Life in the Shadows: The Horror of Human Trafficking


As the world focuses its attention on a variety of issues including social justice, racial inequalities, and climate change, an unnoticed problem has plagued humanity for generations: human trafficking. While the United Nations calls the scope of trafficking “the hidden figure of crime,” it is estimated that millions of innocent people around the world are enslaved by this perverse system and violated for profit. A high reward – low-risk model drives this whole business as traffickers usually target desperate, impoverished, and uneducated people who are looking to escape their current situation. With 47% of people living in extreme poverty being 18 or younger, there are high rates of trafficking specifically among teenagers. Out of the two types of trafficking, sex trafficking is where an individual is either coerced or forced into selling sex to buyers while labor trafficking causes situations like debt bondage or child labor. Compared to other illegal industries, human trafficking is lucrative because the “products” can repeatedly be sold while others, like drugs, are one-time transactions. Traffickers will use whatever means necessary to dominate and subdue their victims which leads to devastating consequences. This is a truly horrific problem that exemplifies the depravity that exists in humankind.