Human trafficking is also called modern day slavery and is defined as holding someone illegally and against their will by form of deception and coercion and turning them into laborers and prostitutes without paying them. It is hard to believe that in the twenty first century, slavery still exists especially here at home and right under our noses. This has been an ongoing problem since the nineteenth century. A lot of people were trafficked into the United States and sold as slaves. Back then there were no laws that stated that it was illegal to traffic human beings and turn them into slaves. It all starts with a walk through the park in a remote part of Mexico. A young girl named Paloma is taking a stroll to get away from all the stressors in her life. Her mother is very ill and they cannot afford to get her better medical treatment because they are very poor. They live in a shack in Mexico and Paloma has endured a lot of abuse and struggle in her short life there. She was born into poverty and has withstood a lifetime of struggle and this has made her develop a hardy personality. She believes she can face the challenges and come out stronger and better in order to be able to get her family out of indigence. Paloma is approached by an older gentleman who presents himself as an outstanding, prominent businessman with a lot of businesses across Mexico and the United States. He promises her a great escape from the impoverished life she has led. He promises her an education and a job which will help her pay back the money she would owe him for getting her to America. The sixteen year old lady is smitten by the offer and accepts it without even thinking twice. All she can think about is getting her family a better life than what they have been living. Her prince charming has emerged from nowhere and has come to save her. Little does Paloma know that when they arrive to the United States she is going to be a victim of human trafficking rather than the educated secretary that she thought she would be. She ends up being held captive for six months in a dinky apartment in a place that she cannot recognize and forced to submit to the man’s demands and needs. Paloma ends up cooking, cleaning and being raped by her captor. He threatens her family with harm and takes all her documents in order to prevent her from escaping. Her prince charming has turned into a beast. During the turn of the century, human trafficking has become inhumane and a lot of people want to be free and live on their own means. Most of the captured slaves back in the day lived in their “masters” compounds and could not own anything or even have the right to vote. The creation of the 13th. Amendment which state that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.", slavery has been formally abolished. The United States has created a law to prevent and protect the victims like the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. According to Dr. Potocky who is a specialist in refugee resettlement, human rights, international social work, and research methodology “TVPA focused on international trafficking, including reducing trafficking globally, providing assistance to immigrant victims of trafficking in the United States, and prosecuting traffickers” (Potocky 373). Human trafficking has been a major social injustice and the United States must do more to combat it because the laws are not being enforced properly, it is continuously increasing, and this is due to weak penalties. The TVPA was established in 2000 and was supposed to protect victims of human trafficking and it has yet to curb this crime. Also, statistics show that the number of victims has continuously increased since the mid-1990s and the number of convictions and...
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