Human trafficking and smuggling makes about $67 billion USD per year on the black market. This large profit to black marketers has its roots in lower prices for buyers, but a larger pool of choice. The ease of transportation, as well as more communication channels, has made it easier for lives to be bought and sold.
From 1525 to 1866, during the trans-Atlantic slave trade, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the Americas. Of these people, about 10.7 million survived the trip. Today there are approximately 30 million people living as slaves in the world.
In 1850 the price of a life could vary anywhere from $4,000 to $30,000 (with inflation assumed). Today a trafficked girl in Mozambique can go for as little as $2 or a borrowed child beggar in Thailand for $25. The price for a life can increase up to $78,000 for a Nigerian woman in Italy or $100,000 for military personnel. With the average person being sold at just around $1,200.
The growth of transportation and the ease of communication has made the illegal selling and buying of life affordable to most people anywhere in the world. It seems so far away as if it’s not our problem. However, this is not the case. While the US has one of the lower trafficked people per capita, there is still an estimated 60,000 people living in some form of slavery.
Awareness goes a long way towards bringing down this empire. If you are traveling, offering food to a beggar may go much farther towards helping that person than money. Finding ethically sourced clothing and goods can decrease slave labor. Avoiding pirated music, movies, and entertainment will take away funds from back marketers. We have resources. By just gaining knowledge and changing small habits we can fight human trafficking.
written by Natasha Komen