Drinking the KoolAid

Human trafficking is one of the top 3 most lucrative businesses in the world, making about $150 billon worldwide. In other words, the human trafficking industry makes about $32 billon per year in the United States. If you do the math, that accounts for about a quarter just in one country alone! Now remember, although the United States is a very big country, it is big in territory and not in population when compared to other countries. Hence, contributing to a quarter is statistically very significant, don’t you think?

The illegal movement of women and children accounts for the biggest piece of the pie. And who is consuming it? You are. Yes – YOU! You are contributing to the trafficking of human beings, whether you are aware of it or not. Then again, I do not believe that ignorance is bliss, especially when the lives and wellbeing of other human beings is on the line.

“The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally, including 5.5 million children. 55% are women and girls.”

So, how do you contribute to the kidnapping of individuals and to ‘modern’ slavery? It’s very simple. A business can only thrive if a demand-offer relationship exists. If the demand decreases, the offer will decrease. Consequentially, if the demand increases, the offer will increase too. Now think about this. Human trafficking is an industry that makes $150 billion… hold on, isn’t this amount mind-blowing? Think about what you would do with $1 million; leave alone $1 billion! And we are talking about $150 billion here folks!!! &%#$@%!!! Anyways, I got sidetracked… please excuse me.

Human trafficking is an industry that makes $150 billion from controlling and exploiting human beings, which clearly demonstrates that the demand is extremely high. The offer has to meet the needs of the consumers by controlling and exploiting more and more individuals in order to keep up with the demand. It makes sense, right? No demand, no offer, no business, no human trafficking. Crystal-clear.

“According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.”

Do you remember how they used to put photographs of missing children on the milk or cereal box? You know, those faces staring at you while you were trying to enjoy your breakfast before starting your day. Have you every wondered what happened to all those missing boys and girls? As the years go by and the media does not keep the news current and sensationalized, people have the tendency to forget all about it…except for the family members. Most parents, family members and friends will never get the closure they need to move on and live, because they will probably never know what happened to their children. The reality is that most of these missing children that you may have seen on the milk or cereal box were never found. Not even their bodies. And let me tell you that most of the children that continue disappearing every single day won’t be found.

Have you every asked yourself what happens to all these missing individuals? I guess it’s safe to assume that a big percentage end up in the human market to be trafficked with as an expendable product. Now let your imagination take over and envision what could have happened to them. Prostitution, pornography, organ transplant, strip clubs, brothels, online sex rooms, forced labor, human testing… All these may sound like scenarios pulled out of a science fiction movie, but they are actually real-life scenarios, as real as you and me.

Now if you are still wondering what you have to do in all of this… you are not part of all this human trafficking business… Right? Think again.

Do you watch pornography? Human trafficking primarily involves exploitation, which subjects victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography. In other words, when you are watching those videos you are not looking at actors and actresses that are willingly and freely having sex on camera. Active porn consumers know exactly what I am talking about. They know their ways around the WWW and are aware of what can be found out there. In fact, “homemade” videos in which the victims are often drugged or coerced to have sex while being recorded, or are being recorded without their consent, are highly demanded by porn consumers. Have you every thought that when you watch pornography, you are watching someone else’s daughter, son, niece, nephew, granddaughter, sister, brother… keep that in mind! It could be your family member or close-friend that you will see on the screen next time.

Do you go to strip clubs? A vast number of human trafficking victims end up working in strip clubs where they are forced to involuntary servitude. Strippers “belong” to their owners, and have to work for them in order to make enough money to pay for their freedom. This is known as debt bondage. And there you have these oppressed women being humiliated and embarrassed by customers that do not care about who they are or what their story is. These human beings are being treated as mere objects by people that walk in, stay for a small period of time to ‘have some fun’, and then walk out and go back to their normal lives, while these women continue living in hell.

Do you pay for sex? Human trafficking primarily involves exploitation, which forces victims into prostitution. You have the big media companies hyper sexualizing advertisements by the objectification of women, stating that ‘sex sells”. Of course it does! That is what people have been trained to believe, making them consume sex. According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation. And guess what, a big part of that percentage involves children. Then you have those that say that the prostitutes they know are in the ‘profession’ because they want to, because they like it. Well, they clearly do not understand anything about human psychology, oppression, or coercion.

And let’s not talk about all the minors that are involved in pornography, strip clubs, and prostitution. That is a rabbit hole I am not trying to go down right now. What I want you to be aware of is that human traffickers use violence, threats, deception, debt bondage, and many other manipulative tactics to trap victims in indescribably horrific situations every single day. All victims, whether they are victims of forced labor or sex exploitation, have something in common – the essential experience of freedom loss.

So next time you get ready to watch porn, head to the strip club, or pull up to have sex with a prostitute, please remember that because of you – and other customers like you – men, women, and children are trafficked with in order to satisfy your selfish needs. Human trafficking is an industry that exists because you contribute to the demand. Remember, your daughter, son, niece, nephew, granddaughter, grandson, brother or sister… could end up being a product of the market you like to frequent.

Photo credit: I am uncertain if this image belongs to public domain or not, as I couldn’t find any copyright or ownership attached to it. If it belongs to someone, please message me with proof and I will add the appropriate credit to it. Thank you, and sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

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