Human trafficking is a major international issue that affects millions of people across the globe. This is a disgraceful crime that is committed by traffickers in order to lure vulnerable individuals into remaining deprived of their dignity for the sake of money or any other benefits (Konrad, 2019). For the most part, traffickers tend to track down children and women in order to exploit them and apply excessive force to make them do something illegal or even engage in human organ trafficking operations. Despite continuous efforts, numerous people still get deceived on a daily basis, with the most popular of trafficking being the purpose of forced sex labor (Frank, 2022). Within the framework of the current paper, the author is going to review the essential risk factors that could make a person way more vulnerable to human trafficking and also discuss potential actions required to prevent similar crimes from being committed.
Key Risk Factors
The fundamental principle of human trafficking is to find people who are inherently vulnerable, as their level of resilience would be reduced compared to common citizens. Therefore, challenges affecting one’s victimization potential can be either social or personal by nature. The primary issue that has to be viewed as a contributor to human trafficking is poverty because it is synonymous with hopelessness (Schwarz et al., 2019). Poor individuals are specifically targeted by traffickers because they can lure them via false opportunities linked to instant monetary profit and the ability to escape marginalization. The poor layer of society is generally prone to risks that could jeopardize their families and put themselves at risk in the first place (Lemke, 2019). Therefore, traffickers often take advantage of the poor because it is easier to recruit them, especially if the wrongdoers catch their victims in the middle of a life crisis.
Another important risk factor is the prevalence of attitudes resembling racism and reflecting the history of colonialist activities. In this case, the problem relates to the incredible degree of marginalization experienced by indigenous populations and other minority representatives (Konrad, 2019). Systemic oppression often creates a stricter environment for those being oppressed, which leads them to behaviors displayed by the poor population. On the other hand, limited access to housing and credit might also spark another wave of racism, forcing burdened individuals to engage unknowingly in relations with human traffickers (Lemke, 2019). The higher risk of being trafficked can be assigned to ethno-racial minorities because of their history of being exploited and disrespected. The fight for human and civil rights has to be continued because traffickers marginalize minorities and capitalize on their history in order to make them prone to seeking ways of instant enrichment.
The most important high-risk group of victims of human trafficking includes individuals who are lured via social media. There is a common scenario utilized by numerous traffickers, which includes meeting victims in person, taking and circulating provocative photos, and coercing the victims to obey the trafficker’s orders (Frank, 2022). With access to sensitive content, traffickers tend to gain full control of the victim’s life. The threat of one’s life being potentially destroyed by explicit content posted online forces many victims of human trafficking to comply with the wrongdoer’s requirements. According to Schwarz et al. (2019), many victims agree to specific terms voiced by traffickers to protect their families from the short- and long-term effects of explicit photos being shared on the Internet.
Criminals could also advance their influence on high-risk populations by exposing them to addictions and affecting their mental health. For example, narcotic substances could be utilized by traffickers to break the person’s resistance and coerce them into required activities ranging from sex labor to outright slavery (Frank, 2022). Speaking of mental health, traffickers tend to deprive victims of any capacity to consent by isolating and manipulating them. Under pressure, victims of human trafficking are going to possess a limited ability to assess risks and predict criminal activity.
Ways to Prevent Human Trafficking
At the national level, new programs and protocols should be developed in order to alter anti-human trafficking legislation in line with the dynamic nature of the world. In other words, integrative efforts are required to ensure that more human traffickers are captured, and stronger tracking procedures are implemented to save and protect the victims (Lemke, 2019). National action plans have to be released in order to support the idea that separate police units could be deployed to fight against human trafficking across the country. At the same time, policymakers should look into the opportunities of making new regulations stricter in order to ensure that new protocols increase the number of successfully convicted human traffickers. For example, the intensity of regional and international cooperation could be increased to have all stakeholders interact with the authorities in a proactive manner (Konrad, 2019). This might be necessary to raise community awareness and attract citizens to the process of tackling human trafficking.
Consequently, ordinary people should be motivated to make a difference by remaining alert at all times. For example, if a person sees any activity that resembles trafficking, they should immediately contact the police or an anti-trafficking helpline, if available (Konrad, 2019). The sense of involvement would encourage more citizens to communicate their concerns and display social responsibility. Anti-trafficking measures applied by the government might not be enough to reduce the number of criminals, so more communication channels should be set up to speed up the process of information dissemination. Exceptional awareness and support are also crucial, as closer partnerships with local volunteer organizations could highlight more high-risk population groups (Frank, 2022). Overall, local efforts should be founded on citizenship and responsibility because human trafficking is both an ethical and a penal issue. Thorough involvement of ordinary people might limit the room available for subjugation, sexual exploitation, or any other challenge that can be associated with human trafficking.
After reviewing the existing evidence on the subject of human trafficking, it can be concluded that any given prevention activities should be preceded by a detailed root cause analysis. Thus, policymaking officials and human rights workers should join their forces to create a new agenda for ensuring that the number of human traffickers and their victims could be decreased efficiently. At the baseline, these activities should revolve around improved economic and academic opportunities for poorer individuals. The future generations should take the experiences of their predecessors and turn them into lifesaving steps stemming from the preliminary identification of the potential traffickers and their victims. Evidently, the author did not review all of the possible risk factors contributing to one’s proneness to human trafficking. This idea is of paramount importance because it shows how the increasing amount of criminological proof could aid human rights volunteers and non-profit organizations in terms of confronting the threat of human trafficking.
Frank, R. W. (2022). Human trafficking indicators: A new dataset. International Interactions, 48(1), 152-171. Web.
Konrad, R. A. (2019). Designing awareness campaigns to counter human trafficking: An analytic approach. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 67, 86-93. Web.
Lemke, M. (2019). Educators as the “frontline” of human-trafficking prevention: An analysis of state-level educational policy. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 18(3), 284-304. Web.
Schwarz, C., Alvord, D., Daley, D., Ramaswamy, M., Rauscher, E., & Britton, H. (2019). The trafficking continuum: Service providers’ perspectives on vulnerability, exploitation, and trafficking. Affilia, 34(1), 116-132. Web.