty? Aren't people more important than animals?

No comments:

Post a Comment