Human Trafficking

Written by Samantha Collier  

Human trafficking has been a significant story in the media for years. We hear about it regularly while scrolling through social media, watching the news, or even on crime shows.   

Ghislaine Maxwell is on trial for recruiting three victims involved with Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking scheme. Maxwell’s trail is scheduled for July 2021. Epstein has been in the news for over a year now since he was arrested in July 2019 on sex trafficking charges. Shortly after his arrest and guilty plea, Epstein was reportedly found dead in his jail cell. Maxwell and Epstein’s case has brought increased attention in the media on human trafficking.   

There are many different types of trafficking happening in this world, according to Human Trafficking Search, some of which you may not even be aware of. Labor trafficking is a large industry that many men, women, and younger boys and girls are taken into. This form of trafficking involves construction, manufacturing, and cleaning, according to National Human Trafficking Hotline. Another rare, but still significant form of trafficking is organ removal. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime indicates that this form of trafficking is extremely underreported by the media.   

Sex trafficking, as we all know, certainly does not just happen in the United States. This is a worldwide issue that we unfortunately do not see an end to yet. It is also not just an issue where only women are the victims. Men and younger boys get sent overseas to jobs such as construction and get taken into this line of “work.” A study commissioned by the Department of Justice found that boys make up nearly 36% of sex trafficking industry in the United States.   

Dr. Mary Burke, a Psychology Professor here at Carlow University, founded the Project to End Human Trafficking in 2004. This non-profit organization works regionally, nationally, and internationally to advocated enslavement and economic exploitation of people. Dr. Burke has also published a couple of books focusing on Human Trafficking. “Those involved in addressing the issue of human trafficking internationally and in the United States have made good progress over the past 15 years,” said Burke. “However, the problem persists and will require larger scale, systemic change to eliminate: change that attends to policy and legislation that construct poverty and desperation, and change that addresses gaps in integrity that lead some to think that exploitation of people is okay, if it benefits them.” 

Human trafficking has been an issue all over the world for years and is frequently talked about in the media., which is the largest non-profit organization specifically for young people and social change, reported this heinous industry brings in roughly $150 billion globally per year. It seems as if we rarely hear on the news how this affected the victims, if they are even found alive.  

Books by Dr. Mary Burke, Professor of Psychology at Carlow 

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