Did you know NZ is not immune to human trafficking? A new website provides information on the problem, both globally and locally. It is called the modern day slave trade, and should be ended. Some stats you may not know:
1. There are currently more slaves than at any other time in history – with some estimates of the number being as high as twenty-seven-million.
2. Sex trafficking is one of the three largest industries, coming after the arms and drugs industries. It is estimated to be worth around $32 billion.
3. Many slaves are between the ages of 12 and 14.
4. In many cases, children are sold by their own parents due to extreme poverty. Many parents feel that they have no choice but to sell one of their children in order to provide for the rest of the family.
5. In some countries, such as India, children are sold in to the sex trade as part of a religious tradition. These children are sold to temples as ‘gifts’ at ages as young as eight years old. These girls are then used by priests for their sexual pleasure, and then later on sold again to brothels.
6. 68% of female sex trafficking victims meet the clinical critera for post-traumatic stress disorder – many of these victims are not rescued, and therefore do not receive the treatment they need.
7. One of the biggest causes of sex trafficking is poverty. This is because in severe cases people begin to feel desperate and are willing to take more dangerous risks in search of a better life.
8. Only 1 – 2% of victims are ever rescued according to www.thea21campaign.org
9. In many countries police officers are extremely corrupt and therefore contributed towards the problem of sex trafficking. Countries such as India and Cambodia have seen police officers and government officials contribute towards the growth of the industry as they are frequent customers of such brothels and make very little effort to enforce any anti-trafficking laws.
10. Around half of the trafficking victims in the world are under the age of 18. And the average age of a trafficking victim is just 12 years old.
11. Children who have been trafficked are far more likely to develop mental health problems, as well as engage in substance abuse and engage in prostitution once they are adults.
12. Many trafficking victims are scared to seek help because they fear that the traffickers will hurt their families, or that they will be deported and treated as criminals.
Alas, while the world has improved in so many ways in the last 100 years, there is still a huge amount more to be done.