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What You Need to Know About “Human Trafficking”.

According to a research conducted by Shelley Louise, “human trafficking is a global phenomenon that is fueled by poverty and gender discrimination”.

From the connotation of the word “Human Trafficking”, it can be simply understood, as the use of force, coercion, persuasion, threat, or deception to move, habour, detain someone for the purpose of sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, organ harvesting, baby factory, suicide bombing/child soldier, and other forms of exploitation. There are many different ways that people can be forced into labor. Sometimes physical force is used, other times blackmail and other forms of coercion and fraud. Other times, criminal organizations pose as legitimate employers and trick their victims into signing up for opportunities which turn out to be anything but what they promised to be.

Based on US Department of State report, over 27 million people are victims of human trafficking globally. This number is more than the population of countries like Netherlands, Ghana, Togo, Congo, Uganda, and Gambia.

Human trafficking destroys lives, poses health risks, and fuels organized crime. It has a detrimental effect not only on individuals, but also on the economy as a whole. Here are some disturbing facts about human trafficking you may not know.

  • More than three quarters of human trafficking is for sex, and according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 80% of the victims are female (see also).
  • Human traffickers often use a Sudanese phrase “use a slave to catch slaves,” meaning traffickers send “broken-in girls” to recruit younger girls into the sex trade. Sex traffickers often train girls themselves, raping them and teaching them sex acts.
  • Human trafficking not only involves sex and labor, but people are also trafficked for organ harvesting.
  • Although human trafficking is often a hidden crime and accurate statistics are difficult to obtain, researchers estimate that more than 80% of trafficking victims are female. Over 50% of human trafficking victims are children.
  • UNICEF estimates that more than 300,000 children under 18 are currently being exploited in over 30 armed conflicts worldwide. While the majority of child soldiers are between the ages of 15 and 18, some are as young as 7 or 8 years of age.
  • Human trafficking is the only area of transnational crime in which women are significantly represented—as victims, as perpetrators, and as activists fighting this crime.
  • Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises because it holds relatively low risk with high profit potential. Criminal organizations are increasingly attracted to human trafficking because, unlike drugs, humans can be sold repeatedly.(Ascension Glossary)
  • Victims of human trafficking suffer devastating physical and psychological harm. However, due to language barriers, lack of knowledge about available services, and the frequency with which traffickers move victims, human trafficking victims and their perpetrators are difficult to identify.

Onifade Esther O.

Admin Officer

Devatop Centre for Africa Development