Human Trafficking
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Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar a year industry. It is the second largest criminal enterprise in the world. Many victims are first trafficked at very young ages, and nearly half of the victims today are minors. Human trafficking is most often seen in the sex industry, which makes up about 80% of the victims. Three out of four victims are female. Nearly all victims of sexual exploitation are females, many of them children.

Human trafficking has been widely researched and many programs are in place to help victims and stop trafficking. However, nearly all data and research pertain to sex trafficking victims. To fully understand labor exploitation, one must consider working conditions and the societies that exploit these workers.

It is also important to understand the difference between human trafficking and people smuggling. These terms are often confused although they have different meanings. People smuggling is when a smuggler is paid to transport or help a person illegally enter a country or territory. Human trafficking is what is more likely to be seen in factory work; workers may or may not have consented to the job, but either way they end up being exploited. Human trafficking has a victim, such as a person forced into being working in a factory, while people smuggling has no victim except the country where immigration laws were broken. Factory workers who are victims of human trafficking are subject to violence and their liberties and freedom are taken away which is a serious human rights violation.

Child labor workers
Victims of human trafficking in South East Asia.

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