Human trafficking impacts people of all backgrounds and people are trafficked for a variety of purposes but all forms of trafficking share some common characteristics: victims are forced to work; are owned or controlled by an “employer”; are dehumanized and treated as commodities; and are physically constrained and unable to move. Children are often trafficked into labor positions. Women and girls are typically trafficked into the commercial sex industry, i.e. prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation.
Sex trafficking or slavery is the exploitation of women and children for the purposes of forced sex work. Commercial sexual exploitation includes pornography, prostitution and sex trafficking of women and girls, and is characterized by the exploitation of a human being in exchange for goods or money. Each year, an estimated 800,000 women and children are trafficked across international borders—though additional numbers of women and girls are trafficked within countries.
Some sex trafficking is highly visible, such as street prostitution. But many trafficking victims remain unseen, operating out of unmarked brothels in unsuspecting—and sometimes suburban—neighborhoods. Sex traffickers may also operate out of a variety of public and private locations, such as massage parlors, spas and strip clubs.
Extreme poverty is a common bond among trafficking victims. Where economic alternatives do not exist, women and girls are more vulnerable to being tricked and coerced into sexual servitude. In response to this, SI Cordillera is committed to helping women and girls avoid the trafficking trap by raising awareness in the general population about trafficking and sexual slavery, and providing educational and livelihood opportunities to poverty stricken women and girls.