Getting involved in a project called Stop Human Trafficking makes you stop and read the words out loud. Can this still be happening in the 21st century? Surely not!
What is this really about? How can people do this to other people? Isn’t this for the movies? How big is the problem really?
You get the gist….but hang on, what does Human Trafficking actually mean?
Well if people are sold as a commodity from one party to another to perform some form of work then this could be classed as Human Trafficking. Whether there are country borders crossed or not, it is modern day slavery and it’s bigger than it has ever been, a multi billion dollar business.
So asking how big is this problem, is met with lots of chattering and some sketchy numbers that are single digit, then I realise the questions are poor and should not be talking about actual prosecutions, this is so naive of me. Who wants to prosecute someone that no one will readily admit actually exists. This would be bad publicity for border controls, plus it is possible and very likely that these people are connected with many influential people and how do you actually prove it unless there is a paper trail. Hence the convictions being very low! Single digit I hear you say!
Just for instance, the traffickers make promises to people in their home nation, such as North Korea, China, Myanmar or Laos and promise them a better life in Thailand or across into Malaysia. The person is desperate to escape a poor life and agrees, but surprise, surprise upon arrival in Thailand, they are enslaved into jobs such as prostitution, mainly for women and farming, mainly for men.
Should they refuse, well putting this into perspective, would you want to go to all the trouble of escaping a brutal regime in North Korea and then have to go back because you don’t want to be a prostitute or work on a farm? Just think, returning to North Korea, you will be unlucky to end up in a Gulag Camp and lucky to be executed for treason. Handing over your passport, if you even have one, is a small price to pay for your safety. So shrimp farming or prostitution can be a step up for some of the modern day slaves in the world.
What’s the real benefit for the trafficker….? Buying and selling a commodity. Well isn’t that what English Premier League Football Clubs do all the time?
Now we are getting closer, maybe not with the relative monetary figure, but certainly with the value. Because unlike drugs, which are sold once and are consumed, a human being can be resold many times over by traffickers who make huge profits on their merchandise.
Human Traffickers is such a politically correct 21st century term, lets just say it how it is and call them Slave Traders and see how many ears prick up around the world.
Disclaimer: None of these pictures are meant to implicate, nor suggest, that anybody or anything depicted is part of the story of this post. The pictures are purely for context of distances across two borders and highlighting some of the challenges to authorities in managing the illegal movement of people across borders.