Human Trafficking – It’s Not Only About Sex

The topic of human trafficking brings a certain set of preconceived ideas and images to mind.  Popular media expresses trafficking as something they can market – and sex sells.  Here in California, a recent voter initiative on the ballot passed after a frenzied campaign of television commercials promising tough anti-trafficking laws.  All the new statutes focused on prostitution, with increased jail terms for running houses of ill-repute, and laundering money through the sex trade.

My novel, Little River, focuses on the abduction and rescue of two women caught in the web of a brutal trafficker who treats them as less than human commodities.  And, it was that aspect, the dehumanizing nature of the crime of trafficking in persons that needed to be told.  There is so much more to the story of human trafficking.

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Photo courtesy of U.S. D.O.L.

Modern day slavery lures unsuspecting men, women and children with vague  promises of jobs, better living conditions and freedom, into sweatshops, forced labor and brothels.  The promises disappear and the victims find themselves in desperate, unthinkable despair, working to pay off a debt to the traffickers .  Girls taken to work in textile plants, are taken off the assembly line so they can provide breeding stock for a new generation of workers making knock-off designer clothing.  These victims have no voice, they have no union, and as long as their captors keep making $32 Billion annually, nothing will change.

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Photo courtesy of Not For Sale

Progress is slow and in the Caribbean Region, strides against human trafficking are moving at a glacial pace. A half dozen island nations are on the Tier 2 watch list of places where trafficking thrives with little meaningful effort to interrupt human trading. Jamaica, the location for Little River, made a concerted push to educate citizens to spot trafficking, increased police raids and provide services for the victims pulled from their captors. Jamaica was upgraded from the Tier 2 watch list to Tier 2, however, not a single human trafficking conviction was reported in 2012.

The people of Jamaica are commended for their stand against human trafficking. These are good first steps on a long journey. We stand alongside them, with a portion of the proceeds from the sales of Little River, donated to Not-For-Sale, a not-for-profit organization devoted to making the world a place where no one is for sale.

Please join us.

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One comment

  1. Thanks for finally talking about >Human Trafficking –
    Its Not Only About Sex | James L’Etojle <Loved it!

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