"Human trafficking is slavery. It’s the illegal trade of human beings. It’s the recruitment, control, and use of people for their bodies and for their labor. Through force, fraud, and coercion, people everywhere are being bought and sold against their will–right now in the 21st century. But phrases like ‘slavery’ and ‘human trafficking’ can still feel ambiguous. This is the reality: slavery is violence. It’s physical, verbal, and sexual abuse. It’s forced prostitution. It’s barbaric working conditions. Slavery is more stoppable than ever, and that’s why we’re here, rallying around the world and doing the work together." -A21.org

"HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS THE FASTEST GROWING GLOBAL CRIME AFFECTING EVERY CONTINENT AND ECONOMIC STRUCTURE IN THE WORLD. IT IS HAPPENING IN INDUSTRIES THAT WE INTERACT WITH ON A DAILY BASIS." -A21 Campaign

TYPES OF TRAFFICKING 

The icon graphics below were sourced via A21 Campaign 

THE TRAFFICKERS

"Traffickers lure and ensnare people into forced labor and sex trafficking by manipulating and exploiting their vulnerabilities. Human traffickers recruit, transport, harbor, obtain, and exploit victims – often using force, threats, lies, or other psychological coercion. Traffickers promise a high-paying job, a loving relationship, or new and exciting opportunities. In other cases, they may kidnap victims or use physical violence or substance abuse to control them.

Traffickers employ a variety of control tactics, including physical and emotional abuse, sexual assault, confiscation of identification and money, isolation from friends and family, and even renaming victims. Often, traffickers identify and leverage their victims’ vulnerabilities in order to create dependency. They make promises aimed at addressing the needs of their target in order to impose control. As a result, victims become trapped and fear leaving for myriad reasons, including psychological trauma, shame, emotional attachment, or physical threats to themselves or their children’s safety.

Often the traffickers and their victims share the same national, ethnic, or cultural background, allowing the trafficker to better understand and exploit the vulnerabilities of their victims. Traffickers can be lone individuals or extensive criminal networks. Pimps, gangs, family members, labor brokers, employers of domestic servants, small business owners, and large factory owners have all been found guilty of human trafficking. Their common thread is a willingness to exploit other human beings for profit."

-POLARIS PROJECT (via: https://polarisproject.org/victims-traffickers)

ANTI-TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATIONS TO LEARN MORE & GET INVOLVED

Below are a few of the many organizations working to combat human trafficking. Visit their websites by clicking the boxes below to learn more, find volunteer opportunities, and join the fight against human trafficking.

BECOME A CONSCIOUS CONSUMER

Become a conscious and informed consumer. Countless goods we buy and consume every day involve forced labor and/or child labor, as well as produced by individuals who work in unfair, dangerous working conditions. Take steps to investigate and prevent human trafficking in the supply chain and help increase consumer awareness.

Above artwork is by Shelby Ling, via  @_shelbyling_