For decades, child-trafficking victims have been used as instruments of crime in the slavery business and a recent story of a 14-year-old girl who was forced to sell drugs on the streets of London reveals the harsh reality of human trafficking.
According to statistics, the total count of modern slavery victims has climbed up to 30 million worldwide. Here are some insightful facts about human trafficking.
Thousand of People Affected in Britain Alone
A report released by Britain’s modern slavery commission revealed that human trafficking and slavery affects thousands of people in Britain alone. Among them is a 14-year-old girl, whose identity has been kept secret for her safety, threatened into selling cocaine and other Class A drugs by a notorious gang leader.
The girl claims that she was lured into the dangerous drug-dealing business through a social media app where she first met a drug dealer. Teenage girls like her often fall prey to such dangerous traps at an early age and continue to be exploited in the slavery business for years.
For months, the 14-year-old would leave her home every Friday morning, dressed in her regular school uniform, and catch a train from Victoria station to a small town 60 miles away from London. With her school bag slug over her shoulder, to the normal eye it seemed like she was on her way to school. But the reality was far from it.
A Sales Quota
The girl had a daily sales quota to meet– and her life depended on it. Every day she must sell more drugs than before to meet the increasing demand or face the wrath of the gang leader. If she wasn’t able to bring back enough money, she would fall victim to physical and intimate assault.
The 14-year-old’s mother had no idea what her daughter had gotten herself into. Being a neglected child, she could not open up about the truth to anybody. It wasn’t until she suddenly disappeared last summer, that the truth about her secret activities began to surface.
Her mother had lost all hope of ever finding her little girl, assuming that she died a long time ago until a detective showed up at her door claiming that the girl might be still alive and have fallen in the hands of human traffickers.
A few months later, the 14-year-old was found by the police and her eye-opening story published in New York Times.
How can financial aspects affect someone’s vulnerability?
Experts point out that people with poor quality of life and no financial support from family are especially vulnerable to falling into such traps. The rescued girl, who met the drug dealer on a messaging app admitted that she needed money and he took advantage of her vulnerability, showing her how she could make a huge earning by doing an insignificant job – and being the naïve teenager that she was, she believed him.
During the four months that she worked for the gang, she made very little money, even though she was promised a daily wage of $175. She was given a cell phone and expensive jewelry but the work benefits were short-lived. One day, she was told by the leader that she had been spotted selling drugs by the cops and they were on a hunt to find her. She was soon transferred to a garage of a safe house far away from the city where she was forced to live for almost seven months.
Things were different now. She was no longer leaving town to sell drugs. Instead, she tasked with preparing the supplies and cleaning up after other dealers. The man who introduced her into the world of drug dealing was no longer who he had pretended to be when they had first met. He would often beat her and tell her that she was no longer of any use to him.
It wasn’t until the gang members began to intimately assault the little girl, that she decided that the situation couldn’t get any worse and now was the time to get out. One day, she called the police from the closest laundromat and explained everything to them. The next day she was rescued from her perpetrators and brought back home.
The teenager fears that her life may still be in danger from the huge network of drug dealers that she worked with for almost a year. In the modern world that we live in, its astonishing to hear that such form of slavery does exist and young girls fall victim to it every day.