It is sadly common for people to mistake human trafficking, otherwise known as modern day slavery, for an outdated practice. The unfortunate reality is that human trafficking is on the rise as world events, including sporting events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics, draw in perpetrators. Because of this, the issue of human trafficking remains extremely pertinent to the lives of humans across the globe.
In the age of technology, misinformation is easily circulated throughout the media, the internet and on television. One incorrect fact has the power to sway the opinions of millions of people. For this reason, education about the accurate and, frankly, startling facts of human trafficking is a fundamental element of the eventual elimination of this horrendous practice.
In 2014, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) offered some reputable and shocking facts concerning the exercise of human trafficking worldwide. When learning about human trafficking, it is of the utmost importance to read and take away information from trustworthy sources. Here are a few of the facts the USCCB offered:
- “Of the estimated 20 million victims of trafficking and human slavery worldwide, 9.1 million victims (44 percent) have been trafficked internally or internationally.” Think about this: almost half of all trafficking victims are transported either within the borders of a certain country, or across the borders of multiple countries. This is what makes it so difficult to track down perpetrators and rescue victims – they are always moving.
- “11.8 million [trafficked persons] are subjected to forms of modern slavery in their place of origin or residence within their own national borders.” Sadly, many trafficking victims are captured and used for slavery within their own country of residence. This goes to show that trafficking may be closer to home than many people believe it to be.
- “Nearly 1.5 million victims are currently laboring in conditions of forced labor, sexual exploitation and servitude in the United States, Canada and developed countries of the EU.” For many of us living in the United States, this fact may come as the most startling. Often people believe that human trafficking is only active in either underdeveloped or third-world countries. However, 7.5 percent of all trafficked persons are enslaved in the United States, Canada, and Europe – all first-world, industrialized nations.
- “Children aged 17 years and below represent 26 percent of total victims, representing a total of 5.5 million child victims worldwide.” It is certainly unfortunate to hear the staggering number of children that suffer the effects of human trafficking. Representing a quarter of all human trafficking victims, these children are often helpless and afraid to stand up against their perpetrators.
It’s time for us all to take a stand against human trafficking, and it starts with becoming properly educated about the true facts of modern day slavery. God sees the horrors that exist on this earth and He calls us to become advocates for change.
For more information on the USCCB facts provided, please visit this page: www.usccb.org/about/migration-policy. In addition, if you wish to learn more about human trafficking, please call the 24-hour hotline of the Nation Human Trafficking Resource Center at (888) 373-7888.
Report trafficking concerns
Visit www.usccb.org/stopslavery to learn more about how to identify a potential victim and what you can do to help. You can report tips on potential cases of human trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888. The text message number is: HELP to BeFree (233733).