Modern-day human slavery takes many forms.
What do the terms "human slavery" and "human trafficking" mean to you?
When I think of human trafficking and slavery, the first thing that comes to mind is people being kidnapped and sold into the sex and labor trades. That definitely happens, and it's absolutely horrible. It needs to stop.
But there are also other forms, where people voluntarily agree to take what's presented to them as a job. It's usually an opportunity for a better life and much-needed income. They go willingly — at first. And then once they arrive at their new place of employment, often in another city, state, or country, they quickly learn that they're not free to leave and either the "job" doesn't pay or it's not even the "job" they were promised. Women can end up as involuntary sex workers, for example, when they thought they were taking a job as a housekeeper.
Human trafficking is a big business that happens all over the world.
There's a lot of illegal money being made buying, selling, and exploiting humans — about $32 billion a year. Over $15 billion of that comes from industrialized countries, including the United States.
Make no mistake: People are being held against their will and forced to perform labor, from domestic work to prostitution, in the U.S. Human trafficking and slavery isn't a "third-world problem." It happens in greater numbers in developing countries, but it also happens in developed ones.
Watch three common scenarios about how people are duped into becoming human slaves.
These three fictional people became human slaves when they were tricked into taking "jobs" that turned out not to be jobs at all. It's helpful for us all to understand how human trafficking works.