My name is Claudia and I have just finished a legal internship with STOP THE TRAFFIK. Before I head back to the States, I want to leave you my thoughts…
About 7 months ago, I asked myself “What is human trafficking” and the answer was difficult to come by. Was I supposed to be ashamed that I did not know the answer or that I had not done anything to help?
I have to say that I did feel a little ashamed because here I was, a law student – well versed on the law, politics and social justice – but with no idea what human trafficking was. I was upset and wanted to learn more. First I needed to start with a definition:
“the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of a person, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud of deception…or of giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”
There are many forms of trafficking such as labor trafficking, sexual exploitation trafficking, child soldiers and organ trafficking. Having been part of STOP THE TRAFFIK’s awareness campaigns, I have found out that sexual exploitation and forced labor of children and women are global phenomenons, and ones very much affecting the United States. Human trafficking has become one of the fastest growing areas of international criminal activity.
Human trafficking could not have grown to its current extent if market forces did not support this industry.
I challenge all law students, as a matter of fact, I challenge all students to take a stand and contribute to this great cause to combat human trafficking. Learn more about the issue and find out how it is affecting your community. We as students owe it to ourselves to make a difference; we are the promise of tomorrow; we must take a stand and do some thing!