Human Slavery

The United Nations has described human trafficking as the fastest growing crime.It is almost overtaking the illegal use of drugs and arms deal in achieving this feat. In 1619 when the first African
slaves were taken to North America into forced labour, they never knew that several centuries will see it transforming to the monster it has become. Though abolished, slave trade still exists and worsened in form of human trafficking which now involves various forms of slavery. Last year, the UNODC Executive Director termed human trafficking as a parasitic crime that feeds on vulnerability, thrives in times of uncertainty and profits from inaction.
The most common reason for trafficking is sexual exploitation which occupies 79% of human trafficking. Women and girls are the predominant victims and many of such traffickers for sexual exploitation are women. Though less detected and reported, forced labour occupies 18% of human trafficking. Humans are also trafficked for several other reasons which include organ harvesting and rituals.
Most common victims of human trafficking are the most desperate and vulnerable in the society. UNICEF estimates that over 30million children have been exploited sexually through human trafficking over the past 30 years and the number is growing daily. Unlike illegal drugs sale, humans can be sold repeatedly hence the increase in growth of human trafficking.
The victims of human trafficking have been estimated to be about 20.9million by the International Labour Organization. This number includes children, known to be over 20% and females comprise 71% of the total number. These victims have limited access to basic necessities of life such as medical care, food, water, safety, sleep and even love. Daily, their human rights are trampled on
hence victims live with the trauma of the experience of human trafficking all their life. Other effects of human trafficking on its victims include:
·         Exposure to diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B etc
·         Mental health risks such as memory loss, depression etc
·         Fear and anxiety
·         Stigmatization and Social ostracism

Most times, traffickers may be close family members, neighbours or friends. They could also be fake employment agencies, front businesses or personal contacts who deceive through word of mouth. This calls for alertness as well as awareness for all. Children should be encouraged to stay away from strangers and learn to be assertive in their decision making so as not to become victims of this growing monster.

By Ifeyinwa Ugo-Amadi

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