2013-05-31 2:19 PMHuman Trafficking: The Myths and the Realities - ForbesPage 2 of 3http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2012/01/24/human-trafficking-the-myths-and-the-realities/
a person through force in order to exploit him or her for prostitution, forced labor, orslavery. Human smuggling, on the other hand, is the transport of an individual fromone destination to another, usually with his or her consent—for example, across a border.It’s an important distinction—and one that must be clear in order for law enforce-ment andpolicymakers to properly address each issue.
Myth: Most Traffickers Are What the Movies Show You
A couple of years ago,while sitting at dinner in a trafficking village , I realized thattraffickers are not always powerful gangsters the way mainstream movies like
tend to portray them. Trafficking occurs in a wide range of socioeconomic classes,and the people involved could be anyone—there’s no one type of trafficker. In somevillages I visited, the traffickers were politicians and local law enforcement. In otherparts of the world, they’re businessmen or restaurateurs.While organized crime plays a large role in global human trafficking, communities,local governments, and even families are often involved in the process, too. Manytimes, it’s strictly about economics—those who sell their children are not “evil” or“bad” people, they simply feel that they have no other choice.
Myth: Human Trafficking Only Refers to Forced Prostitution
I met a nine-year-old girl from a local Hill Tribe in Thailand who wasn’t going toschool. Instead, she was building one—her family was so poor that she was forcedinto laying bricks for many hours a day. She is free from this life now, but there arethousands of children throughout the world still forced in to this type of labor. Hu-man trafficking does not always equal prostitution—it can include indentured servi-tude, other exploitation in the workforce (in factories or on farms), and even the or-gan trade.
Myth: Only Women Are Trafficked