(ReliableNews.org) – Human trafficking is a major global problem where people are transported against their will for the purpose of exploitation. That could involve many actions including someone being forced into marriage, sex work, labor or even organ removal. According to the International Labour Organization, as of 2016 it estimated that 40.3 million people have become modern slaves. Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry.
Each year, it’s estimated that traffickers make $150 billion and about $99 billion of that is directly related to sex trafficking, which is a particularly horrible problem, even in the US. In 2018, more than half of the human trafficking cases involved sexual exploitation. And experts are seeing a massive rise in predators using social media to find their victims, particularly on Facebook.
Facebook’s Trafficking Problem
The 2020 Human Trafficking Report was recently released and the findings were disturbing. The study found the internet is a major recruitment tool for traffickers. In fact, 59% of the active sex trafficking cases started on Facebook. The study said that the platform was more commonly used for “recruiting child victims than adult victims in 2020 active sex trafficking cases.” Sixty-five percent of the children recruited on social media platforms were found on Facebook. Instagram, also owned by Facebook, was the second most popular platform for traffickers to find their victims.
The report also found that there were certain groups of people who were particularly vulnerable to trafficking. Those groups include runaways, children who are in foster care, illegal immigrants and other marginalized groups.
The social media giant has been in the news a lot over the last several years because of its censorship of conservative voices. Most recently, it banned former President Donald Trump from the platform after moderators claimed his discussions about the 2020 election were dangerous. He is not allowed back on the site until January 2023 at the earliest.
It seems that Facebook should stop focusing on what conservatives are talking about and start paying attention to actual criminals. Figuring out ways to prevent traffickers from using the platform would do more to keep the country safe than targeting Trump. How many children could be saved from sex trafficking if the social media giant would spend its talent on solving the problem, rather than getting involved in politics?
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, you can reach out to authorities by calling 1 (888) 373-7888 or by texting “Help” or “Info” to 233733.
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