Who are the slavers, traffickers, and middlemen who earn their livings on the backs and in the beds of our children?
While there is no one profile of a human trafficker, it can be said that a human trafficker is anyone who is willing to exploit another human being for profit.
Traffickers may use force, fraud, or coercion to lure victims into labor or sex trafficking situations. In some cases, traffickers promise victims the chance at a better life for themselves or their families. Other times, victims are controlled by the trafficker with psychological and physical violence. A trafficker may be a stranger, acquaintance, or even family member to the victim.
In Not My Life, we meet Ovidiu, a young Romanian trafficker who was jailed at the Zoha prison in Bucharest when he was interviewed for the film. Ovidiu was a pimp, and routinely kidnapped girls and sold them for profit. He served a very short sentence, about 4 years, and is now back on the streets.
Human trafficking is fueled by two factors: the potential for high profits and low risk. With traffickers earning $32 billion in illegal profits annually, human trafficking is quickly becoming the world's fastest-growing criminal industry. As Cecilia Malmström of the EU states in Not My Life, "Traffickers are very aware of our weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and they exploit it. They also know that they risk very little, because very few of them get caught."