Human trafficking is a heinous issue that is very serious and dangerous for our society. When we think of slaves and slavery, we believe that the topic refers to the past centuries. However, this hideous and frightening crime is still present in our times. It is widely known that human trafficking has become an expanding issue across the world. Officially, it is defined as the violation of human rights (International Federation of Social Workers, 2016a). For instance, human trafficking involves selling, purchasing, bargaining, and exploiting individuals in harsh and cruel abusive circumstances. The victims are usually coerced, deceived, and forced into maleficent and rough labor, sexual exploitation, or the removal of their organs. The individuals who are victims of human trafficking are exposed to harsh living conditions and forced to perform demeaning acts that impact them throughout their life. Human traffickers often gain wealth through the exploitation of others. International Federation of Social Workers (2016b) indicates that all humans have the right to social protection that can enhance the quality of life of populations that appear to be too vulnerable and underprivileged in resources for an adequate quality of life.
Human trafficking in the United States has expanded to reach many vulnerable populations. People can become involved with human trafficking through socialization. Victims of human trafficking are often seeking to obtain a better life, but they encounter deception and take part in human trafficking or learn the truth about the situation after they are already involved. These individuals become victims of crime through falsification and social interaction. Bliss and Rasmussen (2013) state that specialists in the field often deal with diverse challenging dilemmas. This statement indicates the relevance for social policies to be developed to benefit the well-being of diverse populations. Human service professionals must consider all areas of a client’s life.
Human trafficking is destructive and horrifying for our society. Furthermore, one should not forget that it has an even more negative effect on those who had experienced it. To put it bluntly, in addition to the terrorizing physical and sexual violence experience, those who had suffered through modern slavery often experience a great amount of trauma, such as brainwashing, psychological damage from captivity, and the fear of reprisal. It is obvious, that the emotional effects of such trauma are persistent and devastating. The victims that escaped or were saved from human trafficking suffer from panic attacks, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and eating disorders. In some cases, emotional problems could also cause physical health problems. For example, service providers mention that some victims complain about stomach aches or headaches. Given the impact of these trauma symptoms on persons’ daily lives and their physical and emotional well-being, it is not surprising that some victims of human trafficking experience difficulties reintegrating back into society.
Human trafficking probably will always remain a global issue. For centuries, we have not managed to deal with it and it remains. No one can be certain about the possibility of stopping this crime. However, the reduction of these crimes is in our hands. Though there might never be a way to put an end to human trafficking, our ultimate power is the knowledge that we should spread around the world. Informing people of the remaining global threat, letting them know who to contact in case of danger, providing necessary help and aid to the victims of human trafficking – these are the steps we can and should take to improve the situation in the world and shorten the number of these heinous cases of crimes against humanity.
Bliss, S., & Rasmussen, B. (2013). Reflections on contemporary psychodynamic theory in clinical social work. Journal of Social Work Practice, 27(3), 211–215.
International Federation of Social Workers. (2016a). Human trafficking. Web.
International Federation of Social Workers. (2016b). The role of social work in social protection systems: The universal right of social protection. Web.