IndyStar columnist Tim Swarens spent more than a year investigating a lucrative business where abused children are bought and sold. USA TODAY
Speaker Paul Ryan states that, “We must end sex trafficking in the United States. So much trafficking starts with deceit, exploitation, and recruitment on the internet.”
The United States continues to be both a source and destination country for human trafficking victims.
In towns and cities across the richest nation on earth, people are forced to perform jobs against their will. They work in agriculture, manufacturing and many other industries, including the sex trade. Sometimes they are hidden in plain sight: in the fields picking fruits and vegetables or working on construction sites.
“The general public does not have a real awareness of the magnitude of the problem,” says Barry Koch, a former assistant district attorney in New York County, now with his own consulting firm. “Whether it’s labor trafficking or sex trafficking, the number of victims is staggering, yet many of them remain hidden in plain sight. After drug dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second largest criminal industry in the world, and is the fastest growing. Raising public awareness is an important element in the fight against human trafficking.
Despite global efforts and petitions from humanitarian groups, there are still many major companies around the world that employ child labour in order to make a profit. With overhead costs and an increasingly competitive market to think of, many major companies turn to young labourers in order to get their products made quickly, and incredibly cheaply. With business on their minds, however, these companies fail to recognise the humanitarian implications that their choices have.
After an intensive investigation, the Toronto Star exposes the Game in Ontario. In this Canadian city, girls experience extreme abuse, including being starved until a minimum income is met through selling sex that night.