The victims of human trafficking come from a variety of backgrounds but common underlying factors of vulnerability include:
- poverty and the inability to access basic needs;
- history of abuse and neglect; and
- absence of emotional and practical support.
Gibbs argues that if we are outraged about human trafficking, we should be outraged at the conditions that make people vulnerable to it. Gibbs calls on us to mobilize against the underlying causes of trafficking - poverty, discrimination, and the gaping holes in the U.S. domestic safety net. We should focus on causes of trafficking and not just symptoms or effects alone. She suggests that we honor survivors best when we advocate for resources that meet basic human needs for safety, well-being, self-sufficiency, and social-connectedness.
Take Action: How can your work or advocacy help t address one of the common underlying factors of human trafficking?
Deborah Gibbs is a senior social policy analyst in the Violence and Victimization Research Program at RTI International. She has more than 30 years of experience leading studies related to child welfare, violence against women, and children’s health, including several studies addressing domestic human trafficking. Questions about this post? Email firstname.lastname@example.org