SOCIAL JUSTICE: SEX TRAFFICKING 2 Social Justice: Sex Trafficking Human Trafficking is a social justice issue that not only effects The United States but is a large global issue effecting every single country in the world. Human Trafficking as well-known as an “unjustified trade” and described as the enslavement of human beings. Human trafficking is used greatly to exploit the most vulnerable groups of people. As a result, trafficked victims are coerced to give up their freedom and ultimately make the trafficked individual subject to forceful subjugation. Human trafficking manifests in the form of different groupings. Human Trafficking can be many different things such as illegal organ trafficking and bonded labor however, one of the largest industries in the world today is Sex Trafficking. There are many factors to consider when understanding the underlying cause of Sex Trafficking including how large of an industry sex trafficking rally is, the targeted groups of people sex trafficked and the physical and mental damage that being sex trafficked can cause. The Sex Trafficking industry is well known for its extensive revenue and how sex trafficking is found in roughly 87% of the world. “Human trafficking victims from roughly 160 countries have been detected in about 140 different countries around the world. Although some trafficking is global, human trafficking is largely a regional and local issue, with 43 percent of trafficking happening domestically.” The industry itself is so widely spread that when traveling to pretty much anywhere, there will still be chances that predator’s will be after new people to exploit and take control of. “Sex trafficking is a growing global industry and occurs in a wide variety of venues within the sex industry, including residential brothels, online escort services, fraudulent massage businesses, strip clubs, and on the streets” meaning that because the industry SOCIAL JUSTICE: SEX TRAFFICKING 3 is constantly growing, the largest chances of being a victim of sex trafficking occurs in those specific locations. Sex trafficking currently is nearly impossible to control because of the vast amount of money brought in. For Example, “Trafficking in humans generates profits in excess of 12 billion dollars a year for those who, by force and deception, sell human lives into slavery and sexual bondage. Given its current growth rate, human trafficking is expected pass drug trafficking as the second largest criminal industry in the world within the next decades.” The dwindling job opportunities in the world result in many people looking to find money fast. Sex Trafficking, being as one of the leading economic industries, gives job opportunities (although illegal) for people to earn a large amount of money in small amounts of time. “Persons who fall victim to trafficking are not random, but rather are part of populations made vulnerable through economic injustice, racial or ethnic oppression, gender discrimination, or any number of oppressions.” Sex Trafficking occurs mostly to targeted groups of individuals typically known as the most vulnerable groups of people in society. Traffickers look for groups of people who are easier to exploit. Many of these groups of people include the impoverished, people who suffer from addiction and people who receive inadequate educational and employment opportunities. Not to mention that within these groups of people, women are targeting most. “Human trafficking is inextricably linked to the oppression of women and girls: 80 percent of victims are female. The victims of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation are almost exclusively women and children, in which trafficker’s transport or detain their victims in order to profit off of acts of sexual violence.” The targeted people lead to a breathtaking amount of SOCIAL JUSTICE: SEX TRAFFICKING 4 people who are trafficked. “Worldwide, it is estimated that 13-30 million people are currently living as slaves today and 600,000 to 800,000 are trafficked across borders each year.” Children are especially vulnerable to the exploitation of Sex Trafficking. There are several risk factors which make specific groups of children more susceptible to exploitation. Traffickers most often target children with a history of sexual abuse, low self-esteem, and very little social support. Runaway and homeless children, male and female are at high risk for becoming victims because they typically carry all those traits listed. It is extremely important to understand the health issues Sex Trafficking causes to its victims. The people who fall into Sex Trafficking most usually suffer from serious mental and physical health problems during and after victimization. The victims are faced with many variations of extreme physical abuse, sexual abuse and mental abuse. The most common injuries that trafficked individuals encounter include severe broken bones, bruises, burns, traumatic concussions, as well as other injuries that occur during assault. Many of these injuries lead to adverse health problems sometimes requiring long-term treatment for severe physical bodily damage. The victims are often subjected abuse over an extended period and as a result suffer from a very diverse amount of health problems which would be similar to victims who have endured a prolonged amount of torture. Being a victim of sexual exploitation is a traumatic occurrence where there are emotional effects on the victim. After experiencing the sexual exploitation, a victim can suffer from a range of mental disturbances. These disturbances can range anywhere from severe depression to stress. “Moreover, women who are trafficked are faced with issues concerning reproductive health; even those who are not victims of sex trafficking often face coercive sex as a fear tactic, putting trafficked women at risk for sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy. Trafficked women’s access to regular reproductive health care services, such as pap smears, may be negligible to non-existent.” These are not the only health cause of sexual exploitation but because of the abuse these victims endure, they are much more vulnerable to sexual and reproductive health complications. Some examples include, sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) and other gynecological problems and diseases. In a lot of cases, people that are trafficked are not allowed to use condoms or birth control while enslaved. Further, they do not obtain and gynecological examinations. These victims, because of the lack of recourses allowed, face the risk of unwanted pregnancies and in many cases the threat of unmedically treated miscarriages leading to even more health problems. As a result, victims of sexual trafficking experience high rates of abortion and even infertility.