Almost always when people think about slavery the transatlantic slave trade comes to mind. This thought is usually followed by relief that this inhumane practice no longer takes place and that the world has become a much safer place since then. Unfortunately, there are still millions of people all over the world who have been kidnapped or coerced into leaving their countries in order to be enslaved elsewhere.
Many of the people who are trafficked are women and young girls who are sold into sexual slavery. This is often a side business for large drug cartels and pays them very well. By ‘owning’ the girls rather than paying them as employees they are able to maximize their profits and command more obedience. Some of the women and girls may be lured abroad with false promises of good salaries and stable jobs as domestic workers. This is especially useful if they have families to support in their home countries. The human traffickers will often send money to these families to basically hold them ransom.
In other cases, young children are trafficked to nearby countries to work as miners, agricultural laborers or domestic workers in wealthy homes. In the mines they may be used because their small bodies fit into the cramped tunnels better. In the fields, it may be expected that their small hands or high energy levels make them more suited for picking produce. They may be given just barely enough food to survive and raised without any education. Those who are made to work in household are often subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse. They make easy targets because they have no guardians and they may be told that the authorities of the country they have been sent to will jail them for migrating illegally.
At times, the process of trafficking humans is actually just a minor part of the drug trafficking problem. A person may be forced to enter a country illegally with drugs strapped onto themselves and more inside of their body. There have even been cases where babies were used for this type of exercise.
The act of enslaving someone else is a disgusting one yet the elements of our societies that encourage it have not fully been eradicated. Human trafficking and slavery can still be found all over the world if one is observant enough and until the practice is eliminated, humanity bears the shame.
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