According to CIA estimates, approximately 50,000 human beings were trafficked into the United States for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation in 2010. The victims of human trafficking are subject to cruel treatment and are given little hope of escape.
It is a shame that this form of human trafficking receives little attention from the media and is almost ignored by society, and in fact, many people are likely unaware that this type of thing goes on.
There is another type of human trafficking, which occurs right in front of us. Victims of this type of human trafficking are also often used for the purposes of forced labor, and many of them are sexually exploited. This type of human trafficking is also largely ignored as an issue. When not ignored, it is often cheered by much of the public.
In 2007, the latest year for which government statistics are available, a whopping 14,211,500 arrests took place in the United States. Many of those who were arrested were likely arrested multiple times, but this number is still quite a large figure. This is especially worrying considering that less than two million of these arrests were for violent crimes, the rest being property and victimless crimes. Many of these 14 million plus arrests result in someone being sent to prison.
The media never refers to this as human trafficking, but lets be clear: it is.
These people are taken against their will by armed members of paramilitary organizations. They are stripped of they rights, often brutally. Many times these situations end with these people being taken away from their families for months or years at a time. Many of these people are forced to live in cages. Additionally, many of these caged individuals are subjected to brutal and dehumanizing treatment by other prisoners or guards. Perhaps worst of all, many of these people are subjected to violent sexual assaults while kept in their cages. Mention prison to the typical American male and his first thought will have something to do with prison rape. Americans know that this type of thing occurs regularly, but few people seem to care.
And this kind of thing isnt just happening to a few people or even a few thousand people. According to the U.S. Government’s own Bureau of Justice Statistics [page 2], 2,284,900 people were incarcerated in 2009. This number represents about 1% of the adult population. Additionally, around 5 million more Americans were on probation, meaning that if they engage in activities deemed inappropriate by the State, they will be sent to prison as well.
Police officers who arrest people for their involvement in nonviolent, victimless, and/or property crimes know full well that the person who they are arresting could very well end up in prison. Furthermore, these officers know what goes on in these prisons—that the person who they arrested will be subjected to forced labor and possible forced to participate in unwanted sexual activities. Police officers and much of the general public may claim that these officers are “just doing their jobs,” but this argument is a false one which ignores the issue at hand.
Because it would be impossible for this type of human trafficking to take place without the active participation of police officers, we must be quick to condemn them for their actions. We must speak out against this type of behavior and expose these people for their crimes against the populace. This is why websites like Cop Block are important.
As the great Ludwig von Mises once said: “No one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result.”