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Recognizing slavery and human trafficking

Human Trafficking
Human Trafficking
Photo by Imagens Evangelicas/ Flickr Commons

Once upon a time the enslavement of humans was considered a part of winning the war. In Antiquity times, slaves were a normal part of everyday living. Many were working off debt, others were prisoners of war. As time went on slavery became more and more popular, and also increased in its brutality. In fact, if you were to study the history of humans, each culture of people has been enslaved at some point in time. The institution of slavery in America is always brought to the forefront because of the irony in America’s Declaration of Independence.

In modern times

In the millennium age we have seen the pace of slavery resume in foreign countries, impacting America once again. Immigrants fleeing their native countries for whatever reason, come here for freedom. Some of those immigrants enter the United States illegally. They pay their fare here by agreeing to work as a slave, at slave wages or forced prostitution. Many of them are men, women, and children. Human trafficking is usually hard to detect because the ring leaders tend to hide the illegal immigrants within their own nationality of people. Victims of human trafficking are frightened and alone in a country where they know no one.

By the way, not all victims of human trafficking are foreign born, many are naturalized American citizens either kidnapped or a runaway.

Identifying a victim of human trafficking

According to CNN’s Freedom Project-Ending Modern Day Slavery, a victim of human trafficking may be:

  • Living with his or her employer
  • Poor living conditions
  • Multiple people in cramped quarters
  • Cannot speak to victim alone
  • When victim does answer, the answers sound rehearsed
  • Victim’s identification is being held by employer
  • Sign of physical abuse
  • Fearful, submissive
  • Providing free services or wages are below standard
  • A minor working in prostitution

The Freedom Project goes on to say that you should, if possible, ask the victim the following questions:

  • Can you leave your job if you want?
  • Can you come and go as you please?
  • Have you been threatened? Hurt?
  • Do you live with your employer?
  • Where do you sleep and eat?
  • Do you owe your employer a lot of money?
  • Do you have your identification with you? Who is holding it for you?

If the victim answers yes to any of the above questions, or if they say no, but you suspect they are lying because they are deathly afraid, you should contact your local law enforcement agency.

Human traffickers of Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, and Russian origin are the groups in the American news time and again because of their illegal transportation tactics that often results in the death of illegal immigrants.


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