We can all do our part to end human trafficking.
As we recognise World Day against Trafficking in Persons, we are reminded that human trafficking, also known as modern slavery, is a global threat that touches nearly every corner of the world. No country in the world is immune to human trafficking.
RELEVANT SUSTAINABLE GOALS
WORLD DAY AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING 2021
Globally, an estimated 40 million people are trapped in human trafficking–with children being one in every four victims detected. This year’s theme for the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons highlights the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking. Survivors are key actors in the fight against human trafficking. They play a crucial role in establishing effective measures to prevent this crime, identifying and rescuing victims and supporting them on their road to rehabilitation.
Many victims of human trafficking have experienced ignorance or misunderstanding in their attempts to get help. They have had traumatic post-rescue experiences during identification interviews and legal proceedings. Some have faced revictimization and punishment for crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers. Others have been subjected to stigmatisation or received inadequate support.
Learning from victims’ experiences and turning their suggestions into concrete actions will lead to a more victim-centred and effective approach in combating human trafficking.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS AND TECHNOLOGY
The Human trafficking is everywhere. The misuse of technology has helped traffickers to control and coerce victims. Technology has made it easier for traffickers to target and approach the victims in online spaces and lure them into different exploitative conditions. Research and direct evidence show that technology is being misused by human traffickers during all the stages of the crime, including recruitment, control, and exploitation of victims. Some of the main reasons that technology is harnessed by traffickers include:
- Hiding identities and increasing anonymity online. Perpetrators and their associates communicate through encrypted applications or use the Dark Web to connect. Recruitment of victims takes place through fake social media accounts and fake profiles on applications. Additionally, cryptocurrency allows traffickers to conduct financial transactions and move criminal proceeds anonymously.
- Facilitating recruitment and exploitation of victims by traffickers. An analysis of cases in the 2018 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons shows how perpetrators sequence their actions by identifying potential victims on social media, establishing a relationship of trust, and subsequently entrapping them in exploitative situations.
- Facilitating transactions, accessing new venues, and expanding the marketplace. The misuse of technology can also make it easier for traffickers to engage in transactions with users, enter new marketplaces and expand criminal operations. The trend is upward: technology – and specifically the Internet—helps traffickers to advertise victims and connect more easily with a large market of users; such as online marketplace hosting advertisements for sexual services provide sex traffickers the means to attract customers and, in turn, to sexually exploit victims.
HOW EACH OF US CAN TAKE PART
The human trafficking is everywhere. So we are too. Human trafficking doesn’t not start with a kidnapping and end with a rescue. It starts with society turning a blind eye. It lasts long after the survivors get away. So as community members, we can :
- Stop the demand. We cannot end human trafficking with our addressing demand. When we stop buying, the entire system degradation and violation collapse.
- Use our voice and get involved in educating those around us about the realities and impacts of human trafficking
- Support local, national and international organisations that focus on demand for human trafficking
- Do what you can to support any initiative that rescue victims, rehabilitate them & reintegrate them back into a sustainable, safe lifestyle where they can thriveAdvocate and vote for comprehensive policies that decriminalise human trafficking victims while holding buyers & traffickers accountable
The article was initially published on 30th July 2021.
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