This I Believe

Shiara - Cary, North Carolina
Entered on June 21, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

Sometimes I feel like our society gets so caught up with all of the world’s problems, that we overlook or disregard problems going on right here on our soil. There is a crime called human trafficking, which I believe to be the worst crime possible. The reason being that the criminals see no difference between men, women, and children; they enslave them all. This problem first came to my attention when I saw a movie on Lifetime called Human Trafficking. I had been studying child labor prior to seeing that movie, but after seeing that film, it changed my life. For weeks I had nightmares about the victims. I began studying and researching the topic. I searched for organizations trying to combat this crime and along the way I came across some horrifying truths. 800,000 people are trafficked per year throughout the world, and 200,000 of those victims are trafficked through the United States. 85% of these are females and girls as young as 5 years old are being trafficked. These victims are sold into slavery and usually are forced to become sex slaves. Not only are they sold, but they are raped, tortured, and dehumanized. The most disturbing thing about human trafficking is that it exploits children. Girls as young as five are being forced to have sex 30 times a day. In Taiwan, prostitution is not illegal, so, when an 11 year old is forced to be a prostitute, there is absolutely no protection for her. This is the biggest problem concerning the battle against human trafficking, but in the U.S., we can fix it. Pornography indirectly benefits traffickers. A lot of pornographic films that are sold in the States are from Asian countries, and the starts of the films are trafficking victims. By investing in pornography or buying pornographic films; that profit benefits these traffickers. Now, many people wonder how some fall to victim to this horrendous crime. In many countries, parents actually sell their children in order to get money because they are so poor. Some families are tricked into giving their children with the belief that their children will get a better life. Many victims are kidnapped and this crime is just so lucrative because you can resell people over and over and over again until they die. I have many dreams and many things I want to accomplish, but if there’s only one thing that I can have the power to change, it’s trafficking in persons. Now I make it a point to always bring up this subject when given the chance because I believe that in not addressing the problem, it just continues to grow. Slavery is unconstitutional and yet exists because we continue to ignore the problem.