When people hear the word “Human Trafficking” they think of people that are brought from foreign countries, into the United States for prostitution and exploitation. However, people rarely think that the last person that they saw late at night, might not be there of their own accord. We never give the girls a second look. We never ask their names, nor offer them help, because we automatically assume that they are there because that’s what they want to be doing. I have chosen to research Human Trafficking because I am an actress, and recently received a role where I will play the part of Valerie, a runaway who must make it on the streets; but, while doing so, she must give in to prostitution (Abused in America http://torontopictures.ning.com/page/toronto-pictures-news ). I feel as though this part is very important. If I ever want to successfully portray what my character is feeling, I will need to know what not only she is going through, but what others have gone through as well. Lastly, I want to perform my research on Human Trafficking because I think that everybody has the need to know exactly what it is. By spreading awareness and education, I hope that people will start to take action against human trafficking. This search will make a difference to me because people who have gone through this experience, and have survived, deserve to have others know what they had to go through. If I can successfully explain not only what Human Trafficking is, but also convince it this is something that needs to be stopped no matter what, I will feel very accomplished. My previous knowledge leads me to believe that Human Trafficking is when somebody is taken from their homes, forcefully or willingly, and is taken to another place where they are forced into labor and/or prostitution for money or drugs. I also know that Human Trafficking is also a severe crime, and in my opinion one of he hardest to solve. Just one person doesn’t cause human Trafficking, but many people working together for one purpose. Money. They create links upon links of ‘houses’ and sources in order to make them more successful. Trying to catch just one person that is involved in this crime is not the difficult. Ending it all together is where it becomes complicated. By the end of this research paper, I hope to be able to understand what Human Trafficking truly is, as well as who it effects, and how. What is Human Trafficking, and how is America involved? This research paper is something that will have taken place over the course of weeks, and researching all the information necessary will be very time consuming. In order to find all of the information on Human Trafficking that will help me, I will type in many various titles, and read through many different websites. I will have to read the website, and determine whether the website I have found is purely factual, or if it contains mostly opinions. I am planning on finding most of my information on the Internet or by watching the news channels on television. Most people do not realize that when they are watching the news channels, and they hear about the latest girl who has gone missing, that the chances of them being hoarded for human trafficking is very great. People go missing all the time, but it seems as though nobody thinks it will happen to them. Human Trafficking has spread through out the whole entire world, to the point where your neighbor could be taken, and you would never see them again. During the process of locating my information, the most frequent problem that I encountered was finding more than just the definition of Human Trafficking. There were countless websites that offered various definitions of human trafficking, but finding websites that said what they were doing to prevent it, or the impact that human trafficking has on society was much more difficult. The most surprising thing that I discovered about human trafficking is that even when the girls are given an opportunity to escape, many of them would prefer not to. I think that the reasoning behind this is when the girls are taken from their homes, they are often lured away by the Pimps. The Pimps give off a false sense of love and caring. The victims often come from families where they are unhappy. When the Pimp offers them love and a new life, it sounds too good to be true. During my search, some of the main websites that I used were Gale.com, YouTube, and Google. The most difficult part of trying to find out what human sex trafficking is, was finding the correct definition. There were many websites, all with their different definitions of human trafficking, and finding one definition that sums all of the other ones up was challenging. The most helpful website that I used was Gale.com. Gale was helpful because it made available print resources that other wise would not have been available to me. During my process of finding and locating my information, not many things changed. One thing that did change was my opinion. Before I started searching for my information, I did not think very highly of these women and children. But after doing research, I realized that the majority of these girls are forced to do this, it is not something that they are doing willingly. After a week or so of researching, and getting the same results over and over again, I realized that I have to change something. What I changed was the way I was searching. Previously, I would go to Google and find a website. Then when I was done with that website I would go to Google once again, and type something else in, and then find another website. I realized that I could get more in depth information by following links that are imbedded in the website. By doing this I found documentaries that have been written by people who have been victims of human trafficking. When I found these documentary’s I was enlightened with not only the definition of Human Trafficking, but also what they went through on a daily basis. I learned that these victims often thought of the Pimp as a fatherly figure. The majority of these victims lacked a fatherly figure when they were young or growing up, and the pimp replaces that emptiness that the victim was feeling. The victims often become extremely attached to the pimp, even after the pimps abuse them. This baffled me until I discovered that the pimps use the victims fear to keep them under control, and to also prevent them from rebelling or running away. Unfortunately, I also discovered that the option of running away for a victim is not usually possible. When the pimp takes the victim captive, they normally confiscate all of their personal belongings, as well as any identification sources that they own. This includes passports, birth certificates, and drivers licenses. When the pimps confiscate their victims belongings, this ensures that even if the victim were to successfully escape, they would have no where to go, and they would also have no way to get a job to earn a living. While researching Human Trafficking, I realized that there are many online documentaries of people’s stories, and what they have been through. These stories were heartbreaking. To try to fully understand what these victims have been through is nearly impossible. The mental torture that they go through is almost just as bad as the physical torture that they are forced to endure. “Human trafficking is the act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring, or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion, or other means for the purpose of exploiting them” (“What-is-human-trafficking”). When I discovered this I was shocked. The question that ran through my head was, ‘How could someone bring themselves to do that?’ The idea of forcing someone into sex trafficking is sickening. Another fact that I learned that surprised me was, “Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin or a destination for the victims” (“What-is-human-trafficking”). This was surprising to me because I originally thought that human trafficking affected only the victims and their families. I had no idea that the country’s were effected, whether it was where the victims ended up, or if it was where the victim was taken from. The things that Human Trafficking can do to a country are that it can strike fear in its citizens, and cause mistrust within a country. One thing that I learned that surprised me was that the everyday word Pimp that people hear around school means something completely different than what I thought it did. “Pimps is the term used to describe one who finds the weaknesses of women and young girls, and exploit them” (“Women’s Funding Network.”). This shocked me because people and students that are in school use the term ‘Pimp’ to say if someone has swag, if their cool, or even if they are dressed nice. If I had never done this research, I never would have learned that the word “Pimp” has a negative connotation. Next, I never knew that human trafficking was a worldwide issue. “Human Trafficking is a growing problem worldwide, rising to be the second most common criminal activity” (“YouTube – Not For Sale- Documentary about Human Trafficking.”). I already knew that Human Trafficking was something that the government considered a problem, but I never thought that it was as serious as being the second most common criminal activity. When I learned that Human Trafficking happened everywhere, I never understood quite to what extent that meant. Many of the children that have fallen victim to human trafficking are very young. “Girls around 13 or 14 are being exploited and trafficked. They become very traumatized” (“YouTube – Child Trafficking- Part 1 of 5.”). These children are so traumatized that some think that the Pimp is their father. Many of these girls call their Pimp ‘Daddy’. Also, many of these girls no longer remember where they used to live, or some don’t even remember their real age. They only remember the age that the Pimp told them that they are. It is very difficult for Police Officers to locate these girls and help them. “There are now undercover police. They try to trick the girls by getting an “Appointment” with them. Some of these victims are even mothers” (“YouTube – Escort Prostitution in Oklahoma City (FOX25).”). While watching this video, the police officers have said that they went to websites where they were advertising their ‘services’. When they make an appointment with they girl, they ask for the money up front, and they check the house thoroughly. This is normally the first hint as to if they are doing this for a Pimp or of their own will. Many times when the officer offers his or her help and the girls refuse to accept it. When this happens, the officer cannot do anything else. Many times the girls will refuse the help to either gain the trust of the Pimp, or because they have been scared into submission and that is the correct thing to do in their eyes. Another term that I learned about that I had never heard before was a Bottom. “Traffickers who have been around for a long time, and are higher up on the chain of hierarchy, have a “Bottom” a bottom at the top of the hierarchy of prostitutes. The Bottom is a victim who has been with the trafficker the longest and has earned the pimp’s trust. A Bottom will often do the pimps ‘dirty work’ such as collecting the money from the other girls, disciplining them, seducing unwitting youths into trafficking, and handle day-to-day business for the trafficker.” (“Human sex trafficking.”). A bottom is someone who normally has no intentions of leaving when given the chance. This is another reason the pimps trust them the most out of all of the other girls. It is not abnormal for a Pimp to have multiple girls at one time. Also, many of the girls behave because if they are causing too much trouble, it is common for a pimp to sell the girl to another pimp. This other pimp is often less kind. Human Trafficking is a serious problem. People should know the impact that this crime has on our countries. So much of Human trafficking has gone unnoticed and its time for that to end. Human Trafficking needs to stop, and we as the people can do just that. It only takes one person to make a difference, and you never know because you may just start a chain reaction.
Works Cited “What-is-human-trafficking.” United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Web. 26 Apr. 2011. Frundt, Tina. “Enslaved in America: Sex Trafficking in the United States | Women’s Funding Network.” Home | Women’s Funding Network. Web. 26 Apr. 2011. . “YouTube – Not For Sale- Documentary about Human Trafficking.” YouTube- Broadcast Yourself. Web. 26 Apr. 2011. “YouTube – Child Trafficking- Part 1 of 5.” YouTube – Broadcast Yourself. Web. 05 May 2011. < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxZtWYb4IEs> “YouTube – Escort Prostitution in Oklahoma City (FOX25).” YouTube – Broadcast Yourself. Web. 05 May 2011. Walker-Rodriguez, Amanda, and Rodney Hill. “Human sex trafficking.” The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin 80.3 (2011): 1+. General OneFile. Web. 12 Apr. 2011.