Human trafficking is a contemporary form of slavery practiced by mankind across the globe. It is a practice where people are merchandized or used for commercial sex or forced labor as well as prostitution. Although illegal, human trafficking has been rated as one of the thriving industries for criminals after drug trafficking. Annually, human trafficking activity is worth between $28-$34 billion. Globally, an estimate of about 21 million people has been enslaved. This value is greater than any other period in times past. This trade has proven to be very difficult to curb.
In the United States, drug trafficking has been reported in all the States with the estimate of targets valued to be hundreds of thousands. Most of them are foreign nationals. However, American citizens are also vulnerable to this trade. Every year, about 17,000 are victimized and about 300,000 American youngsters are at risk. Individuals of all ages have been exposed to this atrocity which includes men, women, teenagers as well as children. A greater percentage of individuals trafficked are children and women. Typically, sex trafficking involves under aged girls usually below 18 years (minors). These tender girls are transported to different places and are threatened and forced into executing the sexual acts, with these acts done in places like truck stops, brothels, and spas.
There are various ways in which the traffickers recruit their victims. Some of these methods are:
- Shopping mail
- Out of school youths
- Street, as well as other locations.
However, truck stops are one of the locations where this illicit sexual act is practiced. This is made possible because of the small number of people that patronize these truck stops and also due to the fact that these truck stops are secluded. A large number of the victims at these truck stops are usually minors. This has turned out to be a major concern and a possible menace to children at large. Usually, truck pay about $40 to $80 for an unlawful sexual act with these girls. They are forced into have sex against their own wish with as many truckers because they have been mandated to meet a quota which ranges from $800 to about $1,500 per night.
There are several strategies on how these sex traffickers carry out their illegal business at truck stops. One is the use of slang or code words that denotes the availability of an under aged for sex. Another method is the use of flash light by truckers at the truck stops. These truckers may also place stickers on the window of the truck.
It is crucial to know that truckers play a part in this menace; however, not all truckers take part in this appalling act. There is a need to totally curb this and one of the crucial methods is by educating and equipping with valuable information on human trafficking. Another way this can be achieved is by creating groups such as the Truckers AgainstTrafficking (also known as TAT) among truck drivers. They should be able to identify any sex trafficking signs and report such to the appropriate body. There is a need for these affected girls to be identified and liberated.