Things You Don’t Want to Hear About Human Trafficking But Need To Know
Posted: May 18 2015
I usually enjoy making light of topics for all of you fine people on this blog, but I’m going to take a rare moment and be completely serious about a very solemn topic: human sex trafficking. It’s an idea so vile that it’s hard to wrap your mind around, or at least it is for me. After all, this world is full of so many beautiful things, it’s hard to reconcile that there’s such deep darkness as well. In the shadows lurk people who will kidnap and sell children as sex toys for profit. And equally as vile are the people out there that purchase them. Luckily, there are advocacy groups that strive to draw attention to this ghastly underbelly of humanity, and they are doing something about it.
In January of this year, the Super Bowl was held in Arizona in the United States. A group named Shared Hope International (SHI) set up life-size sex toy boxes that contained young women who volunteered to stand in them for hours at a time. This effort, dubbed “Children Aren’t Playthings”, was SHI’s way of trying to draw attention to the sex trafficking problem that many experts believe mega sporting events are linked to higher incidents of. They’re goal was to show the public that victims of human sex trafficking are actual human beings, not commodities to be traded.
Actual data about the prevalence of sex trafficking is hard to come by. Obviously, this is something sold so secretly on the black market that it’s not like you can pull up records on the transactions. Victims are also hesitant to report the crimes against them because of the social stigma attached to it. Experts surmise that this is a constant issue, often exacerbated by large events like the Super Bowl. For example, at the Tampa 2009 Super Bowl, the Department of Children and Families identified 24 children between the ages of 11 and 17 trafficked into the city for sex. That may not seem like a huge number, but besides the fact that by my estimation just 1 child is too many, these are human beings essentially being utilized as sex toys.
In fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States reports that by their approximation, 293,000 children in the U.S. are at risk of being exploited and trafficked for sex. That’s just in the United States; imagine that number extrapolated worldwide, especially in very poor countries. It’s overwhelming, and it’s up to all of us as citizens of the world to try and put a stop to it.
What People Realize
What people need to realize about the subtleties of the human sex trafficking trade is that huge events in large cities, like the Super Bowl, will almost certainly be a breeding ground for people looking to exploit children. Anywhere you go where there’s a large influx of people traveling will most certainly include men that are looking for “entertainment” in the form of buying sex. And more people than you are probably comfortable thinking about will specifically search for children to satisfy their need for “entertainment”. Basically, where there is demand there will be supply.
Remember, knowledge is the most important thing you need in order to begin fighting this war. Being aware of issues like this, no matter how difficult they are to read about and understand, is the first thing you should do in order to try and make a change. I, personally, would love to live a world where all sex was consensual, and all people were treated as people and not as sex toys.