As our nation grapples with the injustice of systematic racism, this is an opportune time to examine the intersection between racism and trafficking. A quick look at the numbers soon shows that these two injustices are not isolated but instead affect the same demographic:
40% of sex trafficking victims are African-American (despite being just 13% of the total population)*
55% of underage arrest for prostitution-related charges were black children.
73% of “at-risk youth” identified in Connecticut in 2018 were black (despite being just 11% of Connecticut’s population)
Racism affects who is vulnerable to recruitment, how they are perceived by their trafficker and the buyers, the price assigned to them (black women are valued at a lower price) and even how their case is judged in the legal system (traffickers believe sentencing is tougher for trafficking a white person than a black person).
Since we are committed to fighting injustice in the form of trafficking, let us also thoughtfully embrace this opportunity in our country’s history to dismantle the system that has overly burdened our black brothers and sisters with so much suffering, including the suffering of trafficking.
For those who would like to explore further the connection between race and trafficking, this article is enlightening, especially the reflections of the black survivor at the end of the article: https://love146.org/lets-talk-about-race-and-human-trafficking/
* National numbers cited from https://humantraffickingsearch.org/human-trafficking-not-all-black-or-white/