St. Josephine Bakhita
Josephine Bakhita was born in Sudan in 1869 and was kidnapped at the age of 7-8 years, as her sister was two years before.
She lived as a slave, being sold over a dozen times. She was a victim of human trafficking, working at family houses, and taking care of reach people.
How old is human trafficking and how deeply rooted it is in human life.
Human trafficking modalities are present around the world and their intensity change between regions according to the context and realities.
The exploitation of a victim of trafficking for sexual and/or labour purposes occurs in different places: working in a warehouse, on a farm, working in a brothel, or working in a family home, etc.
All forms of human trafficking have a common purpose: to use the bodies and lives of people to generate economic profit.
“Exploitation and subjugation limit freedom and turn people into objects to use and discard. And the system of trafficking profits from the injustice and wickedness that oblige millions of people to live in conditions of vulnerability.”
Migrants are a highly vulnerable population that human traffickers take advantage of. Millions of immigrants cross borders to become the labour force and to perform heavy and essential work in the countries they arrive.
By performing jobs considered legal, people are exploited. Human trafficking is hidden in all possible economic fields and companies, with workers doing legal work but under no legal conditions.
Every time a person is deprived of the minimum conditions that every worker should have, he/she is a victim of labour trafficking and/or exploitation: being paid below the established legal salary, living in overcrowding and isolation, without legal health and safety conditions, without a pension plan, when his/her documents are withheld by the employer, among others.
In war and conflict zones, people's vulnerability increases, as it increases in places where large economic emporiums take away people’s lands, water, forests, and natural resources necessary for the survival of communities.
Millions of people are fleeing their country due to violence and the loss of production resources, to work in the richest countries, becoming vulnerable sectors at the expense of trafficking networks and exploitative agents.
Sad but true, there is a lot of money involved in human trafficking, powerful sectors take advantage of this crime, so often the big heads of economic emporiums and governments turn their gaze in the other direction to avoid seeing it.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Prize Peace, 1984