The struggle against human trafficking usually focuses or examines the issues surrounding women and children victims. This concentration leads us to forget that men, and adolescent boys are victims also.
They could be called the forgotten faces of the trafficking business, overlooked even when the obvious signs of exploitation that would sound alarms with women and children are present. “Trafficking in human beings is most commonly associated with women or children”, writes Rebecca Surtees of the NEXUS Institute, a Vienna-based organization that studies modern day slavery. “Far less common is a consideration of trafficking in males… and yet there are signals in many countries that males are being exploited and violated in ways that constitute human trafficking”
Why is it that this segment of the trafficking industry has been overlooked or ignored?
Maybe it is because one of the frustrating evils of human trafficking is how very little we are able to learn about it in general, let alone specifically. It might be that all of those who have been, or are trafficked, are the invisible in plain sight. Estimates of the number of males trafficked to the labor force world wide is about 40%, but estimates are often understated and the actual number remains a mystery. Hundreds of thousands of men are believed to have fallen victim to this evil practice and in Eastern Europe the poorest states such as Belarus and Ukraine are experiencing some of the worst of what migration watchdogs say is a “growing problem” worldwide. (www.global issues.org/news/2009)