The Fight Against Human Trafficking

Human trafficking may not seem to be a problem as it is simply not talked about or brought up. The truth is that Human trafficking is a very real and serious problem. The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. Human trafficking is an awful thing as it is essentially a form of modern slavery. Human traffickers are estimated to make hundreds of billions of dollars of profits by trapping millions of people in horrific situations. The International Labor Organization estimates that forced labor and human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide. However, there is an organization that is fighting this extreme issue. The organization is called Polaris and its focus is to stop and prevent human trafficking.

As stated on the Polaris website, “Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris systemically disrupts the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do – helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate.”  Polaris has had such a positive impact on human trafficking as it has made human trafficking a crime and brought prevention attempts to all of the states. Polaris is even going outside of the United States to prevent human trafficking. They have partnered with Consejo Ciudadano in Mexico to bring support to trafficking survivors. Polaris has even entered the technology world to prevent human trafficking. The have created a BeFree text line for victims to send texts for help. The text line has a texting shortcode for silent messages. Polaris has had such a positive impact on human trafficking as it has brought several ways to fight and prevent trafficking.

Out of the estimated 20.9 million victims of human trafficking, the International Labour Organization estimates that 68% of them are trapped in forced labor, 26% of them are children, and 55% are women and girls. The fact that human trafficking is eminent, yet it seems to go unnoticed on the daily. The U.S. Department of Labor has even identified 139 goods from 75 countries that are made by forced child labor. The Polaris website states, “In 2016, an estimated 1 out of 6 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims.”  The heartbreaking facts continue to go on. They seem to almost never end. However, Polaris is still constantly doing its best and putting in so much effort to fight this issue. As stated on the Polaris website, “More than 31,600 total cases of human trafficking have been reported to the Hotline in the last eight years.” This shows how much of an impact Polaris has already had on human trafficking in the past eight years. Also on the Polaris website it states, “The number of human trafficking cases that Polaris learns about in the U.S. increases every year.” This shows that the numbers are constantly increasing of trafficking cases being known. Not only is Polaris just knowing about these cases, but they are helping ad fighting for the humans enslaved. They are producing survivors.

Human trafficking occurs even right under our noses. Establishments are constantly being opened that call themselves massage or bodywork businesses. These establishments are just concealing their activities of sex trafficking and forced labor. These are illicit massage businesses that find themselves in local areas and urban mall strips. Polaris is again constantly working to fight this issue. It is stated on the Polaris website that, “Polaris is strengthening the safety net for survivors of human trafficking within illicit massage businesses and identifying, compiling and sharing promising practices to dismantle the criminal networks fueling this form of human trafficking.” They are working with survivors to locate these illicit establishments.  They even constantly attempt to bring government agencies and law enforcement into it.

Polaris also has ways to let people join their cause and help them fight human trafficking. On their website, they have petitions anyone can sign that they are taking to congress to strengthen Anti-Human Trafficking Programs. Another way someone can support Polaris is by donation. There are areas where you can donate on the Polaris website to better their funds towards the fight against human trafficking.

Overall, human trafficking is a very serious problem that is eminent globally. It is an issue that will not go away overnight. However, with a foundation like Polaris, there is a fight against human trafficking that can be joined. It is a fight that Polaris is winning little by little, day by day, to stop this awful and cruel issue of human trafficking.

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