If we put safety first and create awareness we can all do our part to stop human trafficking.
There are an estimated 20.9 Million people trapped in some form of slavery today. It’s sometimes called “Modern-Day Slavery” and sometimes “Human Trafficking.” At all times it is slavery at its core.
While it makes me physically sick to my stomach and it’s not easy to talk about, it’s important. I’m lying if I say that I’ve not thought of it or had a sleepless night or two over it. We worry about safety, so we’ve researched the topic and we will take steps to stay safe while travelling with our children. What shook me into action was this clip on Youtube posted by Courtney from the fabulous Worldinfourdays.com blog where she spoke about a narrow escape she and her daughter had in Paris. Consequently, I realised that we cannot put safety awareness off any longer. Safety is a priority and we must all work together to stop human trafficking.
Obviously, we won’t enjoy our new travelling lifestyle if we are paranoid, but we can take certain measures to organise ourselves and prepare for emergencies to put our minds at ease.
- Are there countries or cities we should avoid?
- What are the warning signs?
- Which goods are produced by child labour?
- Which countries use child labour?
- What can I do about human trafficking?
- How can we stay safe when travelling with children?
Read on to find out.
Not Only For Travellers
South Africa, our own country of birth, is regarded as being an “ideal location” for the multinational criminal industry and was deemed Tier 2 in 2017 on the Human Trafficking tier scale. It is not just travellers who need to be vigilant and who need to know what to do. This horrendous crime can hit you at home. Anywhere in the world for that matter, just like any crime can happen anywhere. We must all be vigilant always. Especially because crime can be everywhere and it happens in our own backyards.
The Definition Of Human Trafficking
The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labour or sexual exploitation. It takes on many forms today including:
- Domestic Servitude: Employees working in private homes are forced or coerced into serving and/or fraudulently convinced that they have no option to leave.
- Forced Labor: Human beings are forced to work under the threat of violence and for no pay. These slaves are treated as property and exploited to create a product for commercial sale.
- Child Labor: Any enslavement, whether forced labour, domestic servitude, bonded labour or sex trafficking, of a child.
- Sex Trafficking: Women, men or children that are forced into the commercial sex industry and held against their will by force, fraud or coercion.
- Bonded Labour: Individuals that are compelled to work in order to repay a debt and unable to leave until the debt is repaid. It is the most common form of enslavement in the world.
- Forced Marriage: Women and children who are forced to marry another without their consent or against their will.
The UN and other experts estimate the total market value of illicit human trafficking at $32 billion, about $10 billion of which is derived from the initial “sale” of individuals, with the remainder representing the estimated profits from the activities or goods produced by the victims of this barbaric crime. Source: http://www.sacbc.org.za/sacbc-cplo-the-2017-trafficking-in-persons-report/
Note to self: Change our travel bucket list to exclude the countries on this list. And suddenly the world gets so much smaller!
- The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally.
- 68% of them are trapped in forced labour.
- 26% of them are children.
- 55% are women and girls.
- The International Labor Organization estimates that forced labour and human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide.
- The U.S. Department of Labor has identified 139 goods from 75 countries made by forced and child labour.
- In 2016, an estimated 1 out of 6 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims.
- Of those, 86% were in the care of social services or foster care when they ran.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
1. REPORT SUSPECTED HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Make sure you know of a reliable reporting channel in your country to report suspected human trafficking. In order for that, you must trust your instinct. Maybe it’s better to be safe and report it than to be sorry that you did nothing. Perhaps you save a life and stop human trafficking for one person.
Global Human Trafficking Resource
Launched by the Polaris Project in 2013 to fight human trafficking globally.
To report a tip, connect with anti-trafficking services in your area, or request information, call The National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 toll-free or send a text to BeFree (233733).
UK Human Trafficking Resource
- If you suspect human trafficking, call the police. Call 999 if it’s an emergency, or 101 if it’s not urgent.
- If you’d prefer to stay anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- If you don’t want to call the police, you can talk to a charity anonymously.
South African Human Trafficking Resource
- Helpline: 0800 222 777 (all calls from South Africa are free)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.0800222777.org.za
Hope for Women SA: Human Rights Organisation working to stop Human Trafficking through prevention, facilitation, restoration and re-integration. Tel: 071 183 9201
2. JOIN THE FIGHT
There should be a local initiative in your country fighting to stop human trafficking. Get involved and find out how you can help their cause. If you do not know where to start, start with the Polaris Project. They are a reputable organisation fighting to stop human trafficking on a global scale by teaming up with major campaigns across the globe.
3. CREATE AWARENESS
Share infographics from the Polaris Project on social media and expand awareness of human trafficking and the Global National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888 toll-free or send a text to BeFree (233733).
HOW TO STAY SAFE
Now that you are aware of human trafficking, know what to do if you suspect it and you’ve decided that you want to get involved to stop human trafficking, you can read how to stay safe while travelling with kids. It’s a big one. Head over there right now to get your family ready.
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