Human Trafficking FAQs
What is the difference between smuggling and trafficking?
Smuggling is when an individual voluntarily requests or hires an individual, known as a smuggler to covertly transport from one location to another, usually involving transportation from one country to another, where legal entry would be denied. In Trafficking the individual is a victim who has been sold, tricked or coerced into forced slavery resulting in exploitation for labor or commercial sex. Traffickers may in fact Smuggle their victims into foreign locations but the victim is not allowed to go free
What is Debt Bondage or Bonded Labor?
Often the victim is forced into labor or sex acts to repay undefined debt that is increasing faster than the victim can earn the funds to repay it. The scenarios are endless. The victim may have agreed to pay a fee to be smuggled, A child may have been sold by their parents, or the perpetrator may just charge exorbitant amounts for room and board, that the victim is forced in to exploitative acts to repay it. The debt owed accumulates much faster than the victim can earn the funds (through sex or labor) to eliminate their debt Which Countries are most likely to be involved in Human Trafficking. Human Trafficking exists all over the world with the majority of victims originating in impoverished third world countries due to corruption and the lack of education and income opportunities. South East Asia has long been a hot bed for trafficking of women and children. Most trafficking is carried out by people whose nationality is the same as that of their victim. (UNODC)
Why don’t victims escape on their own?
Many times victims are drugged immediately by their perpetrators. Often victims may not know what city or country they are in and may not speak the language. They are often moved frequently. and many are imprisoned in brothels where they cannot escape. They may be extremely frightened and feel no one cares about them or will help them. They may feel embarrassed or ashamed and so are reluctant to return to their families. In some countries they are blamed for their crimes and even arrested for prostitution or solicitation, in which case they are victimized twice.
How do traffickers control their victims?
Often traffickers confiscate the victim’s identification. Victims are usually taken to an unfamiliar locations, and the trafficker almost always takes the victim’s money, so she has no means to escape. The perpetrator plays mind games with the victim, manipulating them through fear and threats and may even threaten to kill the victim and her family. Many victims are totally isolated and not given opportunity to go out amongst the public where they could seek help. Often victims are drugged so they cannot resist or attempt to escape. Perpetrators also use violence, beatings and torture to control their victims.
How often are perpetrators charged and convicted? Is pressing charges and taking the perpetrator to court effective?
We believe that holding perpetrators accountable is a major deterrent against future trafficking activities. Most traffickers believe they will be able to continue their abuse with impunity. They specifically prey on innocent women and children and the very poor because they believe such persons will be unable to fight back.
Rapha House works with legal experts and victims to ensure they have the best opportunity possible to receive justice and stop traffickers from destroying the lives of others. We believe in the old adage that “the more the good guys win, the harder it will be for the bad guys.” Every time a victim goes to court to and defeats the perpetrator is one less time that another child will be exploited and abused.
We welcome support and contributions to our legal fund to ensure victims has access to qualified representation and a fair chance for justice.
Why is Rapha House primarily in Southeast Asia? Do you have plans to expand?
Yes, the mission of Rapha House is to fight child trafficking wherever its found. We are exploring expanding to other countries where the need is great.
We know that our proprietary program for rescue, healing and reintegration is effective and has saved many lives. We are only limited by the financial resources provided by our many generous donors. We are currently exploring other opportunities for expansion and are seeking supporters to help us in this effort.
Are HIV/AIDS, STDs, hepatitis, and other sexually transmitted diseases an issue in conjunction with sex trafficking?
The very nature of sex trafficking leaves the victim completely vulnerable to exposure to serious and life-threatening medical challenges. Because victims have been repeated violated and drugged and often imprisoned against their will there is more to the healing process than just mental health counseling.
Rapha House regularly collaborates with other organizations and medical professionals to provide the necessary medical assistance to help victims cope and recover. We welcome organizational partnerships, foundation and grant aid whenever possible to help us fund medical requirements that are essential to treating the wide range of illness that are a result of trafficking.
To learn more about how you or your organization can help, please contact us.
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God has a plan to help bring justice to the world-and his plan is us.
Gary Haugen, International Justice Mission