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55 Little Known Facts About . . .

Human Trafficking

  1. Approximately 75-80% of human trafficking is for sex.a
  2. Researchers note that sex trafficking plays a major role in the spread of HIV.b
  3. There are more human slaves in the world today than ever before in history.l
  4. There are an estimated 27 million adults and 13 million children around the world who are victims of human trafficking.l
  5. Human trafficking not only involves sex and labor, but people are also trafficked for organ harvesting.k
  6. Human traffickers often use a Sudanese phrase “use a slave to catch slaves,” meaning traffickers send “broken-in girls” to recruit younger girls into the sex trade. Sex traffickers often train girls themselves, raping them and teaching them sex acts.l
  7. Eighty percent of North Koreans who escape into China are women. Nine out of 10 of those women become victims of human trafficking, often for sex. If the women complain, they are deported back to North Korea, where they are thrown into gulags or are executed.h
  8. woman human trafficking Approximately 30,000 victims of sex trafficking die each year
  9. An estimated 30,000 victims of sex trafficking die each year from abuse, disease, torture, and neglect. Eighty percent of those sold into sexual slavery are under 24, and some are as young as six years old.j
  10. Ludwig “Tarzan” Fainberg, a convicted trafficker, said, “You can buy a woman for $10,000 and make your money back in a week if she is pretty and young. Then everything else is profit.”l
  11. A human trafficker can earn 20 times what he or she paid for a girl. Provided the girl was not physically brutalized to the point of ruining her beauty, the pimp could sell her again for a greater price because he had trained her and broken her spirit, which saves future buyers the hassle. A 2003 study in the Netherlands found that, on average, a single sex slave earned her pimp at least $250,000 a year.l
  12. Although human trafficking is often a hidden crime and accurate statistics are difficult to obtain, researchers estimate that more than 80% of trafficking victims are female. Over 50% of human trafficking victims are children.l
  13. The end of the Cold War has resulted in the growth of regional conflicts and the decline of borders. Many rebel groups turn to human trafficking to fund military actions and garner soldiers.k
  14. According to a 2009 Washington Times article, the Taliban buys children as young as seven years old to act as suicide bombers. The price for child suicide bombers is between $7,000-$14,000.n
  15. UNICEF estimates that 300,000 children younger than 18 are currently trafficked to serve in armed conflicts worldwide.n
  16. baby sold Pregnant women are increasingly being trafficked for their newborns
  17. Human traffickers are increasingly trafficking pregnant women for their newborns. Babies are sold on the black market, where the profit is divided between the traffickers, doctors, lawyers, border officials, and others. The mother is usually paid less than what is promised her, citing the cost of travel and creating false documents. A mother might receive as little as a few hundred dollars for her baby.k
  18. More than 30% of all trafficking cases in 2007-2008 involved children being sold into the sex industry.o
  19. The Western presence in Kosovo, such as NATO troops and civilians, have fueled the rapid growth of sex trafficking and forced prostitution. Amnesty International has reported that NATO soldiers, UN police, and Western aid workers “operated with near impunity in exploiting the victims of the sex traffickers.”g
  20. Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video is about human trafficking. In the video, Gaga is trafficked by a Russian bathhouse into sex slavery.f
  21. Human trafficking is the only area of transnational crime in which women are significantly represented—as victims, as perpetrators, and as activists fighting this crime.a
  22. Global warming and severe natural disasters have left millions homeless and impoverished, which has created desperate people easily exploited by human traffickers.k
  23. Over 71% of trafficked children show suicidal tendencies.l
  24. After sex, the most common form of human trafficking is forced labor. Researchers argue that as the economic crisis deepens, the number of people trafficked for forced labor will increase.k
  25. Most human trafficking in the United States occurs in New York, California, and Florida.l
  26. According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), over the past 30 years, over 30 million children have been sexually exploited through human trafficking.k
  27. Several countries rank high as source countries for human trafficking, including Belarus, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Albania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, China, Thailand, and Nigeria.l
  28. Belgium, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Thailand, Turkey, and the U.S. are ranked very high as destination countries of trafficked victims.l
  29. Women are trafficked to the U.S. largely to work in the sex industry (including strip clubs, peep and touch shows, massage parlors that offer sexual services, and prostitution). They are also trafficked to work in sweatshops, domestic servitude, and agricultural work.l
  30. rape Sex traffickers often use brutal violence to “condition” their victims
  31. Sex traffickers use a variety of ways to “condition” their victims, including subjecting them to starvation, rape, gang rape, physical abuse, beating, confinement, threats of violence toward the victim and victim’s family, forced drug use, and shame.l
  32. Family members will often sell children and other family members into slavery; the younger the victim, the more money the trafficker receives. For example, a 10-year-old named Gita was sold into a brothel by her aunt. The now 22-year-old recalls that when she refused to work, the older girls held her down and stuck a piece of cloth in her mouth so no one would hear her scream as she was raped by a customer. She would later contract HIV.l
  33. Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises because it holds relatively low risk with high profit potential. Criminal organizations are increasingly attracted to human trafficking because, unlike drugs, humans can be sold repeatedly.k
  34. Human trafficking is estimated to surpass the drug trade in less than five years. Journalist Victor Malarek reports that it is primarily men who are driving human trafficking, specifically trafficking for sex.i
  35. Victims of human trafficking suffer devastating physical and psychological harm. However, due to language barriers, lack of knowledge about available services, and the frequency with which traffickers move victims, human trafficking victims and their perpetrators are difficult to catch.i
  36. In approximately 54% of human trafficking cases, the recruiter is a stranger, and in 46% of the cases, the recruiters know the victim. Fifty-two percent of human trafficking recruiters are men, 42% are women, and 6% are both men and women.d
  37. Human trafficking around the globe is estimated to generate a profit of anywhere from $9 billion to $31.6 billion. Half of these profits are made in industrialized countries.d
  38. Some human traffickers recruit handicapped young girls, such as those suffering from Down Syndrome, into the sex industry.l
  39. According to the FBI, a large human-trafficking organization in California in 2008 not only physically threatened and beat girls as young as 12 to work as prostitutes, they also regularly threatened them with witchcraft.e
  40. Human trafficking is a global phenomenon that is fueled by poverty and gender discrimination.k
  41. Human traffickers often work with corrupt government officials to obtain travel documents and seize passports.i
  42. Women and girls from racial minorities in the U.S. are disproportionately recruited by sex traffickers in the U.S.l
  43. The Sunday Telegraph in the U.K. reports that hundreds of children as young as six are brought to the U.K. as slaves each year.m
  44. japan traffic Japan is a major hub of sex trafficking
  45. Japan is considered the largest market for Asian women trafficked for sex.i
  46. Airports are often used by human traffickers to hold “slave auctions,” where women and children are sold into prostitution.m
  47. Due to globalization, every continent of the world has been involved in human trafficking, including a country as small as Iceland.k
  48. Many times, if a sex slave is arrested, she is imprisoned while her trafficker is able to buy his way out of trouble.l
  49. Today, slaves are cheaper than they have ever been in history. The population explosion has created a great supply of workers, and globalization has created people who are vulnerable and easily enslaved.l
  50. Human trafficking and smuggling are similar but not interchangeable. Smuggling is transportation based. Trafficking is exploitation based.l
  51. Sex traffickers often recruit children because not only are children more unsuspecting and vulnerable than adults, but there is also a high market demand for young victims. Traffickers target victims on the telephone, on the Internet, through friends, at the mall, and in after-school programs.o
  52. Human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and in some U.S. territories.e
  53. The FBI estimates that over 100,000 children and young women are trafficked in America today. They range in age from nine to 19, with the average being age 11. Many victims are not just runaways or abandoned, but are from “good” families who are coerced by clever traffickers.o
  54. Brazil and Thailand are generally considered to have the worst child sex trafficking records.k
  55. The AIDS epidemic in Africa has left many children orphaned, making them especially vulnerable to human trafficking.l
  56. Nearly 7,000 Nepali girls as young as nine years old are sold every year into India’s red-light district—or 200,000 in the last decade. Ten thousand children between the ages of six and 14 are in Sri Lanka brothels.j
  57. Human trafficking victims face physical risks, such as drug and alcohol addiction, contracting STDs, sterility, miscarriages, forced abortions, vaginal and anal trauma, among others. Psychological effects include developing clinical depression, personality and dissociative disorders, suicidal tendencies, Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.l
  58. The largest human trafficking case in recent U.S. history occurred in Hawaii in 2010. Global Horizons Manpower, Inc., a labor-recruiting company, bought 400 immigrants in 2004 from Thailand to work on farms in Hawaii. They were lured with false promises of high-paying farm work, but instead their passports were taken away and they were held in forced servitude until they were rescued in 2010.c
  59. According to the U.S. State Department, human trafficking is one of the greatest human rights challenges of this century, both in the United States and around the world.l

-- Posted January 2, 2011

References

a Aronowitz, Alexis A. 2009. Human Trafficking, Human Misery: The Global Trade in Human Beings. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Publishing Group.

b Destefano, Anthony M. 2007. The War on Human Trafficking. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

c “Hawaii Home to Largest Human Trafficking Case in U.S. History.” ABC News. September 2, 2010. Accessed: December 26, 2010.

d “Human Trafficking.” Unglobalcompact.org. Accessed: December 26, 2010.

e “International Human Trafficking.” FBI. November 23, 2009. Accessed: December 23, 2010.

f Keehn Anne.  “Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance Video About . . . Sex Slavery?” FTSBlog.net. September 13, 2010. Accessed: December 26, 2010.

g “Kosovo U.N. Troops ‘Fuel Sex Trade.’” BBC News. May 6, 2004. Accessed: December 20, 2010.

h Liebelson, Dana. “Nine out of Ten Women Escaping North Korea Are Trafficked.” Human Trafficking Change. October 29, 2010. Accessed: December 26, 2010.

i Malarek, Victor. 2003. The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade. New York, NY: Arcadia Publishers.

j “Millions Suffer in Sex Slavery.” NewsMax. April 24, 2001. Accessed: December 26, 2010.

k Shelley, Louise. 2010. Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

l Skinner, E. Benjamin. 2008. A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery. New York, NY: Free Press.

m “Slaves Auctioned by Traffickers.” BBC News. June 4, 2006. Accessed: December 28, 2010.

n “Taliban Buying Children for Suicide Bombers.” The Washington Times. July 2, 2009. Accessed: December 29, 2010.

o “Teen Girls Stories of Sex Trafficking in the U.S.” ABC News/Primetime. February 9, 2006. Accessed: December 26, 2010.