Human Trafficking Is A Huge Problem In America

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To the dismay of many people, human trafficking is a huge problem in America. Most people would like you to believe that things like that don’t happen here, that is something that happens in other countries, poorer countries, not the U.S. of A. It has become such an epidemic here, that it can no longer be ignored. Though it is currently difficult to know the exact number of people that are victim to human trafficking due to it being a hidden crime, the US is currently ranked in the top 10 destinations for human trafficking. (Hepburn, Simon 2010) I would like to define human trafficking, as it is understood by Homeland Security so when it is mentioned it will be comprehended the same way throughout, Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. (dhs.gov) Though history would like for you to believe that slavery was abolished in 1838 after the American Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation that was signed by Abraham Lincoln. Unfortunately, none of that is true. There is more human slavery in the world today, than ever before. It is considered a low risk, high reward enterprise since it is hard to prove and convict compared to the amount of money that is made from it. One major difference between then and now would be that back then, human slaves were property and worth a monetary value. Whereas now there is no monetary value to the person, only what they can do to make the trafficker money. Once the slave becomes of no use, whether it is from health issues or an undesirable age, they are no longer making money, so they are easily replaced. Human trafficking is thought to be the third largest criminal activity following closely behind gun and drug trafficking. (Logan, Walker, Hunt 2009) It reportedly generates a profit of $32 billion every year, (dosomething.org) Though it seems that sex trafficking gets more attention in the media due to it being more overdramatized; labor trafficking is more common and harder to prove in a court of law. One huge misconception about human trafficking is that a person has to be transported from one country to another to be considered trafficking, however, it can take place all in one country. There is an estimated 100,000-150,000 people that the US government believes to be kept in slavery here in America. (arkofhopeforchildren.org) Common factors that lead people to become victims is often extreme poverty, they may be born in to, they may be runaways living on the streets making them easy targets for kidnapping, or they may be tricked. When someone has grown up in poverty and they are offered an opportunity to either make a better life for themselves or their children, it makes them susceptible to any promises made of a better life. Often parents in poverty are persuaded with hope. Hope of a better life, better education, or even a better life here in America,

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