Sex trafficking refers to human slavery whereby an individual is forced or coerced into sexual work nationally and across global borders (Hepburn & Simon, 2013). Victims thereafter are subjected to uncontrolled servitude, slavery, and debt captivity. These include prostitution, pornography, and sexual favors in return for money or goods. Over 1 million women, children inclusive are trafficked across borders although, over the years, the number of children has seen a sharp rise. Sex trafficking is often unseen as the victims operate in dimply lit brothels, unmarked suburban’s, neighborhoods, and away from the public limelight. Additionally, most the buildings they operate in are marked as parlors, strip clubs, and spas.
The vice thrives well since buyers often fuel the market with their ill-gotten wealth; the trafficker exploits the victims to their advantage, while the victims offer opportunities for making a profit. In most cases, the victims are found through social networks, homes, clubs and bars, the internet, and schools. According to Hepburn and Simon (2013) traffickers use promises such as adventure, money, home, job opportunities, protection, and affection to lure their victims away from the public eye before escaping with them to unknown destinations. In most cases, traffickers lure individuals whom they believe face grave challenges in their day-to-day survival such as lack of food, money, shelter, protection, and affection. Coupled with the use of violence, threats, fear, and intimidation, the traffickers use enticing favors to ensure that their victims comply with their demands. This explains why young, ignorant and naïve children in the age bracket of 14-16 easily fall prey to the traffickers (Hepburn & Simon 2013).
Actions of traffickers and their victims often go undetected and misidentified since the victims are silenced by intimidation and threats while the society only looks into treating only the surface issues. These include such as physical marks of violence such as teenage pregnancy, abortion, drug abuse, and delinquency among others while they are shielding the real solution of freedom for the victims.
Hepburn, S., & Simon, R. J. (2013). Human trafficking around the world: Hidden in plain sight. Columbia University Press.