How to Prevent Human Trafficking
By Sarah E. Mendelson
The buying and selling of humans is big business -- and an enormous development challenge. It is estimated to generate anywhere from $32 billion to $150 billion a year and affect tens of millions of people: the International Labor Organization believes that nearly 21 million men, women, and children are currently victims of some form of slavery, forced labor, or human trafficking. The Global Slavery Index puts the number at 29.8 million, which, if accurate, is over twice the number of Africans enslaved between 1525 and 1866, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database. Of course, real numbers are difficult to come by; governments have different ways of keeping records, and many do not keep them at all. Since 2008, when the U.S. State Department began tallying numbers on identified victims, it has found only 246,798 trafficking victims worldwide, and since 2006, it has found an average of only about 6,675 prosecutions of human traffickers worldwide annually, with an average of fewer than 4,000...