Human trafficking is the modern version of slavery where traffickers use fraud, coercion, and force to control adults and children. National Human Trafficking Statistics approximates that forty million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking. Human trafficking has diverse forms, including domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, and forced and bonded labor. Despite intensifying awareness concerning human trafficking and factors that increase individual and community vulnerability, proactive prevention efforts are minimal. Instead, many existing efforts are designed to counter exploitation after they occur (Sulistyowati, 2021). The secondary interventions contrast with the primary intervention, which focuses on prevention by addressing the underlying risk factors.
Trafficking vulnerabilities are factors that increase the risks of exposure to human trafficking. They occur at individual, family, and societal levels. Some of them are gender-based violence, violence and crimes at home, poor housing, poverty, and insufficient awareness. Traffickers take advantage of the victims’ ignorance and weak system for protection and justice (Einbond et al., 2020). They exploit gaps presented by basic, social, physical, and emotional needs. For example, it is easier to lure a hungry person with money, gifts, and promises of employment opportunities to work abroad. The same may not apply to a person from a rich family as they may need an advanced level of tactics. Furthermore, the extent of vulnerabilities is influenced by the route of victimization, gender, and events across life. A proactive approach to human trafficking concentrates on countering the risk factors.
Successful primary prevention strategies employ multiple concurrent approaches at different levels and settings like violence prevention and proper housing and urban development. Other measures include healthcare systems, fair business practices, and social and child welfare. As noted above, human traffickers’ strengths lie in their victims, poverty, and ignorance. Therefore, using evidence-based strategies to minimize family violence and maltreatment creates a safe, stable, peaceful environment that leaves no room for discomfort. Youths should also be enrolled in programs that teach them how to recognize and effectively respond to signs of potential exploitation (Sulistyowati, 2021). Healthcare professionals should be prepared to identify those at risk of trafficking, counsel them and refer them to appropriate services. Fair business policies encourage investigations of forced labor and assist in prosecutions of traffickers through workers’ rights coalitions such as the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.
In a nutshell, modern technology and globalization can reduce or increase the vulnerability to human trafficking depending on how it is used. People should verify information from social media by consulting relevant agencies regarding their authenticity. However, if appropriate care is not exercised, traffickers may use social media to recruit many victims.
I am Ygdalia Dominguez and I will be discussing the risk factors of becoming a human trafficking victim and primary interventions to reduce the crime. Human trafficking involves recruiting, shipping, transferring, and hiding people through force and deception to misuse them for profit (Gormley, 2022). Human trafficking victims can be individuals, young and old, from all upbringings and of all ages. Human trafficking does not happen in one region, but all over the world. Human traffickers usually use violence or fake occupation organizations and false assurances of education and employment opportunities to deceive and force their victims.
There are a series of risk factors associated with becoming an HT victim, and traffickers look for individuals that are vulnerable to exploitation. Such factors include political instability, poverty, racism, and gender inequality, among many more (Gormley, 2022). Political instability incidences such as war, violence, natural disasters, and political conflict create unstable conditions where individuals live in endless fear with little or no hope of surviving. In some incidences, children can be detached from their families and left with no parents to look after and counsel them; thus, human traffickers use this chance. Also, poverty generates misery, which is a great chance for traffickers since they usually target poor communities to offer fake promises to better their situations. Individuals from such communities are at a greater risk of becoming HT victims. Another risk factor for one becoming an HT victim is racism. Individuals that encounter racism experience general obstacles like restricted access to healthcare services, education, credit, and housing. Traffickers utilize this chance to capitalize on such individuals’ vulnerability. Gender inequality is another risk factor for becoming a human trafficking victim. In some cultures, women are inferior to men in areas of work, education, and health among others. In some workstations, women are paid less than men in the same field of work and this makes them open to enrollment by traffickers.
There are primary interventions that can be applied to aid in the reduction and prevention of human trafficking. Primary interventions are essential because they prevent the crime before it happens (Kaya et al., 2022). Primary intervention measures include supporting and building healthy connections, decreasing risks in the people’s surroundings, and growing protective factors. Supporting and building healthy connections involves policies being created for inspecting and answering suspicions of the crime. Also, decreasing risks in the people’s surroundings consists of creating a safe climate for individuals to feel protected from such crime occurrences; thus, provided security can detect any crime occurrence with the community’s support.
Conclusively, human trafficking has been happening for many years in one region and worldwide. Human traffickers usually target vulnerable individuals for specific reasons that leave them helpless, such as poverty, political instability like war, and racism. Everyone’s life and well-being matter; thus, their safety is essential.