Oxford Dictionary Definition: Noun – traffic, “…the transportation of goods or passengers…” Verb – trafficking, trafficked, “…deal or trade in something illegal…”

…something illegal…. drugs, cattle, guns…. people – thats called human trafficking; the dealing and trading in men, women and children!

By in large, most people know nothing of the slave trade – human trafficking – and when confronted with the reality of over 30 million people trapped in slavery (more than at any other time in history), its easier to simply do nothing about it.  There are indications that this number could in fact be 10 times this, but because of the illegal, clandestine nature of this immoral activity, we will never know.

“It doesn’t affect me, there’s nothing I can do about it…”

“My children are safe, and I don’t know these people so why should I care…?” People from all nationalities, have lost their freedom and their choices and face daily torment and trials that most of us will never experience in our worst nightmares. Some forms of slavery are:

  • Forced and bonded labour
  • Sex slavery
  • Child labour
  • Forced marriage

All of these strip human beings of their freedom and dignity so they can be controlled and exploited. The most lucrative form of slavery is found within the sex industry. In the European Union, of the 880,000 people trapped in forced labour, 58% are women and the majority of whom are victims of sexual exploitation. The mere fact that over 400,000 women are forced into the sex industry in Europe alone (not counting every other region’s red light district), says something else about our society that we cannot ignore – they all have customers that want their services, men, and where do those men come from? Our own neighbourhoods…!

Poverty, ignorance, lack of education, unemployment – all contribute to the desperation found behind those who fall prey to the traffickers. India has  over 14 million slaves; its extreme poverty and caste system are culturally accepted and debt bondage is a fact of life – these realities ever fuel the demand for slaves. Even though prostitution is illegal, the sex trade is widespread and with law enforcement being weak and corrupt it is always willing to overlook the facts.

Would you like any of this to happen to you or your children?

Doing nothing means evil prevails. Poverty is the key reason for people finding themselves enslaved to another more powerful than they. Add to that, the evil men do, and the most vulnerable (women and children) are regularly sentenced to a life of hell.

Many cases of human trafficking occur at the hands of family members, particularly in the far flung villages found throughout the developing world, at the hands of women family members who take the niece or daughter and sell them to ‘a house work’ job in the city.  That ‘house job’  turns out to be a brothel. They may be as young as 10 to 12 years old, and maybe they will be spared for a time as they do the cleaning and cooking until they are a little older, but  younger and younger children are being forced into the trade at the demands of the madam’s customers.

The brave souls who refuse to ignore this reality can’t challenge the status quo alone forever.

What can be done?

There are many organisations that seek to end slavery, to set the captives free, and bring health and restoration to the millions of broken lives affected by slavery. For us, Freeset is an organisation that goes way beyond the work of an NGO. Freeset is about freedom – lots of freedom.

The Freeset Business Incubator is a business, founded for the purpose of seeding marketable and sustainable Freedom Business in hard to reach places, like in the red light districts of Kolkata – a huge city in India of 16 million people – or in villages found in the agricultural hinterlands of Murshidabad or Bangladesh where  human trafficking is a serious issue.

This unique and innovative approach to addressing the issue of human trafficking seeks to address key drivers behind trafficking, one of which is systemic property. You can’t solve trafficking with one or two successful, yet traditional business plants in a district that has faced decades of economic hardship – up to 90% unemployment in some villages. Significant resources of infrastructure, technology, training, business intelligence and product research and development must be injected  across multiple industry sectors while at the same time establishing lasting, real relationships with villagers and their leaders without which none of this would be possible, is an already tried and true practice of Freedom Business.

What can I do?

I’ve had the privilege of working with people caught in the poverty trap. You too can experience the freedom that comes with reaching out and taking a risk.

Click through to the Freeset Business Incubator contact page and find out some of the special things you can do to help…