Lately, you may have heard a lot about human trafficking. Human trafficking is stealing children away from their families who then are often used in the sex trade, and wrecks their lives. They grow up in terror, and are left with only one option to survive.
Here are some other little known stats:
- School life expectancy is 9 years.
- Child labor among children ages 5-14 is 16%.
- More than 12.3 million people worldwide are enslaved and forced into labor, bonded labor, child labor, sexual servitude and involuntary servitude at any given time.
In some places, modern-day slavery is still a common practice. Let’s take a look at an example: Mauritania. It’s a country made up of desserts and nomads. According to the Global Slavery Index, slaves constitute a higher proportion of the population. More than 150,000 people are enslaved in Mauritania, or 4% of the population.
You probably haven’t visited the country or know much about it. Now you know something, so you must do something.”
Background on sex trafficking:
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, in which human beings are controlled and exploited for profit. “Sex trafficking” is a modern term. It was coined during the second wave of the women’s movement in the 1980s, when female activists started protesting the exploitation of women and girls in prostitution and pornography. Perpetrators use force, fraud, or coercion to manipulate and establish control over individuals. According to the International Labor Organization, human trafficking generates $150 billion in illegal profits each year. The two most commonly known forms of human trafficking are sexual exploitation and forced labor. Any instance in which an individual engages in a commercial sex acts (such as prostitution) as the result of force, fraud, or coercion is considered sex trafficking. Sex trafficking also includes the commercial sexual exploitation of children or minors. Some examples include factories, “sweatshops,” fields, brothels, “massage” parlors, online escort services, on street corners, as child soldiers, or in private homes. The most common industries associated with the trafficking in persons include: agriculture, construction, garment and textile manufacturing, catering and restaurants, domestic work, entertainment, and the sex industry.
Mauritania is a country in Western North Africa. It is the eleventh largest country in Africa, and about 90% of its land is in the Sahara. The country’s capital and largest city is Nouakchott, which is home to 3.5 million people. About 20% of the population live on less than $1.25 a day, and the country suffers from human rights issues including slavery and child labor. Mauritania was one of the last countries to pass a law abolishing slavery and despite this, slavery is very present with more than 90,000 slaves.
In the Middle Ages Mauritania was the cradle of the Almoravid movement, which spread Islam throughout the region and for a while controlled the Islamic part of Spain. European traders began to show interest in Mauritania in the 15th century. Mauritania is rich in mineral resources, especially iron and ore. France gained control of the coastal region in 1817, and in 1904 a formal French protectorate was extended over the territory.
Culturally, Mauritania is a special mix. The population is almost equally divided between Moors of Arab-Berber descent and black Africans, and this striking cultural combination is part of its appeal. The Southern part of the country is filled with friendly people, and they are very welcoming, if a little unused to tourists.