Human Trafficking: The Modern-Day Slavery

1bbBy Roxi Sepulveda

Human trafficking is a new form of modern-day slavery that affects millions in the world.

According to Polaris Project, which works to ensure that the U.S. government prioritizes efforts to eradicate all forms of human trafficking and protect victims, “Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery—a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 20.9 million people around the world. And no matter where you live, chances are it’s happening nearby. From the girl forced into prostitution at a truck stop, to the man discovered in a restaurant kitchen, stripped of his passport and held against his will. All trafficking victims share one essential experience: the loss of freedom.”

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime defines human trafficking as, “The recruitment, transport, transfer, harboring or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud or deception for the purpose of exploitation.”

Sadly this is going on in our state. According to the office of Nevada’s Attorney General Paul Laxalt, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police department recovered 2,229 victims since 1994.

On March 30 ASCSN, student government at College of Southern Nevada, sponsored an event with Congo Justice Las Vegas on this topic. They wanted to bring awareness of this very serious issue to students and staff.

Congo Justice, with its parent organization New Hope Foundation, is a non-profit organization that focuses on human rights advocacy, education, outreach and awareness about human trafficking.

Project director of Congo Justice Adia Lancaster said, “Slavery has always existed since the beginning of time and today in the 21st century we have twice as many slaves in existence than we did back in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.”

Lancaster went on to share her opinion on how these statistics reflect huge poverty levels in our global economy, which traffickers have taken advantage of.

According to Polaris, there are some signs to look for to identify those who have been trafficked. Typically the person is not free to leave or come and go as he or she wishes, works excessively long and unusual hours, owes a large amout of debt and is unable to pay it off, and is anxious, depressed, submissive, nervous, fearful and avoids eye contact.

Shawn Claxton, who teaches women’s studies at CSN, said it might not be possible to shut down the industry and social media has allowed it to blossom even farther.

Claxton continued, “I think what we have to do is make people aware so that when they see what’s going on, they’re not so easily pulled in and [we need to] make avenues so that if you have been pulled in, here’s a way that you can get out.”

CSN student Amber Sampson, who attended the event, said, “The more people who stand up, the more people who report things, the more people who refuse to turn a blind eye…we can begin the de-construction of this sick business model.”

For information on human trafficking go to

%d bloggers like this: