Human trafficking has been an ongoing issue in the United States affecting millions of innocent lives each day. The practice of this so called modern slavery has evolved in a completely inhumane way and it is an activity as old as history itself. Our society is one where the atrocious beatings owners gave their slaves are considered history. We live in a society that knows little about the severity of a crime that is still alive today and that is gaining momentum around the world. Human trafficking for sexual and economic exploitation is related to the development model that adopts the world.
This model is based on an understanding of competitiveness that pushes a steady reduction in labor costs. In the past, slaves were captured by enemy groups and sold as a commodity. Today, poverty makes people socially vulnerable while ensuring supply of skilled labor for trafficking – while the demand for this workforce maintains the trade of people. This cycle attracts intermediaries such as “cats” (contractors who draw people to be exploited on farms and charcoal), the “coyotes” (who specialize in transporting people across the border between Mexico and the United States) and other “animals” that profit on those seeking a better life.
This is a trade that takes place around the world, involving women, youth and children from third world countries. Many of them trying to escape from a life of poverty and war in an attempt to reach the streets of developed countries in search of a better life. They are the cannon fodder of a submerged business that moves billions of dollars annually, beyond the treasury and also often linked to some other illegal activities. That is why it is considered the second most lucrative illegal activity in the world after drug trafficking.
This issue has raised many concerns in our government. Right before the elections, president Obama declared a war in human trafficking. On a speech given at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, the president announced a new offensive against what he calls “modern slavery” of trafficking. The president said he had ordered U. S. agencies to intensify efforts to eliminate human trafficking. This includes stricter laws that prevent companies serving the state to hire workers who are victims of trafficking, strengthening the legal procedures to combat traffickers and assist victims.