Slave trade feeds slavery

Human trafficking is the second largest profit generating syndicate in the world

Photo: Pho­to: the­no­pro­ject The incred­i­ble ReQuest Dance Crew from New Zea­land use their pow­er, pas­sion and skill to raise aware­ness of the glob­al slave trade.

I look at the glob­al pic­ture of slav­ery, at the region­al and local sta­tis­tics, infor­ma­tion and data, and first of all human traf­fick­ing is a busi­ness. It is as sim­ple as that. It is a busi­ness which relies on sup­ply and demand. If there is no demand, the busi­ness goes down. It is the demand that sus­tains the busi­ness. So we have to look at the busi­ness mod­el. There are three cri­te­ria for slav­ery - vio­lence, con­trol and mon­ey. Slav­ery always has an eco­nom­ic goal. I have an exam­ple - a wom­an from Niger­ia who twice tried to run away and reach Ita­ly. The pimps caught her and put worms under her skin as a mes­sage to the oth­er slaves.

I look at the glob­al pic­ture of slav­ery, at the region­al and local sta­tis­tics, infor­ma­tion and data, and first of all human traf­fick­ing is a busi­ness. It is as sim­ple as that. It is a busi­ness which relies on sup­ply and demand. If there is no demand, the busi­ness goes down. It is the demand that sus­tains the busi­ness. So we have to look at the busi­ness mod­el.
There are three cri­te­ria for slav­ery - vio­lence, con­trol and mon­ey. Slav­ery always has an eco­nom­ic goal. I have an exam­ple - a wom­an from Niger­ia who twice tried to run away and reach Ita­ly. The pimps caught her and put worms under her skin as a mes­sage to the oth­er slaves. I am not a police­man nor a law­yer but I have been involved in res­cue. So I hid the Nige­ri­an wom­an in my house. And lat­er helped her to escape slav­ery. I worked in Greece and saw what was going on there. Traf­fick­ing is not only pros­ti­tu­tion - traf­fick­ing is rape. I have the pages of a dia­ry of a vic­tim in Greece. You can see the entries of the cli­ents, what she paid to the pimp - and what her­self paid for the forced abor­tions. The foun­da­tion pro­duced a very short vid­eo named "The price of sex". The doc­u­men­ta­ry is by Mimi Chak­ar­o­va, who is Bul­gar­i­an. Sta­tis­tics show that 2.2 mil­lion chil­dren - as young as 4 years of age, are sold and bought each year. In the world today there are over 27 mil­lion vic­tims of the slave trade.  Human traf­fick­ing is the sec­ond larg­est prof­it gen­er­at­ing syn­di­cate in the world.
And the ques­tion is how much mon­ey they can make from one body. If you were the tar­get­ed age and exploit­ed in the sex busi­ness you may have 35 cli­ents dai­ly sev­en days a week. So one makes 125 thou­sand dol­lars a year. And from tens or doz­ens in the course of the year it sums up to mil­lions of dol­lars or euros. On the oth­er hand, vic­tims have been trau­ma­tized and this stands in their heads for­ev­er. So I began my project at the begin­ning of 2011 try­ing to find a way to oppose human traf­fick­ing. The first to be includ­ed in the project were dan­cers - these are the world cham­pi­ons of hip-hop. And their vid­eo has 4 mil­lion picks on You­Tube. Their dance is not only a dance - it gives a vision of what human traf­fick­ing is. We now have many cham­pi­ons of the project in dif­fer­ent coun­tries - I hope we will have in Bul­gar­ia too.
For exam­ple, the child does not give con­sent to make sex. Cur­rent­ly 300,000 chil­dren have been forced into the sex trade annu­al­ly. In some coun­tries some­body may say: "No, we do not have child pros­ti­tu­tion." But what about child por­nog­ra­phy?  But let us go to Cam­bo­dia or Thai­land, for exam­ple. There is a lit­tle boy or a girl aged six hav­ing sex in a room - and do you know what is there in the room? Cam­er­as, cam­er­as - and this is on-line rape. You find it in many pla­ces. And this is mon­ey, mon­ey and mon­ey. This is the slave trade - which is slav­ery. This includes the recruit­ment, the mar­riage prom­is­es, the "soft" approach­es like the "lov­er boy". It is the slave trade that feeds slav­ery. I was in Bos­ton in the Unit­ed States and saw the con­ver­sa­tions taped by the FBI. When you are the per­son that has been traf­ficked you are the vic­tim. Smug­gling is the cross­ing of a bor­der ille­gal­ly. But forced sex­u­al exploi­ta­tion prof­its more than Hol­ly­wood. This includes not only direct sex­u­al slaves, but also "domes­tic serv­ice" - which are the maids. But human traf­fick­ing is not only sex serv­i­ces. There is also one more aspect. Let us look at the choc­o­late. I believe that there is a bit of a child's slav­ery inside it. So I pre­fer the choc­o­late that is from fair trade.
Slav­ery is the top sixth grow­ing crime on the plan­et. For­get about drugs, peo­ple there are lost. In slav­ery indi­vid­u­als are an asset - they gen­er­ate prof­it. I per­son­al­ly know the sto­ry of a pros­ti­tute that aimed at cash­ing half a mil­lion euro before retir­ing. She did it - but paid with her body and psy­che. And anoth­er one from Greece who aft­er years of forced pros­ti­tu­tion could not con­trol the low­er part of her body - because her mus­cles were all ruined.
I decid­ed ten years ago to begin oppos­ing human traf­fick­ing and at the begin­ning of 2011 The No Project Foun­da­tion was set up. We reach peo­ple in a dif­fer­ent way - through musi­cians, art­ists, media, film mak­ers. The boys and girls you can see on the web site of the foun­da­tion now are ten years old­er. Where are they? Moved from Asia to the Unit­ed States? As to human traf­fick­ing, one has to fight from all sites. Begin­ning from 7 and reach­ing 30 years.
 
Judi Boyle, Founder and Direct­or of The No Project, pub­lic lec­ture, New Bul­gar­i­an Uni­ver­si­ty, Sofia, Bul­gar­ia, 11 June 2012.

Similar articles