Human trafficking is a deplorable practice that has been going on for a long time and is still prevelent in today’s civilized world. According to the United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), “trafficking in persons is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”
Despite efforts by governments around the world to disrupt this $150 billion dollar industry, none have come up with a viable solution to end human trafficking completely. Non-profit organizations are also trying to help the situation, as are individuals aware of the current epidemic. Individuals like Eriksen Dickens and Soren Dickens, through their company Platinum Peek Productions LLC, are rising up to join the fight against human trafficking. Eriksen is a certified advocate for human trafficking and is working to raise awareness towards the issue. The two brothers from a small cowboy town called Oakdale in California’s Central Valley, aim to promote awareness of this global epidemic, as well as help finance non-profit organizations who assist victims of human trafficking.
What Most People Don’t Know About Human Trafficking
Today the media is responsible for a lot of what people perceive of the world. Many, due to Western media, are familiar with the depiction of a young beautiful Eastern European woman who is a victim of sex trafficking. It is important that one does not forget human trafficking is not only sex trafficking, but also labour trafficking. Apart from the sexual exploitation victim, there is also a Bangladeshi construction worker in the United Arab Emirates working for minimum wage to pay back his recruitment fee after his employer took his passport. There is also an eight-year-old Malian boy working as a slave in a cocoa plantation in Côte d’Ivoire.
While the attention to just sex trafficking is good, it excludes other victims of trafficking. That might have a negative impact when it comes to drafting anti-trafficking policies. Focusing on one side of the story fails to acknowledge the underlying social economic factors that make people vulnerable to human trafficking. The best way to approach trafficking is from a human rights view.
A holistic human rights approach is critical to advance anti-trafficking policies that prevent trafficking, rescue victims and prosecute traffickers. The objective of such an approach is to respect the human rights and dignity of all victims of trafficking while working toward its eradication.
Why Trafficking is Happening and Its Effects
Most might argue that the root cause of trafficking is the traffickers themselves. While that is true, the traffickers are there because they have something on which to prey. Traffickers know how to spot vulnerability in their victims. It is this weakness that creates a void for traffickers to exploit. Factors that create opportunity for traffickers include things like poverty, broken families, unemployment, displacement, lack of experience, and cultural practices.
While traffickers stand to gain a lot in terms of money and cheap labour, the victims get quite the opposite. Traffickers objectify and dehumanize their victims leaving them with major physical and mental trauma, isolation from social circles, and lack of independent living skills.
Eriksen Dickens says, “It’s a global epidemic, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that it’s right here in our own backyard. It’s very prevalent in America. People think America is too “civilized” for something so barbaric, but that’s simply not the case. Our goal is to use our influence to bring awareness to this sad reality and hopefully do some good.”
In conclusion, it is through non-profit platforms like the Central Coast Freedom Network in San Luis Obispo, California that we can help victims of human trafficking. The Dickens brothers hope to use their various platfroms to raise both awareness and funding for non-profits who help victims of human trafficking. The brothers have pledged to donate a portion of every paycheck they receive through their media agency, Platinum Peek Productions, and will begin using their educational platform, Hustle Hive TV, to advocate for victims of human trafficking. This spring, the Dickens brothers will launch a campaign on the Central Coast to raise $10,000 for the Central Coast Freedom Network. Everyone should work together to combat human trafficking and any other form human rights abuse.
To follow along, please check out @platinumpeek, @peekweddingfilms, @sorendickens and @eriksendickens. Also check out their website at platinumpeek.com.