Would you like fries with that sex?

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt Rachel Crawford
  • 8th Fighter Wing
What color? What age? That'll cost $500.

Today, people order other human beings just as they would order a Whopper at Burger King. It's fast. It's easy. And you get choices.

As sick as that sounds, it is reality.

In our consumer-based society, marketing people has become extremely lucrative. It is so profitable that trafficking in persons is now the fastest growing criminal activity in the world...right behind trafficking in drugs. People are a resource that does not dry-up. They are reusable.

Today, more people are slaves than ever before in history.

27 million slaves worldwide according to the United Nations.

80% of victims are women and children according to the Department of State.

$32 billion in annual human trafficking profits according to the United Nations.

Recently, 7th Air Force took a stance against human trafficking. The commander published an order banning Airmen from paying for companionship after learning about some establishments that practiced questionable behavior. There was evidence that these establishments brought people into the country under false pretenses, forcing them to pay off their debts by selling themselves as companions or for sex.
How thrilling it is to be in the business of freedom! And how divergent it is to think that people can subjugate others while fighting for their own freedoms established by the Constitution! This order is a huge win in the war against human trafficking. In the words of Nelson Mandela: "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

I, too, have decided to join the fight against human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking. While reading "Escape from North Korea: the Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad" by Melanie Kirkpatrick, I learned of a Korean American who started the organization "318 Partners" for the purpose of rescuing trafficked North Korean women victims. When women flee North Korea, defecting into China, they often find themselves prey to traffickers. They seek freedom only to find enslavement.

When North Koreans defected in the 1990s to avoid starvation, the traffickers quickly learned that North Korean women were prime targets for prostitution and the cyber-porn industry. Because China repatriates North Korean defectors, the women cannot report to the police, nor can they run away. If they are caught by Chinese officials, they are sent back to North Korea where they are sentenced to death in a labor camp. Thus, under the guise of assistance, the traffickers help the women defect, only to sell them for sex.

Many organizations, like "318 Partners" help free these women from their captors and bring them to safety in the Republic of Korea. We all must take a stand against human trafficking.

What will you do to join the fight?