The Investment Behind Slaves

When thinking of human trafficking, I never once considered buying a person an investment. Not only is slavery illegal, but it is morally wrong and any person with a conscious would realize that. That being said, in the eyes of people without a conscious, slave are a huge investment, making those that buy them a significant amount of money. According to Siddharth Kara’s article on Supply and Demand: Human Trafficking in the Global Economy, a slave can be bought for $420 from a pimp. These slaves will then
generate 300-500 percent in annual return on investment. The percent of annual return depends on the industry, but looking at the numbers, slave are a good investment. In a world where consequences for human trafficking are minimal, buyers really have no risk by being involved in human trafficking. How can we combat human trafficking when people all over the world are being rewarded for their investment?

The incentive behind human trafficking needs to be diminished. It’s just like drugs. Drug dealers make thousands off of selling drugs. Why would they stop if they can make more selling drugs than working at some random place? Traffickers mindsets are the same. They make money with little consequences if they get caught. Without the incentive of money, there would be little demand for human trafficking to exist. I do not know how to change the incentive. I cannot think of a way to make coffee farmers lose money from free labor or the pimp lose money from selling people like they are just a piece of property. The demand for trafficking is through the roof and needs to be decreased, but from the looks of the numbers, labor trafficking will continually be in demand if their owners make 300-500 percent in annual return. The consequences of human trafficking must be increased, while finding a way to persecute more traffickers and those who own slaves. If the authorities cannot find the traffickers, an increase in consequences will not have a huge effect on the demand for human trafficking.

As I looked at the numbers behind human trafficking, I could not help but thinking “well of course people will be involved in trafficking.” Trafficking provides a HUGE profit for pimps and those that buy people for labor. Unfortunately, the huge profit leads to the huge demand. It is a never ending cycle of buyers and sellers looking for money. Until the profit involving human trafficking is demolished, trafficking will continue on.


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