Traffickers always lure victims, often both adults and children, into trafficking through a series of empty promises such as a better life or opportunity. The reasons why people get trapped are:
- Lack of basic needs such education, food, standard life and enough exposure, especially in poverty-stricken areas, often attract a vast population of potential victims who are easily lured into sex trafficking.
- Lack of knowledge about human rights would make one vulnerable to sex trafficking.
- Mostly, these victims are attracted by promises quoting better employment opportunities in popular cities. Unluckily for the men, these promises turn into underpaid, overworked jobs mostly in farms, industries and construction sites while also being coerced into offering commercial sex.
- As for women and young girls, they are forced to work in clubs, hotels, restaurants, spas, modeling agencies and domestic households. Little known to the public, some of the traffickers disguise themselves as dating sites that provide matchmaking services to the unsuspecting public. Sadly, upon transition, these individuals are welcomed in shock where they get abused, traded and instilled fear in the sex industry.
- Traffickers operate through a series of lies where their victims are required to earn their freedom after “paying up” their debts. These debts are often incurred from the chain of services that the trafficker offered first hand. The obligations may entail of transport expenses, upkeep, documents processing fees, recruitment or examination fees. In some cases, beyond providing forced commercial sex, victims may be forced to work under unfavourable conditions, mostly as transport or recruiting parties.
While conducting other duties, these victims stand vulnerable and may be caught by the long arm of the law, earning unfair detainment periods for pursuing illegal activities. Moreover, these individuals are exposed to trying conditions that may force the victim into drug addiction, malnutrition, mental and physical trauma, sexually transmitted infections and diseases.
The International Definition
Forced sexual services and underlined below forced labour. The UN’s Treaty ordained to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, particularly for women and children, highlights three indicators in its definition: the act, the methods, and the object.
Sex trafficking is the engaging, transportation, trading of individuals who remain vulnerable to blackmail and deception and eventually end up being sexually exploited forcefully for the trafficker’s benefits.
The Demand for Sex Trafficking: Be in the Know
Just like any other business that is controlled by the forces of the market; demand and supply, so does sex trafficking. With a recorded increase in demand for commercial sex, the traffickers respond by increasing their need to supply victims to maximize their profits. It is, therefore, accurate to mention that individuals that buy commercial sex are the critical elements that force an increase in human trafficking cases. By eliminating this driving force and not engaging in commercial sex acts, the society will greatly reduce the demand for sex trafficking.
Trafficking and the Internet
The Internet has its cons and pros but, in this case, the internet has played a major role in escalating the supply and demand of commercial sex. Today, the world has become a global village due to the internet, making it easier for traffickers and clients to complete a transaction over a victim’s services, discreetly. Moreover, traffickers have adapted internet platforms such as dating sites, social media and online advertisement to market victims and minors. Unknown to the public, some advertisements on social sites posted by willing individuals looking to engage in the sex trade are often controlled and managed by traffickers. Although some websites try to filter the pop-up ads, some still infiltrate due to the massive volume passing through the internet. Sometime back when the Craigslist Adult Services Section was still operational, there were records of an average of 15000 adult services postings every day within the United States alone.