By all estimates, 40 million people worldwide have fallen victim to slavery. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge, so does the sexual exploitation of women and children.
In fact, experts in this area agree, violence towards women and children has increased and is continuing to. One of the largest groups attempting to combat this wretched act against humanity is Polaris.
The group’s strategic initiative director, Robert Beiser, in a recent telephone interview with the Daily Signal, had this to say. “Buyers are getting more violent, more aggressive, trying to pay less.” As repulsive as this sounds, they’re looking for bargains.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline, which is operated by Polaris, has received over 48,000 calls and texts, so far this year, from individuals seeking their help.
Because of the pandemic, human traffickers are consistently searching out their most vulnerable victims. Comparing April 2019 to April 2020, this represents an overall increase of 40%.
According to Beiser, “The real concern for most anti-trafficking professionals is when people are out of work or unable to work, when they are not stably housed, when they don’t feel that they can get safety when they need it, that is when trafficking flourishes.”
In the State Departments annual “2020 Trafficking in Persons Report.” released in June, Mike Pompeo wrote, “While urgency has always marked the fight against human trafficking, the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic have magnified the need for all stakeholders to work together in the fight more than ever.”
Beiser also added, “Theoretically, right now, when people are sheltering in place and quarantining, men should be less likely to go out and buy sex from a stranger who could be trafficked. What we are actually seeing online, where a lot of sex trafficking is facilitated, is men still writing that they are going out and buying sex.”
Phillip Langford, president of International Justice Mission U.S., yet another group involved in the fight, said, “The largest form of violence against people in poverty in the world would be in the realm of violence against women and children.”
“We are seeing, country by country, where we work to protect women and children from violence, massive spikes in sexual assault [and] intimate-partner violence as they are locked in homes and neighborhoods with predators and abusers.”
Because of technological advances to include online forums and platforms, Langford said, “The online sexual exploitation of children is this new, sinister form of cybersex trafficking that has really spread like a wildfire in a dry field with the proliferation of the developing world.”
“If you are a cyber sex trafficker in the Philippines, all you need is a cheap internet connection, which is easy to get. You need a cheap webcam or a cellphone, and just some sort of electronic payment method, and then you are up and running, able to sell to predators and abusers around the world.”
It has become as easy as 1-2-3 to capture the vulnerable, and even easier to order one matching a predator’s exact specifications. Just tell a trafficker what you’re interested in, and presto, they’ll appear as if by magic.
Don’t want to buy your own sex-slave? No problem. There are plenty of online live webcams where perverts of all varieties can pay to watch these enslaved people do anything they ask of them. When we say anything. We mean, anything.
Traffickers are preying upon the weakest, and in particular, they are scouting out the type of people with jobs that don’t allow them to work from home during the pandemic. These are the folks who are currently unemployed and can be much easier exploited.
On the brighter side, if there is one, COVID-19 has brought about more attention to the human trafficking crises, and as the spotlight shines, more groups, agencies, and even individuals have become more involved with seeking out the predators and freeing the victims from their chains.
If any of our vast amount of readers suspects any cases of human trafficking taking place, please do the right thing by reporting it to local authorities. They will, in turn, solicit the help they need to put an abrupt end to a crime that defies all goodness and human compassion.