The effects of human trafficking are complex, global, and heart-wrenching. Every year, millions of people become the target of this gruesome crime and their lives change forever. The criminals generate billions from it, not realizing the drastic effects of human trafficking on the victims.
Effects of human trafficking on victims
The effects of human trafficking can be physical, psychological, and emotional to the victims. Given below are some of the basic ways human trafficking influences victims.
The victims are objectified and dehumanized by the traffickers, which leads to the obscuration of their inherent sense of visibility, dignity, and power. They experience tragic psychological effects during and after being treated like goods. The majority of survivors experience relationship difficulty, memory loss, fear, shame, post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, guilt, and other acute forms of mental disturbance.
Insufficiency of skills required for living independently
One of the most common effects of human trafficking is that the survivors cannot live independently due to lack of education and adequate skills. They might not comprehend the foreign country’s laws where they are relocated or speak the native language, a fact that makes their life even more difficult.
Many human trafficking victims have been subjected to sexual exploitation, abuse, rape, and physical injuries for a long time by their customers and traffickers. They are also more prone to STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), diabetes, cancer, infections, and other illnesses. These are the physical effects of human trafficking on the survivors. Moreover, such illnesses or physical injuries tend to worsen over time in the absence of appropriate medical care and can permanently affect the victim’s health.
Some victims are forced to do extensive labor in life-threatening conditions. Working with dangerous contaminants can lead to severe infections, injuries, acute exhaustion, impairments, and respiratory problems.
The victims of human trafficking can quickly become withdrawn, isolated, and lose touch with family, friends, and social circles. The reason behind this is their feelings of shame and guilt. Another reason could be the relocation that keeps them away from their native communities.
Some human trafficking survivors who manage to escape from the trafficking networks might even be shunned by all societal groups, because of the stigma attached to them. They might feel unloved, unwanted, and lonely because their friends and family no longer owns them. It is a possibility that they become victims of abusive lifestyles because of these factors.
The effects of human trafficking on the countries
The effects of human trafficking are usually experienced by both the countries – the country from where victims are trafficked from and where they are relocated at. The receiving country suffers a strain in gender relations where women are sold. The economy is also affected as sometimes individuals looking for migration opportunities are trafficked, leading to considerable remittance losses.
The health sector of both the countries also suffers because children and women who fall victim to human trafficking have been sexually exploited and are prone to different STDs, specifically HIV/AIDS. These victims can further spread such diseases in the society, eventually putting a burden on the health infrastructure. National security is also affected by the organized criminal rings that are not only involved in human trafficking, but also other illicit activities that have serious implications.
What the us government is doing about human trafficking?
Apart from implementing strict border control measures to stop human trafficking and keeping a check on the local human traffickers, the US government has also initiated a program to help the survivors or victims of human trafficking. One such program is the National Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Program.
The national human trafficking victim assistance program
The National Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Program aims to provide funding for complete case management facilities on an individual basis to the foreign and potential human trafficking victims looking for Health and Human Services (HHS) Certification in the United States of America. Case management is provided by the grantees to help human trafficking victims gain certification, and other essential subsequent services through a sub-awardees network throughout the country.
These grants provide referrals, case management, and emergency aid (such as clothing, shelter, and food) to human trafficking victims and specific family members. These grants help the victims in gaining access to employability services, medical care, legal services, housing, mental health therapy, and screening, so they can freely live without exploitation and violence.
Eligibility for the national human trafficking victim assistance program
Victims who have experienced severe effects of human trafficking and hold HHS Certification are eligible for the National Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Program. Where minor victims are concerned, those who possess HHS Eligibility Letter are considered eligible for the program. Moreover, those who are waiting for the HHS Certification and their dependent children also qualify for the program.