Sex Trafficking/Modern Slavery: Donald Trump's Quest to Stop Both.
“Slavery is founded on the selfishness of man’s nature; opposition to it on his love of justice.” Abraham Lincoln
Recently, President Donald Trump stated, in regards to human trafficking:
"It's a very, very terrible problem, it's not talked about enough. People don't know enough about it and we're going to talk about it and we're going to bring it out into the open and hopefully we're going to do a great deal to help prevent some of the horrific, really horrific crimes that are taking place." (Reuters, Feb. 23, 2017)
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An Issue That Needs Far More Attention.
Human trafficking can take on any sort of involuntary bondage or servitude. Quite often there is a sexual component to this issue, especially when it involves trafficking in developed nations. In the last couple of years we have become somewhat aware of organized gangs in western Europe who recruit young women on false pretenses ("child grooming") and then course them into prostitution. The scale of the abuse should warrant massive news coverage but, as Donald Trump has stated, it is an issue that gets too little attention in the media.
If we want to help the victims of this practice we need to bring it out into the open. This will put pressure on politicians to act.
Around the early part of the 21st Century there was a fair amount of coverage of the plight of eastern European and Russian women being tricked or forced into sex slavery. As is usually the case any time war or economic circumstances makes people vulnerable to exploitation there will be those who will capitalize on the misery of others. The situation in the former Soviet bloc nations was dire; criminal gangs worked with impunity, there was little if any work available and the ability of law enforcement to tackle such things as human trafficking was severely limited. Sometimes women sought any employment and were willing to be transported to nations in Europe, the Middle East and North America. More were tricked into believing they were being hired as nannies or models only to have their passports confiscated and forced to work in brothels, sex clubs or as private mistresses. Some estimated that hundreds of thousands of women got caught up in this.
As the economy of the former Soviet nations has improved and the legal infrastructure has become more efficient and accountable, the numbers from these regions have decreased, but it still exists. However, we have also become aware of Syrian and Yazidi girls being forced into sex slavery by ISIS captors. Black slaves are sold in some parts of Libya. And in other areas affected by war, or where massive migrations are occurring, people can become easy prey for these operations. As for forced labor this is another aspect of slavery that exists in some areas of the developing world; to assume that slavery ended in the whole world when it ended in the USA is quite naïve. Slavery has existed at some point in every civilization. The Romans practiced it, the Ottoman Empire raided up into eastern Europe for slaves, and areas as far away as Iceland were subject to slave raids from northern Africa; and of course much of Africa was exploited by the European and Arab slave traders.
In a sense extreme power imbalances between cultures contribute to an idea that the most powerful have the right to exploit weaker ones. In societies where enslavement is illegal involuntary servitude feeds into people's vices. At the street level women can be used by gangs to earn money for sexual services. However, to believe that such activities only occur within the confines of the bad parts of town is naive. Wealthy people too are involved in these practices but their ability to remain out-of-sight and safe from legal consequences is far greater.
I attempted to illustrate how this works, in a fictional sense, in my book "Freedom from Conscience - Descent into Darkness." The plot involves the protagonist, a state legislator and vigilante serial killer, must go undercover in an exotic dance establishment, that is in reality a front for a sex trafficking operation. She partners up with a young Russian woman who is seeking answers as to the whereabouts of her vanished sister when someone begins to threaten her family after she begins to expose this issue: https://www.amazon.com/Freedom-Conscience-Descent-Into-Darkness/dp/1612965989 Again Sex trafficking and human slavery are not merely an interesting plot to a psychological thriller or action movie, and it something in which the magnitude far exceeds the attention it receives in the corporate media news outlets. And again, this must change.
To his credit former President Obama has addressed this issue:
"When a man, desperate for work, finds himself in a factory or on a fishing boat or in a field, working, toiling, for little or no pay, and beaten if he tries to escape — that is slavery. When a woman is locked in a sweatshop, or trapped in a home as a domestic servant, alone and abused and incapable of leaving — that’s slavery.
When a little boy is kidnapped, turned into a child soldier, forced to kill or be killed — that’s slavery. When a little girl is sold by her impoverished family — girls my daughters’ age — runs away from home, or is lured by the false promises of a better life, and then imprisoned in a brothel and tortured if she resists — that’s slavery. It is barbaric, and it is evil, and it has no place in a civilized world.”
Last year President Trump issued an executive order, "Executive Order Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption." https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-blocking-property-persons-involved-serious-human-rights-abuse-corruption/ In this the assets of any group or individual engaged in a practice such as traficking of people can be seized. He has also been quite aggressive in prioritizing the apprehension of people engaged in exploiting human beings.
Lastly, a lot of people believe that this sort of thing cannot happen where they live; it must be something that occurs somewhere distant. Actually it does take place even in the heartland of the USA. For more details on this please listen to my interview with Stephanie Olson of the “Set Me Free Project” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH93l8XH9r0 This is something that can take place anywhere and only with shining the spotlight on it will we be able to put a stop to this horrific abuse.