Trafficking in persons is a crime of a global nature that occurs in many countries of the world. Its purposes include sexual exploitation, serfdom or servile marriage, begging, forced labor and organ trafficking. However, the most common are sexual and labor abuse, unfortunate situations that bring together approximately 21 million victims, according to worldwide figures of the International Labor Organization in 2019.
Ending this reality is a task that requires hard work, international cooperation, research by national entities and, of course, the support of the population. Perhaps, at some point in your day while you were hearing about the news about trafficking in girls, boys, adolescents, women and men on television, radio, the Internet or newspapers, you asked yourself: How can trafficking in persons be avoided? The answer is not simple, since the networks dedicated to this illegal activity are too many, they move constantly and change their methods of recruitment. However, there are some practices that can help prevent more people from being caught, harmed and exploited.
It is normal to feel vulnerable to this problem, therefore, knowing the prevention guidelines to avoid being a victim of trafficking or to prevent someone else from being a victim is necessary.
• Verify job offers: Many cases of the crime of trafficking in persons have started with an offer of employment with great benefits in salary and benefits. Generally, the work is in a city or country different from that of the victim. The person making the offer is usually interested in your visa or accommodation process and even gets the money to ensure your travel. Before traveling, it is best to verify that the work proposals are true.
• Be informed about trafficking in persons: Being informed is a barrier to protection against this crime because you will know some of the ways of recruitment, you will be able to identify the signals that warn of deception, you will differentiate trafficking in human trafficking, you will be aware of the Situations that victims experience, the scenarios in which trafficking occurs most and how to act in case of being at risk or find someone who is. There are numerous international organizations that offer information on this, such as the International Organization for Migration, the UN Refugee Agency or the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
• Build a support network: When victims of human trafficking do not realize that they have been deceived and go to a new destination in the hands of traffickers, the reaction that must be followed is by those around them: their parents, relatives, friends, neighbors and acquaintances. What are the warning signs? Casual calls or total loss of contact, little communication about their life or work situation, lack of time to visit their city of origin or inability to receive their loved ones are some of them. Support networks are built through dialogue and knowledge of reality. If you do not have the opportunity to notify the authorities about your situation, your support network will do so.
• Use the Internet correctly: The digital world is one of the resources used by trafficking networks to contact their victims. Sometimes they only need personal information to capture girls, boys, adolescents and adults. For this reason, take care of the data you post on social networks, do not accept friend invitations from strangers, do not send suggestive or explicit photos, inform your family if you receive threats and report to the authorities when someone harasses you.
• Travel with caution: Travel with copies of your identity documents (ID or passport), whether you travel internationally, nationally or locally. Inquire previously what places you can visit or what numbers you can call if you are at risk.
• Complaint: Do not be afraid to report situations that seem unusual to you. The complaint is a fundamental step to eradicate trafficking in persons. If you are a victim, talk. This will help other people who are living this reality or who will. Also, as a victim, you will not be accused of any crime, you will be protected by law.
These six actions are essential to prevent sexual exploitation, forced labor, servitude and other purposes related to human trafficking. Start applying them in your life and share this initiative with your acquaintances. In this way, the support network will be extended. If you want to know more about it or report a case, contact us. The fight against this crime requires the effort of all.