HUMAN TRAFFICKING – MODERN DAY SLAVERY
Trafficking causes unacceptable misery and suffering to those who are dehumanized, forced to become commodities bought, sold, used and abused. The reality is that trafficking is occurring everywhere, including all around us here in Ireland.
At every stage in the trafficking process, the victim loses power, while the trafficker gains more power over their victim. These victims are forced into compliance through physical, psychological and emotional violence exercised by others for financial gain. This form of modern day slavery is dynamic, adaptable and opportunistic, using modern technology and communications. It exploits, deceives and takes advantage of poverty, conflict, humanitarian disasters and vulnerable people in times of crisis.
Established routes for trafficking exist across Africa, Asia and Europe in particular, with more people now enslaved through trafficking than during the entire 400 years of the transatlantic slave trade. With women and children most vulnerable, UNICEF estimates that 1.2 children are trafficked annually for forced labour and sexual exploitation. The UN identifies human trafficking as the third most lucrative crime globally generating in excess of US$ 9.5 billion.
Many groups and bodies are now working actively to raise awareness of trafficking, to provide support and care for victims and to press for legislative reform to ensure that trafficking is illegal and heavily penalised. One example of such a group is Action to Prevent Trafficking. For more information about their work and to access resources see www.aptireland.org