Around 6 billion people globally have cell phones. According to the UN, however, only 4.5 billion have proper sanitation. Which means there are more people with phones than toilets.
Sometimes, the world just doesn’t have its priorities straight.
The same is true with human trafficking. It is prevalent in every country throughout the world. Whether they’re exploited for labor, sex, or other unpaid purposes, escape is usually not an option for the victims. Everyone is susceptible to it, especially those who are refugees, impoverished, illiterate, lacking law enforcement, or living somewhere with unsteady government. And according to the International Labor Union, it produces over $150 billion in revenue annually, tying for the second largest industry in the world. Even worse, children ages 12-18 are the most vulnerable.
Shouldn’t this be a priority, world?
A CNN article called “Human trafficking survivor: I was raped 43,200 times” follows Karla Jacinto, who became a victim to the sex trade in Mexico at age 12. In it she said, “Some men would laugh at me because I was crying. I had to close my eyes so that I wouldn't see what they were doing to me, so that I wouldn't feel anything.”
In the article, Karla recalls thinking she was saved one day when police officers burst into her hotel; instead, the squad took her and others into rooms, videotaping them under the threat of showing their parents. She was forced to meet a quota of 30 men per day. She gave birth at 15. She was forced to give the baby to her pimp.
And she suffered as a slave everyday for four years of her childhood. Tens of thousands of children like Karla suffer the same horrors. Unfortunately, countries that struggle most with human trafficking either lack the resources to combat the problem alone or refuse to acknowledge the problem, dismissing it as normal.
“Normal” needs to go away now.
For example: students in the US learn the “normal” natural resources, like water, sunlight, and soil. No one teaches about the ultimate resource: the human body.
But it’s true. A single body can be exploited for countless years, and hundreds of thousands are made new daily. Drugs, weapons, and other trafficked goods can’t compete with a youthful frame.