A Message to Elder Students: Help Stop the Demand for Human Trafficking
By Sydney Schultz
Human trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person through the use of force, fraud, or coercion to provide labor, services, sexual acts, or body parts. It is the third largest global criminal problem and negatively affects everyone in society.
Human trafficking is modern day slavery. The demand for cheap labor and commercial sex acts are reasons why this organized crime is flourishing around the world. In order to combat this modern day slavery, communities need to raise awareness and increase education about the subject. Most importantly, the only way to truly stop this heinous crime is to stop the demand for it.
As stated by the Polaris Project, which is an organization that helps to put an end to all forms of human trafficking and serves victims of slavery and human trafficking, human trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry that is based on the principles of supply and demand. What’s shocking about this is that the average ages of entry into prostitution in the United States are just 12 to 14 years old.
Once a victim is trafficked, the trafficker will have complete control over the victim. The victim will often be forced to do things they don’t feel comfortable doing, such as having sex or engaging in other sexual acts, buying illegal drugs, or committing other crimes. These trafficking victims constantly live in sadness and fear. They experience psychological and emotional abuse which makes it hard for them to ever live a normal life again.
Even though women, men, and children can be trafficked, over the past two decades, there has been an increase in the numbers of men going out to buy sex with young women and children around the globe. According to Dr. Teela Sanders, a senior lecturer at the University of Leeds and the author of Paying for Pleasure: Men Who Buy Sex, nearly one in three men will buy sex at some point in his life.
It is necessary to bring awareness about human trafficking to the men of Elder High School. The Elder community needs to join in helping to put an end to this crime and raise awareness. Elder students need to realize that they are a part of the solution. Students can help prevent human trafficking by educating themselves on human trafficking and how to notice red flags that might indicate that someone is being trafficked. Some red flags for identifying victims of human trafficking are people who are rarely alone, have an escort at all times when in public, show signs of poor health and hygiene, have few or no personal possessions, are secretive about where they live, show signs of depression, or have a lack of freedom. Men can also discourage others from using pornography, visiting strip clubs, buying a stripper as “entertainment” and other activities that are demeaning to women.
If you suspect someone to be a victim of human trafficking, you should call the National Human Trafficking Hotline number at 1-888-3737-888. To report suspected human trafficking in the Greater Cincinnati Area, the hotline number is 513-800-1863. All calls can remain anonymous
The female body should not be something that a man can buy or own. Real men do not pay for sex.