Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Human Trafficking

This past weekend I went to an event that talked about sex trafficking and how one Christian organization is working to rescue women. We heard the stories of three different women who left their home in a tier 3 country with the promise of a new job in a nearby country. Once they arrive they realize that there is no job, but instead they are sold as a "wife" to the highest bidder and left to a life of abuse and servitude.

Sex trafficking has, unfortunately, become more lucrative in the black market than drugs and is a form of modern day slavery. The reason for this is that there is very little overhead required to entrap someone but they can bring in an income for years to come. Often those who are trafficked are put into a system where they have to pay back their "travel and living expenses" to those who have trafficked them.

While no country appears to be immune to human trafficking some are working harder against it than others. According to the US State Department countries have been divided into to tiers based on the way that they respond to trafficking.

  • Tier 1: Countries that fully comply with the act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.
  • Tier 2: Countries that do not fully comply with the minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance.
  • Tier 2 Watch List: Countries on Tier 2 requiring special scrutiny because of a high or significantly increasing number of victims; failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons; or an assessment as Tier 2 based on commitments to take action over the next year.
  • Tier 3: Countries that neither satisfy the minimum standards nor demonstrate a significant effort to come into compliance. Countries in this tier are subject to potential non-humanitarian and non-trade sanctions.
If you would like to know more about how you can fight against human trafficking either visit stop the traffic, the refugee highway or write to me and I will tell you more specific ways that you can oppose this injustice.