20.9 Million Human Trafficking Victims
In my experience, innocent victims of slavery’s depravity—once bright lights who, by no fault of their own, have inhabited the deepest depths of darkness—tend to settle into one of three groupings after they are, at last, unbound and emancipated:
- those seething with an anger that threatens daily to boil over and rage;
- those fighting for causes that help victims unable to wage war for themselves; and
- those joyfully perceiving love and beauty in every remarkable moment.
These survival groupings represent each individual’s capacity—emotionally, physically, and spiritually—to process all that has happened to them.
The angry. The fighters. The joyful. Which category do I fit into? My family was touched by the Holocaust. Its expanding horrors stretched across an ocean and empowered my South African sexual master to rule over his perverted kingdom unobstructed, when I was but a mere child. Looking back on the cruelty that shaped me, I can now answer confidently which category best suits me. I embody all three survival groups: I have turned fuming anger into joyful living while dedicating my adult life to the abolishment of modern-day slavery.
Excuse my lack of elegance when I say that the statistics on modern-day slavery galvanize me to spit nails! According to the United Nations, 37 million people are enslaved worldwide. That’s more than twice the number of people who were enslaved during the 400 years that transatlantic slavers trafficked humans to work in the Americas.
Present day newspaper headlines only fuel my fire:
- Rescued Girls in Metro Detroit Human Trafficking Bust 12-17 years old
- 21 Human Trafficking Arrests in Orlando
- Human Trafficker Bust in Puget Sound
- Spain, France Bust Human Trafficking Gang
Globally more people are being held against their will today than ever before in human history!
I have survived modern-day slavery. My troubling history has inspired me to spend the better part of my life resting my rigid palm on the stubborn face of denial and directing its head toward the image of slavery crimes. I have dedicated my life to focusing modern-day eyes on modern-day slavery. We are in the midst of a lethal epidemic perpetrated by unconscionable individuals who are driven by the darkest forces: greed and depravity.
An astonishing fact: Approximately $280,000 can be made per year by a human trafficker … per victim! Ludwig “Tarzan” Fainberg, a convicted U.S. trafficker, stated, “You can buy a woman for as little as $50 and make your money back in five minutes. Then everything else is profit.” For years to come.
Can current and future victims be saved from the heinous trade of human flesh? Yes! What can we do to interrupt and eventually terminate these debauched crimes? Speaking as the founder of the Report Modern-Day Slavery organization, I challenge each of us to do what we can to combat this evil epidemic:
- Law abiding citizens around the world: Step up, form groups, and demand action by your governments.
- Social Media Moguls: Open your wallets and dedicate a portion of your profits to bringing the hope of freedom to those who are cruelly enslaved. Protect your followers from the dangers lurking behind cyberspace walls.
- Create a “Beware Video” that pops up on certain sites when customers of any age log on. Imprint “danger” signals in the minds of your users.
- Via video, display the face of a human trafficked victim. Contrast that with the facial photo and driver’s license of an arrested trafficker. The Freedom of Information Act allows anyone to obtain this information.
- Link news clips of human trafficking stories and arrests not only to popular sites, such as Facebook, but also to sites that represent a parent’s worst nightmare: Kik and others that offer teen dating and flirting.
- Create banners displaying Help Hotline pop-ups at login.
- Build a confidential reporting center on your Web sites. You can view mine at reportmoderndayslavery.org.
- Hire professionals to root out false IP address and identities used to lure children.
- Lawmakers, take action:
- Pass mandatory life sentences (without parole) for human traffickers. Punish them severely for torturing and murdering the innocence of so many people.
- Allow victims’ families to post pictures of their abusers’ faces on fliers, media sites, and anywhere else they see fit. Help these families process their pain by allowing them to work toward preventing these crimes and sparing other families.
- Worldwide Governmental Officials, take action:
- Increase funding for cyberspace policing.
- Shut down brothels, “gentlemen’s” bars, strip joints, and other sexually related venues that allow crimes against humanity to escalate. These establishments entice people interested in making easy, untraceable money. Many of the perpetrators have been tied to fund-raising for terrorist organizations.
- Shut down publications of sexually-orientated magazines, literature, and porn sites that are proven precursors to sexual crimes. Enforce laws that ban sexually related Internet listings on sites such as Backpage.com and Craigslist.com. By eliminating the blatant “supply and demand” for men, women, girls, and boys, we can cripple the operation of these debauched sites.
- Understanding that seventy-one percent of female victims struggle with suicidal tendencies, fund Special Task Forces of women to be present whenever female victims are rescued. Many female sufferers have confidentially revealed on my Web site that the presence of male officers at their rescue sent them right back into a rape-infused trauma closet.
- Provide government-funded safe houses for victims who have no family members to collect them. Help potential victims avoid homelessness, a condition that invites re-abuse by the traffickers who discovered them on the streets in the first place.
- Provide funding for educational facilities to create “safety” plays, videos, and literature. Pay victims to become “impact speakers” who tell their stories to a new generation of prospective victims.
- Allow everyone the right to obtain background checks without payment.
Sadly, we are a culture of pervasive silence when it comes to the modern-day slavery crimes that are infecting our homes and workplaces. We have been complacent and afraid to step out of our comfort zones. But today is a new day. It is time to act! We cannot wait for another human being to suffer at the hands of greedy criminal thugs. You may think slavery could never happen to you or your loved ones. But you are wrong! It happened to me, and it could happen to someone you love!
Profits from human trafficking surpass those made in the drug trade and other criminal activities. Protect your loved ones from the growing human-trafficking statistics.
It is not enough to feel compassion and sympathy. The solution requires you to act now.”
Humanitarian, anti-human trafficking activist, and former journalist