At Age 13 Beatrice moved to the USA to live with an American family. She would help with the housework and attend school. Her parents sent her to the US in hope of her having a chance at a better life. however, Beatrice found herself enslaved, and locked in a suburban home, working for up to 20 hours a day, and denied education. she was forced to hold her hands above her head and kneel on the floor for long periods while being beaten. She was beaten for 9 long years until in 1998, after she had been beaten for over an hour, her screams alarmed the neighbors. The police were called, and Beatrice was discovered. (Reinhardt) That is a fate often shared by 40.3 million people, across the globe (The). Those who are responsible for these horrible crimes should be punished in a more extreme way.
It is estimated that more than 33,000 gangs infest the streets and neighborhoods of the U.S (Rosenstein). Over 200 gangs are known to rely on human trafficking (Gang). The most infamous may be MS-13. They forced a 12-year-old female runaway into the world of sex trafficking by throwing a dirty mattress on the floor of a mechanic’s garage and forcing her to have sex with a line of customers. It is known that gangs operate on a risk vs reward mentality, this means that if they believe the reward of doing things such as transporting drugs across a border is great. er than the risk of getting caught, they will do so. It is known that for many gangs this is the primary way they make money and funding. (Rosenstein)
As of today there is a mandatory minimum for human traffickers set at 15 years, this means that for the kidnapping of countless men, women, and children along with chance of being responsible for the death of potently hundreds of innocent people can be cleaned with a simple 15 year sentence. Of course, this sentence can be increased to 20 years if it is made obvious that the captors used force, coercion, or fraud. (Rosenstein)
In 2014 the NHTRC hotline received reports of 5,042 potential human trafficking cases in the United States. 31.4% of these cases involved minor victims, meaning 1,581 cases reported involved children in the U.S. (National). this may not seem like a lot at first glance, while as a global scale, out of 40.3 Million people in slaved 24.7% are children. Leaving 9,954,100 cases involving children across the globe.
These children are beat, abused, and tortured, such as in the case of Achara who at the age of 12, a businessman came to her village and offered her a well-paying restaurant job in New York. He promised visas, transportation, and enough money to support herself and help her family, but he asked for a down payment on the U.S. $50,000 fee up front. Of course, Achara’s parents saw this as a great opportunity. The family pooled together and raised U.S. $30,000 which was greater than any villager could earn in a lifetime. Once she arrived in the place, she believed would give her a better life, instead of a warm welcome, she was greeted by her freedom and prosperity being stolen from her as she was ensnared and enslaved. She was Ruthlessly robbed of her documents and then thrown into a small room with 16 other young women. She was forced to work in a nearby restaurant for 12 hours a day every day of the week and told that if she did not show up for work or tried to run away, she would be raped and beaten, and her family back home would be killed. Soon after the first month, the situation worsened more then she could have ever imagined. Her Capture told Achara that her restaurant work was no longer enough, and she would now be required to have sex with at least 20 men each day to repay her debt. For two and a half years she was forced to endured forced labor and forced prostitution. She was lucky enough to learn of a shelter for Asian victims of domestic violence, which helped her to escape and regain her freedom But she never truly regained her safety and worries about the safety of her and her family, worrying that her freedom meant their deaths. (Reinhardt)
Those lucky enough to escape with their lives often don’t escape injury free, A 2014 survey of sex trafficking victims found that 88 percent had contact with a health care provider at some point while being trafficked (Caiola). Trafficking victims are known to obtain injuries such as fractures, lacerations and lost limbs and even chronic pain. Those are all things that could potentially permanently inhibit how these men women and children live their lives if they finally escape their captures. Sexual and reproductive health problems are very common among women who are sexually abused while trafficked, but it can happen to men as well. But issues go far beyond the flesh in this case. In many cases the damage is much more harmful in the form of invisible wounds such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and or actions. (Kiss)
Many would argue that human trafficking isn’t as big of an issue as people make it out to be, and much of the forced labor is done legally. This is because the standard age for work is 16, but there is no similar restrictions protecting children working in agriculture. In agriculture, employers can and have hired children ages 14 and 15 to work unlimited hours outside of school, without a parent’s consent knowledge or consent. This makes the work legal and with there being no way to prove the person is doing so against their will there’s no way to prosecute them. There is also little to know information on how human trafficking is run. A study that took place for 10 years only gained the information of 17 survivors and 26 key informants. (Walts)
Lack of knowledge does not excuse injustice, President Abraham Lincoln wrote in 1859, “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves” of which is exactly what human traffickers are doing to the innocent men women and children they hold hostage. (Rosenstein) Forced work in agriculture is a very small portion for the problem. Everyday day children are forced into the military as children soldiers, women forced across seas to marry strangers as mail order brides, debt bondages, and even being stolen from parking lots and malls to have their organs harvested and left to die. (Human)
40.3 million men women and children are stolen from their lives and robbed from there freedoms. They are forced against their will into sex work, forced labor, wars, or even as far as having their vital organ taken from them and left to die. Human trafficking is a despicable crime and should warrant a punishment more severe than a 15-year sentence. The USA was built on the principle that all beings deserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, human traffickers still those ideas from not only Americans but from all people across the world in one sick and twisted move and should be punished in a way that reflects those actions.