Human trafficking is a criminal industry, and like other businesses legal and illegal it is based on the principles of supply and demand. Many factors make children and adults vulnerable to human trafficking. But, human trafficking does not exist only because people are vulnerable.
Human trafficking is fueled by the demand for cheap labor and commercial sex services. Human traffickers exploit and manipulate others in order to profit from demand.
To begin to solve the problem of human trafficking, we must first bring about change that effects the business of high-profit and low-risk that traffickers currently exploit.
Why does demand continue to thrive?
Labor trafficking and sex trafficking of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals continues to thrive for a number of reasons, including:
Low Risk: When the public is unaware of this issue, when governments lawmakers and community institutions are not trained to respond, when there are ineffective or out of date laws to address the crime, when services for victims do not exist, and when law enforcement does not prosecute the crime, human traffickers see no reason to stop their criminal operations.
High Profits: When individuals are willing to buy commercial sex, they create a market and make it profitable for traffickers to sexually exploit children and adults.
When consumers are willing to buy goods and services from industries that rely on forced labor, they create a profit incentive for labor traffickers to make money.
Unless we make changes human trafficking will continue where traffickers can make billions of dollars with no fear of getting caught.
Educating the public about human trafficking will bring about change, cause policies to change as well, bring about amendments to outdated laws while putting new legislation on the books. Proper training of law enforcement will ensure that victims of trafficking are not arrested but instead diverted to the services they need.
There are so many resources for those interested in learning more about human trafficking and how to make a real difference.