As a modern form of slavery, human trafficking represents a type of criminology in which victims are forced into an illegal form of involuntary servitude. The range of illicit activities, by force or fraud, include sex trafficking, debt enslavement or forced labor. A multibillion-dollar industry in human beings, human trafficking ranks second to drug trafficking. One source cites between 600,000 and 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders every year. Up to 80% of those are women and girls, with over 50% under legal age, or children, in terms of a global perspective.
Domestically, within the U.S., it is estimated that the level of criminal activity for human exploitation ranges between 240,000 and 300,000 youths each year. Many are at risk for sexual exploitation, while others are involved in forced labor situations or other criminal activities. As such, given the dangerous potentiality of the associated criminal activities, as well as other threat possibilities, a personal strategy for safety and security is essential. Part of the planning individual safeguards, includes raising one’s level of awareness to a more heightened state of informed vigilance.
Another aspect includes the realization and recognition that deadly possibilities exist everywhere. Regardless of where you are or where you go, a threat potential could erupt when least expected. As a seemingly vulnerable target of opportunity, a criminal event could happen in the most unlikely places. Unfortunately, most people remain willfully distracted by technology, or other preoccupations, to maintain a state of deliberate readiness. Planning personal safety countermeasures is a full-time effort for savvy urban vigilance, both within the U.S., and especially during foreign travel.
Under “Gonzo Theory”, the rule of “5-P’s” apply. This refers to “proper planning prevents poor performance”. The concept includes both formal and informal risk analysis, defensive preparations, and contingency plans. Naturally, within this scheme, a good safety protocol begins at home with a thorough security assessment of the home environment. From living room to classroom, boardroom or workroom, personal safety is a primary concern. In between, there are traveling considerations. Whether going to the school campus or the workplace, defensive driving demands full presence of mind and body during the trip. Vehicular operations require exceptional attentiveness.
Both illicit sex trafficking and forced labor conscription involve a variety of tactics and trickery. From fraud to force, whereby the victim becomes trapped in dangerous scenarios, sometimes involving torture and death, criminals use various means. A swindle could come from nearly anyone, like an intimate partner, or a co-worker, and the offer of a “good deal” is “too good to pass up”, or simply “too good to be true”. It could involve international intrigue, a foreign adventure and easy money for “get rich quick” scheme. Concerning foreign travel, the traveler should ensure a well-researched travel plan. This includes following U.S. Department of State foreign country guidelines.