What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is a serious crime, and a huge violation of human rights. Each thousands of people fall victim to traffickers who buy and sell them as slaves - trafficking thrives on the exploitation of the most vulnerable people, often women and children.
Sadly, every country in the world is affected by human trafficking. You might have seen posters in airports, train stations and service stations along the motorway. After drug trafficking, human trafficking is the second most profitable criminal industry. It’s important that every day citizens are aware of the key indicators that might show that they are a victim: abuse of vulnerability, abusive living conditions, intimidation, fear and limited social contact.
Working to combat human trafficking
A charity campaigning for an end to human trafficking is Stop the Traffik - they state that there are seven forms of trafficking: sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, exploitation, forced marriage, organ harvesting, forced criminality, drug trade and child soldiers. Their work as a charity focuses on raising awareness within vulnerable communities, as well as in wider society. Working with the police, they work to build a picture of human trafficking on a global scale, disrupting networks at their source.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015
The Modern Slavery Act, in 2015, was the first piece of government legislation that focused on the prevention and prosecution of modern slavery, and the protection of its victims. You may have noticed that businesses that operate within the UK have a Modern Slavery Policy available to read on their website. The act ensures that no slavery is linked to British products or services, and the policies available on websites show that companies are taking a proactive stance, ensuring that there is no slavery in any part of its supply chain.
Although the Act has raised awareness with business owners and company stake holders, it has been because there is no legal requirement for companies to police their supply chains, so therefore there is still no guarantee that products or services are slave-free.
The World Economic Forum estimates that more than 45 million people worldwide are trapped in slavery. Although it is prohibited by every nation’s laws, it is an industry that continues to flourish. For real change to happen, governments around the world need to work with charities and the general public to fight this horrific form of oppression.
Nobody should have to suffer in slavery. Here at SOLA, we work with survivors of modern slavery and human trafficking through art therapy. To find out more, please visit our website.
Blog by Grace Edwards