AFRICA : Introduction, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Benin – ‘Wife of Gods’, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army.
AMERICA : Introduction, Las Vegas – Sin City, Chicago, San Francisco Bay Area.
ASIA : Introduction, Singapore, China, India, Nepal, Thailand, Japan: Comfort Women of World War II.
EUROPE : Introduction, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Eastern Europe, Austria: Natascha Kampusch, Germany: World War II Nazi-Run Brothels.
Despite it being over 200 years since the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, there are more slaves today than at any other point in human history. The majority of these are slaves for the sex industry. It is a booming trade that shows no signs of slowing down; secretive by nature, it is often referred to as a ‘silent epidemic’. In this dark underworld, criminal networks enslave people from vulnerable backgrounds into a life of forced sexual exploitation. Human trafficking goes hand-in-hand with sex slavery, with traffickers supplying live humans to the industry. It is a lucrative trade worldwide, believed to be worth £20 billion ($32 billion) annually to the global economy, and it is this profit that drives it forward.
The UN has estimated that 2.4 million people across the world are victims of human trafficking at any one time, and 80 per cent of these victims are subject to sexual exploitation. Research has indicated that the UN knows of victims from 127 countries and of their exploitation in 137. Sexual exploitation occurs for a variety of reasons. Impoverished regions or areas torn apart by war and civil unrest can result in groups of people desperate for money, a home, or a way to escape their hellish reality. Harmful traditional, cultural and religious practices also land some people in situations that, to outsiders, are in direct violation of their human rights. Natural disasters can also displace people, forcing them to seek shelter in refugee camps, where criminals often hunt for prey. Allegedly, government corruption can play a role in this illegal trade. Corrupt officers and easily bribed border control personnel are apparently helping this industry thrive, turning a blind eye when required.
Jennifer Davies is a freelance writer, editor and photographer from East Sussex. After completing her degree in Creative Writing, she worked as an editor for a publisher for six years, while writing gig reviews for a local magazine in her free time. Today, she works as a freelance writer, and explores a range of subjects from true crime to the world of celebrity. She loves to write about folklore and urban legends, but also enjoys reporting on the rich and famous, dead or alive.
- RW Press, January 2013
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