How does trafficking really happen?

How does trafficking really happen?

Feb 16, 2024Madison Barefield0 comments

Know the ways traffickers lure potential victims, and how we can spot it in our own communities.

We have all seen sensational photos of girls in chains, or seen movies like Taken, but how do people really get trafficked? Hint hint: abduction is often not the answer.

 1. False Job Promises

Graphic about poverty as a driving force of human trafficking

Experience and data shows that false job promises are the most common form of luring victims into trafficking in South Africa. High unemployment drives this form of exploitation and traffickers prey on both men and women from rural areas and/or asylum seekers who may not have working rights or valid documentation due to the backlog since COVID.

This is why employing survivors directly out of residential care is essential in taking the recovery process full circle. And why it is so important we demand workplaces vet their supply chain to ensure that is is slavery free. Stronger Together is doing great work in this area, especially in South Africa where the fruit and wine industry is rife with exploitation.

 2. Family

Inofrmation that nearly half of all child trafficking cases are facilitated by family members or caregivers.

Traffickers prey on vulnerable individuals who often have a higher number of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) scores.

This often manifest in substance abuse, unhealthy relationships and mental illness. Unfortunately, victims often know their abusers, sometimes it is even their parent, sibling, or extended family member. In 2017, IOM estimated that 41 percent of child trafficking experiences are facilitated by family members and/or caregivers.

3. Force/Threat of Violence

warning that traffickers often us fear and intimidation as a tactic to keep victims trapped

Traffickers may have some connection to the victims, and they use this power over them to threaten both their own and their families well being. For instance, if the victim tries to escape, the trafficker will threaten to kill their children, or will assault the victim to "show the others" what will happen if they try and leave.

4. The "Lover Boy Method"

Lover Boy Method explained as a manipulation method used by trafficker

Traffickers can spot vulnerabilities and use those to their advantage. Often times they will find a victim looking for love and acceptance and use that to lure them into a life of exploitation, saying things like "well if you really loved me you would _______" to manipulate them into prostitution (of which the traffickers keeps all the money). The trafficker may also buy the victims nice things and show affection as a way of showing their "love" and use this as a manipulation tactic.

Trafficking takes on many shapes and forms which we will discuss in our next educational blog. But it is crucial to understand the methods traffickers use to be aware and share within our circles. It is happening all around us, in the fruit and wine industry, on Long Street, in our communities. The only way we can prevent trafficking is if we understand how it happens.

How can you help potential victims?

If you suspect someone is being trafficked, call the hotline at 0800 222 777.

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