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Who are the Most Common Victims of Trafficking?

Human trafficking involves the abduction and transportation of individuals for illegal purposes. The victims of trafficking often emerge from developing countries in Asia, Africa, and South America where law enforcement is less effective. This activity often involves children who are acquired as prostitutes, soldiers, and slaves. Traffickers also kidnap young women for prostitution and forced marriages in the underground market. Another target for human traffickers is young men who can be used as fighters, laborers, and sources of organs for the black market.

Individuals and criminal cartels engaged in human trafficking focus largely on developing nations as targets for their activities. These nations often possess underfunded law enforcement and governments concerned more with violent crimes than abductions. Families in developing nations might also sell children and young adults to traffickers to earn money. In some cases, parents deliver children to traffickers in order to pay down debts to local criminals. This trend has changed in the 21st century as trafficking has also been found by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in developed regions like North America and Western Europe.

Children throughout the world are victims of trafficking due to their relative vulnerability. Traffickers also profit from kidnapping and selling children because clients are interested in long-term potential from them. These victims of trafficking are sold to brothel owners and wealthy individuals interested in child prostitutes. Local and regional militaries in warring nations use traffickers to secure young soldiers for prolonged conflicts. Land owners looking for inexpensive laborers during growing seasons might purchase abducted children as slaves.

Women are common victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. These victims might be abducted from their homes or arrested for minor crimes by police officers bribed by traffickers. A young woman can be trafficked to a brothel as another asset for the brothel owner. Traffickers also deliver abducted women to clients who want to force women into marriage and reproduction by threat of violence.

Traffickers also kidnap men to serve as workers and warriors for clients on the black market. An abducted man can be sold as a slave to a farm owner in need of strong laborers. These transactions often feature the purchase of dozens of slaves to replace dead, injured, and escaped laborers. Young men might be preferred over children by militia leaders and rebels who want mature soldiers in high-casualty conflicts. Another reason why men are victims of trafficking is the lucrative underground market for healthy kidneys, lungs, and other organs.

Discuss this Article

croydon
Post 3

@umbra21 - Honestly, I think that historical slavery in general is a very muddled issue. It should not be used in comparison to modern human trafficking though.

It was a terrible thing, but slaves in Roman and Greek times, for example, were still considered to be human and could be freed. It was definitely still morally wrong, but not on the same level as treating people as subhuman, which is what many victims of modern human trafficking experience.

umbra21
Post 2

@pastanaga - Unfortunately, I think what often happens is that people pass the buck as far as responsibility goes. One of the most common forms of human trafficking, for example, involves telling women in poor countries that they can come and get a job in the USA (or somewhere else that seems like a step up to them). Except the job is prostitution and they aren't allowed to leave or fight back once they arrive. They are told they have a debt to pay and if they don't pay it they will be hurt or killed or sent home in disgrace.

The people organizing this probably convince themselves they are doing the women a favor by getting them out of poverty,

But then, slavery existed for thousands of years, so maybe they don't even have to justify it to themselves. Once human trafficking was just considered to be a normal exchange of goods rather than one of the worst crimes a person could commit.

pastanaga
Post 1

It sickens me that this is such a major problem in the world today and that it goes on right under our collective noses, no matter what country you live in. Child trafficking in particular is one of the most despicable crimes I can think of, not that any other form of human trafficking is any better.

What makes me angry is the people who benefit from this. I'm sure in some cases there are desperate people who do desperate and evil things, but there are also people who have the money to want to purchase these victims and then exploit them. They aren't doing this out of desperation, they are doing it out of greed and that is something that I find completely unforgivable and I wish more of society felt that way.

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