It is incredible that human trafficking continues to be an invisible tragedy, in spite of the obvious consequences: every year between 700 thousand and four million people are victims around the world. Even though these figures are very variable, even the most conservative figures are alarming.
No doubt, human trafficking is one of the cruelest crimes that exist, because it deprives the victims from their dignity and their rights, to submit them to conditions of slavery, in order to exploit them sexually, force them to work in agriculture or in industries, force them to work as servants in homes, to use them to extract their organs or force the children to be beggars. In most cases, the victims come from the most excluded groups in society.
It has been defined as the slavery of the Twenty Frist Century, human trafficking is one of the most profitable illicit businesses and it is present in all countries, either as the country of origin, a country of transit, or a country of destiny. At a global level, one of every five victims is a child, even though in some regions of Africa and Asia the majority of the victims of human trafficking are children.
On the other hand, women represent between 70 and 80 percent of the rest of the victims. They great majority are young, of humble origin and they are deceived with false promises of jobs. After that , they are raped, attacked with blows, and locked up. They are exploited economically and they are kept under control by violent threats.
For human traffickers, persons are objects with which to traffic; they attract young girls through deceit or duress; after that, they are trapped in situations of abuse. Thus, human life is deprived of value, trampled and compared with any other merchandise.
Even though this crime is increasing and that most countries have already declared in their legislation that it is a crime, sentences continue to be very few. In addition, more than two million persons in the world do not yet count with the adequate protection of national laws against this crime.
In 2015, Pope Francis devoted his message on the World Day of Peace to the topic “no more slaves, but brothers”. In it he denounced that millions of people have been deprived of their freedom, they have been forced to live in conditions that are similar to slavery.
This is the time for us to contribute to break the silence and bring light into the darkness that still surrounds human trafficking. This excruciated reality that increases day by day should not be left unnoticed. The victims need our solidarity, our hope and our prayers.