Human trafficking is a devastating scar on society that affects millions worldwide. In Texas alone, there are an estimated 300,000 human trafficking victims. Of that 300,000, it’s estimated that 75% of these victims have been subjected to labor trafficking.
World Trafficking Day provides the perfect opportunity to remember the toll human trafficking takes on our society. In addition, World Trafficking Day allows us to learn and better understand what human trafficking is and how it affects those subjected to it.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, there are many misconceptions and myths revolving around human trafficking. The more we understand human trafficking, the better we will be equipped to fight it. This article will discuss the most common misconceptions and myths around human trafficking and the truth behind them.
Common Human Trafficking Misconceptions and Myths
Human Trafficking Must Include Acts of Sex
It is common for people to believe human trafficking and sex trafficking are one and the same. While sex can be a factor in human trafficking, it is not required to be classified as human trafficking. Human trafficking is defined as the use of force, fraud, or coercion to get another person to provide labor or commercial sex. Many experts in the field of human trafficking see labor trafficking is much more common than sex trafficking.
Sex trafficking is a serious societal problem, but a more commonplace and often more hidden issue is labor trafficking. Labor trafficking survivors typically have fewer resources and opportunities to receive help. At Mosaic, we encourage our community members to continue to advocate for justice for sex trafficking survivors, but also advocate for labor trafficking survivors as well.
Human Traffickers Exclusively Target Women
Many people believe that due to the conceived sexual nature of human trafficking, traffickers will exclusively target women and young girls. However, we have found that this is not true. First, men and young boys are often targeted for labor trafficking. Second, according to Polaris, LGTBQ men and young boys are particularly vulnerable to sex trafficking.
Human Trafficking Only Occurs in Illegal Businesses
Due to popular media and our overall notion of human trafficking, it is often believed that it only occurs in illegal businesses or other shady practices. However, that could not be the furthest from the truth. In North Texas, human trafficking has been reported in many industries, including restaurants, cleaning services, construction, and factories.
Human Traffickers Only Target Strangers
The misconception that human traffickers only target strangers is false. Human trafficking often involves grooming and preparation. We have found that someone is more likely to be trafficked by a loved one like a spouse or parent than they are by a stranger on the street.
Help Us Break Misconceptions and Myths On This World Trafficking Day
The best thing you can do for yourself or your community this World Trafficking Day is to help us break the misconceptions and myths associated with human trafficking. Only through better understanding and education will we finally be able to adequately combat human trafficking in North Texas
If you are interested in learning more about human trafficking, we would love to schedule a training for your office, church, civic group, school or elsewhere! Contact Mosaic’s Human Trafficking Outreach Coordinator, Noel Mendoza, at firstname.lastname@example.org, to coordinate a comprehensive and insightful training!