We continue to read reports from West Africa such as 500 saved in anti-human trafficking operation in West Africa. The sad reality is that 500 is just a feel good number, and even 1000 would just be a drop in the bucket. Human trafficking, domestic servitude, slavery, organ harvesting, and kidnappings for ransom have become successful business models for criminals worldwide.
Security conditions in North, East, and West Africa have become so fragile that the migrant crisis continues to cause security concerns for Europe and the rest of the world. The cost of staying in a conflict ridden country is so devastating for families that the risk of migration appears like the only alternative. Criminal opportunists capitalize on this phenomena and do quite nicely for themselves as they exploit those desiring a better life.
Imagine giving your life savings to a smuggler promising you and your family safe passage to Italy. The smuggler takes you and your family into the next country on the way north only to hand you and your family over to another smuggling group who demands more money or your wife or daughter. You may refuse both so the smugglers kidnap you and your family for ransom and contact your family members back home or already in Europe to extort them for money, then they take your daughter anyway. Your daughter gets taken to a mining town and forced into prostitution while you continue north. You and your family are then handed over to another smuggling group who then demand more money which you cannot pay so they take you to a hospital and force you to donate a kidney to pay for the remainder of the journey. This story continues to repeat itself daily, however it rarely gets any attention.
The reality is that criminals, terrorists, and opportunists are exploiting humans on a scale almost greater than seen before in history. Humans have become one of the greatest commodities on the planet and are being sold almost every minute of every day. It is more sad to know that this is not just an African problem nor an Asian problem, but is a global problem. The reality is that it is right in our backyard in the western world. The fight against slavery in all of its forms requires everyone to be aware of the problem. We hope to share as much as we can as we research ways to take the fight to those who commit these atrocities.