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Human Trafficking Awareness

By Dylan Sandoval & Matthew Kadam; For the Clock
On December 15, 2017

Human Trafficking Awareness 

Dylan Sandoval

For the Clock

dasandoval@plymouth.edu

Matthew Kadam

For the Clock

makadam@plymouth.edu 

 

As you sit there in your dorm room, doing homework or simply relaxing knowing that you are only dealing with yourself, clothed in a brand name t-shirt that you noticed was made in some obscure Southeastern Asian country, you scroll through your iPhone which was “designed in California” but still has the made in China label attached to the back. Human trafficking plays a bigger part in our lives than people realize, and there are some who fail to realize that the factors about the way some live their lifestyle will actually promote human trafficking. It’s very surprising!

Labor trafficking is the major form of human trafficking that plagues the modern world. All over the world, people are forced into labor for little or no compensation at all. Asian and Southeast Asian countries make up over 50% of this forced labor, with over 11 million people affected. They are working in poor conditions, working without pay, or being forced to work for ridiculous lengths of time, thereby exploiting humans as a “natural resource”. Those clothes that everyone wears, that are fashion forward, were likely made by someone working in a sweatshop barely getting paid to feed their families or, worse, themselves. The same thing happens with the food industry; under-developed countries, like Venezuela, have governments that force workers to work on state-run farms. These farms are not properly tended and can be infested with bugs, overploughed, or simply just poor in quantity, but workers are still forced to work here due to laws and political pressure. Some technology is made in factories with unsafe or hazardous working conditions, where companies have put “suicide nets” singing the outside of buildings so workers cannot throw themselves from the windows. Any building that requires this type of preventative measure, to ensure that the number of workers checking matches the amount checking out, needs to fix the way they run things within the factories. Some may not like their jobs but the choice to work should still be available to them.

Labor trafficking is not the only form of human trafficking. While crime movies tend to glorify sex trafficking and the way that cops are able to bust them by destroying one warehouse, sex trafficking happens all over the world, including New Hampshire and much more often than one would think. More and more convictions are made every year, and the opioid epidemic is only making things worse. Just recently the Manchester Police Dept. began working on finishing the convictions against a man for forcing a fourteen-year-old to perform sex acts. Addicts and young people, especially those who are vulnerable from a lack of self-esteem or self-worth, are targeted by traffickers who manipulate and exploit these people for their own personal gain. Caution to those who would laugh at this issue because there are in fact people, maybe even a roommate or a new classmate who have had friends involved in this epidemic. 

Thankfully, there are some who have gained the wit to rise up and fight against this issue. Organizations, such as, Love 146 have taken the time to create educational courses that will teach people how to recognize the signs of human trafficking, so they will no longer fit in the category of people who remain oblivious and ignorant of the truth to this issue. Other groups, like the New Hampshire Task Force, work with law enforcement to bust groups of traffickers. They work together as a collaboration to locate sites, pinpoint handlers, and even to help victims get out of dangerous situations. On a much bigger level, businesses have taken part in the fair-trade movement to eliminate agricultural and labor trafficking. The fair-trade label certifies that the business has received all its food or products from smaller farmers or businesses rather than large cooperations where the staff could be monkeys for all the businesses know. A prime example at Plymouth State University is our very own Café Monte Alto located on Main Street. All the coffee beans and tea bags that they receive are from places where the workers are given fair wages, work in good conditions, and only work for a controlled number of hours.

If this article has any impact or increased an interest in the subject, it is best to visit www.slaveryfootprint. org. This link will allow you to understand just how many slaves you might be enabling in your life after completing a quick survey based on the clothes worn, furniture owned, and types of places that one will shop it. 

 

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