Human Trafficking, as I see it – Alexis Keller ( MMS Intern)

Human Trafficking takes many different forms in our society; sex trafficking, forced labor, and debt bondage are all different forms of modern-day slavery. Pop culture, and even campaigns to end trafficking, can negatively impact how we see the problem. This is critical to trafficking because how we see the issue is how we create solutions, and without understanding the realities of human trafficking, we will never end it. Human trafficking exists because of a confluence of different paradigms. Globalization, economics, migration, human rights, gender, organized crime, and local/national causes can increase the vulnerability a person has to becoming a victim of human trafficking. Despite pop culture depictions, most human trafficking victims are not held with chains or snatched off the street one day. Often times, many people don’t even realize they are victims. Situations  in their life like dysfunctional families, lack of education or economic opportunity, gendered violence, marginalization, and abandonment slowly desensitize them to reality.

Many people think eliminating demand will reduce human trafficking. This is very difficult because this is a billion-dollar industry that is largely hidden from society. Traffickers are rarely prosecuted and have the luxury of trafficking a renewable good: people. Unlike drugs or other illegal trafficking goods, people can be bought and sold over and over again. Traffickers have the luxury of anonymity—we must work together to bring their crimes into the light.

Others think the strategy to eliminating human trafficking is ending poverty, but it goes beyond that. The standard of living, human attachment, quality education, safety, and security of a person is the only way to ensure they are not trafficked. By reducing their vulnerability, prevention is prioritized. Prosecuting traffickers, increasing the visibility of the issue, and reducing peoples’ vulnerability are the only ways we can ensure human trafficking ends.

The Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons (CSTIP) is a group of  UN NGOs dedicated to addressing Human Trafficking  through advocacy at the UN and beyond . Right now, we are engaged in a social media campaign “Who Made My Clothes” in order to pressure lawmakers into creating transparency in the fashion industry that will reduce forced labor and poor labor conditions for people around the world.

You can get more information at:

NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons can be found in the Face Book and Twitter.

Twitter : #endmodernslavery #endhumantrafficking #endforcedlabour #SDGs
– Alexis Keller, Intern with MMS