At STOP THE TRAFFIK, we share in the sorrow felt the world over for the tragic losses from the black community. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor over the last few weeks have spotlighted the lingering injustices faced by the black community: of the systemic bias so clearly at play when it comes to matters of police brutality, legislative protection and increased likelihood of incarceration.
STOP THE TRAFFIK deals fundamentally in human trafficking; in instilling communities and stakeholders globally with the knowledge to prevent it from becoming a reality. But at this uncertain time – a period that feels particularly significant in its reach – it would be dissolute not to highlight the link between race and trafficking. To show the scale of the issue: to focus attention on black voices; on organizations conceived specifically to help the black community out of exploitative situations. We have collated a summary of readings, organizations and videos you can watch to further understand the severity of the problem.
STOP THE TRAFFIK remains committed to empowering the vulnerable and bolstering communities globally with the knowledge to prevent trafficking. We will not stop until trafficking is gone, for good.
Gabrielle Union writes poignantly on the tender issue of race, gender and human trafficking in her essay for Essence magazine.
Vanessa Bouché and Mark Daku’s piece for The Washington Post last year highlights the disproportionate number of young black men prosecuted for crimes relating to human trafficking.
Cheryl Nelson, Assistant Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University has written extensively on the black experience. In her 2015 paper ‘The Racial Roots of Human Trafficking’, she weaves a clear link between young people of colour and America’s commercial sex trade, arguing that socio-economic depravity directly pushes young black people into prostitution.
The Shiva Foundation disseminates trafficking and race, suggesting European cultural attitudes of superiority used to justify exploitation in former colonies have shaped how we consider ethnicity today.
If you’re based in the UK and have a TV License, Episode 2 (Trafficking Sex) of Louis Theroux’s 2017 series ‘Dark States’ delves into sex trafficking in the US, broaching the complex relationship between exploiter and exploited. For a small fee, it is also available to watch on YouTube for audiences outside of the UK.
Further documentaries of note include: