How many people can say they have seen an episode of Myth Busters? I can honestly say that this is one of my favorite TV shows. As humans we like to know what is fact, and what is fiction. Which is exactly what Jamie and Adam do in the show. They take common myths that we have been told or have heard over the years, and then try to prove them wrong or right. Things like, if milk is the only thing to cure chili pain or if a frozen turkey could break someone’s foot.
Take a minute and think of things that you were told growing up or have heard over the years? Are they fact or fiction? Sometimes it’s difficult to tell. Well there are also some myths that you may know about human trafficking. Things that you think are true, however are not true, or at least are not 100% accurate.
When you think of human trafficking what do you visualize? What actions are taking place? Do you see people in cars tied up? Or maybe drugged in the trunk of a car? These are frequently what you see on shows like Law and Order: SVU or Criminal minds. A common myth about human trafficking is that there is a physical restraint or force to traffic someone. The reality is that when you want to control someone the weapon of choice is control of the mind. Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) the crime of trafficking is not only categorized by physical restraint, but also by psychological means such as, threats, fraud or abuse of the legal system (Polaris).
Another myth is that human trafficking is the same as human smuggling. ICE defines human smuggling as the importation of people into a country via the deliberate evasion of immigration laws. Although human trafficking can involve the illegal movement of people across international borders it is very different. In addition they are two completely different federal crimes. However the main distinction is what Polaris point out, and that is smuggling is a crime against a country’s borders, whereas human trafficking is a crime against a person. There is some type of exploitation that a human undergoes when trafficked that doesn’t occur in human smuggling.
The last myth I would like to bust is what I think is one of the most common misconception, and that is social class. When you watch the news or read an article the face that you see is usually a poor foreign child. The only pictures I ever saw, previous to college, we of people who came from poor backgrounds. The scary reality is that this isn’t a “poor man’s” problem. Polaris explains that “Although poverty can be a factor in human trafficking because it is often an indicator of vulnerability, poverty alone is not a single causal factor or universal indicator of a human trafficking victim.” Not only is that true, but they go further to say that many cases are from high socioeconomic status.
These are only a few of the many common myths. Now that I hopefully was able to shed some light on the truth of the matter, I hope you all go out and be your own myth busters. Challenge what you’re told and look for the answers. If you are curious to know about some more common myths I will attach the link below from the Polaris website. Tune in for next time!