Do you think that there is no slavery in the contemporary world? Then let me tell you that you are wrong—today’s modern slavery is called human trafficking.
Human trafficking is when the use of force, coercion or fraud is used to attain forced labor or sexual acts. Millions of people, men, women, and children, but mostly women and children are victims of it. The profit of human trafficking annually is around many billions of dollars, which means that it is the second most profitable form of crime, after drug trafficking that is in the first place. Forced labor contributes with 150 billion dollars illegally, every year (Ilo.org, 2016). The trafficker’s method is the use of force, coercion or fraud and lures the victim into a hell on the earth—human trafficking. They search for people who are vulnerable, that includes psychological or emotional vulnerability, natural disasters, financial difficulties, weak social security, or political instability (Dhs.gov, 2016). It is insane that such evil people as traffickers exist on earth- egoistic, abusive and greedy people! Don’t the trafficker think that he has a mother, sister, daughter and that the victims belong to families?? Apparently not!
According to the International Labour Organization, around 21 million persons are victims of forced labor worldwide (Un.org, 2016). The amount includes the victims of human trafficking as sex workers. Twenty-one million??? The amount of people suffering is huge! It is hard to imagine that in the contemporary world this kind of slavery even exists.
In the United Kingdom, an alarming rate was revealed: in one year, about 30% of all the child trafficking victims, and 13% of children that are unaccompanied disappears from… guess where? CARE SERVICES! The places where we put our children with our full trust to go to our work and make an income flow to the family, cannot take care of our children! Hearing that one’s child got injured by accident in care service is hard, but LOST and taken to trafficking is inconceivable. Poor child, you were at a care home, playing innocently until that evil trafficker came and caught you. It is so sad and heartbreaking that such things even happen. According to NGO Ecpat UK and the charity Missing people, 167 of the 590 children identified as victims of child trafficking from 2014 to 2015 disappeared when being in a foster and care home. However, 207 children of the 760 trafficked children have never been found(Kelly and Hodal, 2016) . Where did the social security go that is supposed to be there to protect the people in the state?? Helloo, ‘’social security’’ can you hear me?? Anyone there??
Let’s now check what is happening in the paradise destination Hawaii—there is an ongoing sex trafficking. Kathryn Xian, the founder and head of Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, that is an anti-trafficking group says that it is difficult to get the exact number of how many women are sex trafficked in Hawaii but around thousands each year. Oahu is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and has about 150 brothels that Xian knows about, but there are many unknown including in private homes. There are between three to fifteen girls in every brothel, where the victims are mostly from Asia among other Thailand, Korea, China, and Japan. Girls from Eastern Europe and Russia are also victims of sex trafficking in Hawaii. The customers are rich men, tourists or soldiers and most of them come from Asia or mainland United States. Many of these women are transported through Honolulu, Oahu, to a large military population. After a few months of ‘’work’’, the women are transported to their next stop,often to New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, or Dallas (Aljazeera.com, 2016) . These traffickers do not have any humanity, they are just seeing the women as objects for their illegal business! To be taken as a sex-slave to a military population is scary, creepy, and awful. So if you before were viewing Hawaii as a bright paradise destination, this information made you know the darker side of it.
Lilja 4-ever is a Swedish-Danish true based drama movie from 2002 and is about human trafficking and today’s modern sex-slavery. The story takes place in the Soviet Union, was Lilja, a teenage girl, lives in a poor area in an apartment together with her mother. The mother of Lilja told her daughter that they will immigrate to the USA, but what happens is that Lilja’s mother immigrates together with her boyfriend and leaves Lilja at home. The teenager was left alone with her aunt who was supposed to take care of her but did not. Her friend works as a prostitute and offers Lilja to work with her, but Lilja rejects the offer until one day when a group of boys raped her then she decides to start to work as a prostitute to be able to have an income. She meets Andrei, a ’’lovely sweet’’ guy who becomes her boyfriend and convince her to move to Sweden with him so they will start a new wonderful life their filled with joy and happiness. What happens next is that she travels to Sweden were her boyfriend were supposed to meet her, but instead a trafficker meets her and takes her to an apartment where he tells her that Andrei is waiting for her, then he rapes her and start to force her to have sex with customers—she becomes a victim of human trafficking (Bradshaw, 2003).
As mentioned above, about how traffickers choose people who are vulnerable, was seen when she so called boyfriend Andrei, who she did not know was a trafficker choose her as a target for human trafficking. The movie got many positive feedbacks internationally, and at the European film awards, it was nominated for Best Film. However, the International organization for Migration did a campaign in Moldovia were they screened the movie for 60,000 persons to give them a better understanding of human trafficking and making them more aware of the issue (Iom.md, 2004) . To know that the movie is based on a true story is so sad and unpleasant, but unfortunately, this is what is happening in the contemporary world- many ‘’Lilja‘’ are out there, being forced to perform sexual acts—modern slavery exists.
By Marjam Chahrour
Middlesex University Dubai
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Bradshaw, P. (2003). Lilya 4-Ever. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2003/apr/25/artsfeatures1 [Accessed 4 Dec. 2016].
Dhs.gov. (2016). What Is Human Trafficking? | Homeland Security. [online] Available at: https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/what-human-trafficking [Accessed 29 Nov. 2016].
Ilo.org. (2016). Forced labour, human trafficking and slavery (Forced labour, human trafficking, and slavery). [online] Available at: http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/forced-labour/lang–en/index.htm [Accessed 28 Nov. 2016].
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Kelly, A. and Hodal, K. (2016). Child trafficking victims disappearing from UK care at ‘alarming’ rate. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/nov/14/child-trafficking-victims-disappearing-from-uk-care-at-alarming-rate [Accessed 3 Dec. 2016].
Un.org. (2016). World Day against Trafficking in Persons. [online] Available at: http://www.un.org/en/events/humantrafficking/ [Accessed 1 Dec. 2016].
1st [image] Available at: http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/images/exclusive/0509humantrafficking.jpg [Accessed 1 Dec. 2016].
2nd [image] Available at: http://www.stophumantrafficking.org/uploads/4/2/1/1/4211312/6913435.jpg?321 [Accessed 1 Dec. 2016].