Reports show that the child trafficking industry is a 12 billion read moreillegal operation that is occurring both in the United States and around the world. An NBC Report stated that a predator can make over $200,000 each year from just one victim of modern day slavery. Combine that with the estimated 2.5 million children that have been sexually exploited and $12 billion isn’t such an unbelievable number.
Human trafficking is one of the biggest problems occurring in the U.S. and around the world. If the evolution of high profits, high demand, and low risk continues, the growth of this epidemic will continue as well. Due to these factors, criminal organizations, such as the mob and other gangs, have begun to take part in this tragedy that devastates the lives of millions of children around the world.
Modern Day Slavery Used By The Mafia
A large criminal organization that has been functioning for years has moved into the child trafficking industry. According to MSNBC, the boss of the Gambino crime family and 13 other people were charged with various crimes, one of which was child trafficking. According to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, this is a “new low” for the criminal organization and the first time the mafia has been caught participating in this type of offense. Members of the organized crime family had allegedly recruited several girls from strip clubs to be prostitutes. One recruit was a 15-year-old girl. According to the documents filed with the federal courts in Manhattan, the Gambino family had advertised the girls’ services via Craigslist.
The victims were driven throughout the greater New York area to meet with men who had scheduled appointments. They were also made available to players at the criminal family’s weekly high-stakes poker games for sexual purposes. If the victims were non-compliant, they were beaten with baseball bats. Law enforcement officials look at this case as evidence that the mafia still exists today, and it appears there isn’t a crime too horrific they would not commit if it is profitable, including child trafficking.
Gangs Using Child Trafficking For Profit
A vice detective of the San Diego Police Department informed an anti-trafficking representative that the issue of gang involvement in modern day slavery is growing. Every month, at least 10 to 20 groups or individuals are added to the department’s watch list. Since this number only represents those that are discovered by the police, the actual number of those involved is likely far greater.
The tragedy is that children have become a commodity to gangs that are selling them as property to adults for abuse and rape. There is a shift of gang activity away from selling drugs to selling human beings. When comparing the legal risk between the two crimes, it is evident that the penalties for child trafficking is far less than that of drug trafficking. Moreover, there is essentially no overhead cost involved with modern day slavery. The fact is that gangs are using children for sexual purposes to profit. This type of action not only dehumanizes the kids that are being bought and sold, but completely violates the natural rights afforded to them under the constitution.
Targeting The Demand For Child Trafficking
The largest contributing factor to the growth of modern day slavery around the world is the demand for it. In a yearly report released by the U.S. State Department, they state that an effective campaign to bring an end to sexual exploitation of minors throughout the world must address the demand side of the issue. This calls for a global response to enact harsher penalties for those that are enslaving human beings. In addition, criminals need to be investigated and successfully prosecuted. Finally, the public also needs to become more aware of the problem affecting children in the U.S. and around the world. There are numerous anti-trafficking organizations.
However, those focused primarily on ending the demand of child sex trafficking are not as common. By getting involved with organizations focused on identifying and prosecuting sexual predators, you are supporting the fight against the demand. Targeting the demand is the fastest way to completely end child slavery. Contact your local or national non-profit organization to find out more ways that you can be involved in the effort to stop child trafficking now.