Human Trafficking and the Work of EverFree

WASHINGTON, DC – Human trafficking is one of the most difficult and problematic issues that the world has always suffered and still suffers today. This ongoing case is unfortunately present in many countries around the world. Human trafficking affects all categories, regardless of race, gender, age or even social class. It can also take many forms, from forced sex workers to underpaid workers disenfranchised.

The victims are usually the most vulnerable members of society. These are mainly women and children living in poverty. This shows the relationship between human trafficking and the precariousness in which some live. Therefore, the fight against human trafficking can fight against poverty. EverFree, an organization that helps victims of trafficking, is making a difference. EverFree’s work is to address the root causes of human trafficking as a means of prevention in addition to helping people who have already been victims of human trafficking.

Human Trafficking Facts

Today, the victims of human trafficking are around 40 million individuals worldwide, which makes this modern slavery very profitable for traffickers whose total profits reach more than 150 billion dollars per year. This illegal trafficking consists of the sale and trade of human beings, activities and forced labor such as labor (including sex workers), marriage or the removal of organs is considered human trafficking. humans and accounts for the majority of trafficking with around 25 million victims, according to World101.

Forced laborers are mainly exploited in the private sector (16 million people), most of them working as domestic servants and in construction. However, sexual exploitation remains the most victimized type of human trafficking, accounting for 79% of the total number of victims.

Another highly profitable form of human trafficking is organ trafficking, traffickers sell the organs of desperate people in need of money, this illegal activity accounts for 10% of the organ transplant industry, reports World101. Although all genders, ages and races are affected by these crimes, African and Asian women and children are the main victims.

Human trafficking and poverty

Poverty is one of the most important factors leading to human trafficking, traffickers often take advantage of the precarious situation in which their victims live. Indeed, people living in extreme poverty are ready to do anything to improve their economic situation, even if it affects them or their children.

In many cases, traffickers promise victims of modern slavery decent work, sometimes in a foreign country, where they can earn money and support their families back home. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and victims face an entirely different reality in which their employers end up exploiting them, imposing an enormous amount of work on them with sometimes no pay.

This is often the situation in which migrant workers find themselves, among the victims of forced labor, almost one in four workers is a migrant, according to World101. With the current crises occurring in the world, due to wars, poverty or environmental disasters, the number of displaced people is increasing. These people often have few resources to survive and therefore become more vulnerable to problems of human trafficking and exploitation.

When it comes to trafficked women and girls, many of them come from areas of the world where there is widespread conflict and instability and where gender-based violence and discrimination already exist. Men exploit these women in their countries and impose sex work on them, forcing them to marry and work. As far as men are concerned, human trafficking is mainly concentrated in male-dominated sectors such as agriculture and construction.

EverFree: Cure and prevent

Of the millions of victims of human trafficking, less than 1% receive adequate care and support to be able to continue their lives freely. The Borgen Project spoke with Kelsey Morgan, Founder and Executive Director of EverFree. It is an organization that helps victims and survivors of human trafficking on their healing journey. The organization started operating in 2021. However, it is the result of several experiences that the founder has already had with survivors of human trafficking since 2013.

EverFree’s work addresses human trafficking in two ways. According to Morgan, his workdoesn’t just seek to heal and restore survivors through high-quality tracking. It also works to address the root causes that fuel exploitation. This includes the poverty and lack of economic self-sufficiency faced by many vulnerable girls and women.

EverFree ensures that each individual is able to achieve their dreams and goals. It does this by providing scholarships, supporting businesses, and providing career counseling and other assistance that will lift people out of poverty. This could help people find true freedom by raising awareness of the issues of human trafficking and providing them with adequate support so that they do not find the offers of traffickers attractive.

Asked about the successes, Morgan related two stories of women who fled forced labor and sex work and who, with the help of EverFree, were able to start a new life free and focused on their goals.

Look forward

As with many other organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the work of EverFree, due to repeated blocks for volunteers to move freely in shelters. The economic crisis that accompanied the pandemic also has its impact on EverFree’s programs.

However, this has not stopped the organization from working on new projects. One of the projects is to open a new shelter for women and girls who have survived human trafficking in Belize. It is the very first refuge of this type in the country. So, despite the challenges, EverFree continues to expand its work to as many people as possible and provides victims and potential victims of human trafficking with enough resources to live in freedom.

– Youssef Yazbek
Photo: Flickr

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