I’ve been thinking about this question in a lot of areas. Does the colour of skin impact on whether or not a person gets trafficked? I know it has a large impact on the types of privilege that you’re entitled to. In Europe and the USA if you’re white you can enjoy more privilege than someone with browner skin than you. If you’re in Africa, someone with white skin will lose some privilege while retaining some and people with brown skin get a bit more privilege in some areas. Same with Asia and etc, etc, etc.
But then, people are attracted to all kind of different skin tones and beauty definitions. And there are a lot of white people who work for near to slave conditions if not at slave conditions. So how does race impact on this topic?
I’ve done a little research, by no means comprehensive, but from what I can gather….not a whole lot. Imagine that. An area largely unimpacted by race. It’s a sad, sad thing. If you’re white, from Eastern Europe, a female your chances of being trafficked are higher than another other racial make up. Same in the USA. In Africa, if you’re black, by sheer population numbers, you are more at risk.
So what does make a difference? Vulnerability. If you’re young and have no one to protect you, you are more likely to be trafficked. If you are in the foster system or welfare system, in most countries, you are more likely to be trafficked. If you live in a war-torn area or a ecologically impoverished area, you are more likely to be trafficked.
Very sadly, you can be white, black, brown or blue and there is a place in the world where you are more likely to be trafficked.
Sometimes this feels overwhelming. But I think that’s a good thing. I live a fairly decent, middle class life. Even though my husband is studying at the moment, we have a house, we have food, we have a car and our kids go to a great school. It’s easy to just dip into this world for a moment and then to get distracted and move out of it. It’s easier to not identify with the trafficked person and to only feel for them because they are the victim of horrible people. The awful truth though, is that but for the grace of God….that could have been me. Either way really. There are women like me who traffic children and other women. There are women like me who have been trafficked and are trafficking the next generation. Not as many women my age are still good for the industry of trafficking. We’re getting on the old side with our modest 36 years or more.
That’s one big reason that keeps me doing what I’m doing. It keeps me talking. It keeps me selling. It keeps me walking and hustling and doing everything I can to do my part to end this horrific cycle. As a great man recently said, “it was time to get in the way”. And I believe it is time. It’s time we all get in the way of traffickers and provide good employment for women. It’s time to get in the way and provide good schooling for all kids. It’s time to hold people who use others for their own aims responsible, and we redeem those used by others as precious and worthy of love. It’s time.