Sadly, traffickers target people who are in vulnerable states because they are much easier to exploit. There are several factors, both personal and societal, that make people more vulnerable to trafficking.
War, violence, political conflict, and natural disasters all create unstable conditions that make it difficult and sometimes impossible for people to earn a living or survive the harsh conditions created. In addition to limited options, those who have experienced political instability live in constant fear, with separation among families being a serious concern for those affected.
Political instability also leads to forced migrations where people have to find safe communities. Unfortunately, this is not always possible with unemployment, temporary settlements, and even hostility from the host community common among victims of forced migration.
Traffickers typically take advantage of these desperate conditions and circumstances.
Online Activity and Vulnerability
Traffickers maintain an online presence so they can lure vulnerable children, teens, and adults. The goal is to meet their victims, take and circulate explicit photos, and coerce their victims to comply with their demands.
Traffickers also use various psychological manipulation tactics to keep their victims in instant fear, with the threat of circulating damning material being one of the tools used.
Sex trafficking is a serious offense punishable by imprisonment, but victims can also file lawsuits against individuals and corporations to get compensated for what they have gone through. There are attorneys like Romanucci & Blandin Law that are highly experienced in dealing with sex trafficking cases and getting compensation for numerous victims. They can investigate each case, determining the best path for victims to get compensated for what they have been through.
Poor Economic Situations
Poverty leads to desperation, and it is this desperation that traffickers typically take advantage of. Traffickers target marginalized communities where there is a higher rate of poverty. They offer their victims hope by providing false opportunities for improving their lives. Desperate people are much more likely to take risks, and this is what traffickers count on.
By the time the victims realize what is going on, they are already ensnared in a trap they may have a hard time getting out of.
Substance abuse and addiction are both tools used by traffickers to lure and control their victims. Some traffickers will supply drugs to people they think can be coerced and manipulated. Once they break down their resistance, they force them into labor or sex. These victims might also be trafficked across borders to work for the network of traffickers as a way of paying off their drug debts.
The traffickers do not allow these “debts” to be completely paid as they will always supply these vulnerable people with drugs to keep them vulnerable, desperate, and in a vicious cycle of different types of abuse.
Human and sex trafficking are heinous crimes that are, unfortunately, common in many parts of the world. By understanding what makes people vulnerable to them, the larger society can take steps to reduce risk to the most vulnerable.