Slavery in the 21st Century
Sex trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion. While this happens all over the world, it occurs much more frequently in the United States than one would think. Sex traffickers use a variety of methods to “condition” their victims including starvation, confinement, beatings, physical abuse, rape, gang rape, threats of violence to the victims and the victims’ families, and forced drug use. In modern day slavery, human beings are literally bought and sold as property on the market, for amounts ranging from $80 to $5,000. Like in the 1800s, victims might even be sold at auctions where they have been kidnapped or sold into slavery by their families or friends whom they believed they could trust. They have no control over their lives: where they live, what work they do, their sexuality, or their health. Escaping is nearly impossible as victims are often constantly drugged, and they fear being abused or even killed. This is very similar to slavery in the 1700s and 1800s.
Right now there are many problems and issues being brought up about the United States, however sex trafficking has failed to be acknowledged by most as one of those issues. We should care more about sex trafficking since it is believed to be the 21st century’s version of slavery. In the 1800s slavery was abolished and ended with the Civil War, but now it has arisen once again in a different way. We should pay more attention to these issues in providing education on the topic by reporting on the statistics and effects of sex trafficking in the media. I don’t know if we can truly abolish slavery in every form, but we should try as history has shown the effects slavery has on the individual, as well as, society.
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