Human Trafficking Is In Plain Sight. Are You Supporting It Without Knowing?
Human trafficking is a growing epidemic. In addition to the estimated 21.3 million refugees around the world, there are also an estimated 45.8 million people who are currently being trafficked or enslaved. But enslavement is not what we in America often think it is. Those suffering unthinkable psychological, physical and social trauma are part of a global problem that we, as Americans, see, touch and support every day without knowing it. “The general public does not have a real awareness of the magnitude of the problem,” says Barry Koch, a former assistant district attorney in New York County, now with his own consulting firm. “Whether it’s labor trafficking or sex trafficking, the number of victims is staggering, yet many of them remain hidden in plain sight. After drug dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second largest criminal industry in the world, and is the fastest growing. Raising public awareness is an important element in the fight against human trafficking.”
Photo: A law-enforcement guide to human trafficking sits on a table at the Genesis Project, a drop-in center for victims of sex trafficking in SeaTac, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)