Children from families, whether wealthy, middle class, or poor, can become subject to trafficking for many different reasons
In some societies, regardless of location in the world, developed or undeveloped nations, children are sold for sex or for work. This is seen in poorer nations where the sale of the child is to ensure the survival of the rest of the family and is seen in developed nations where children are made to perform as sex slaves when their drug dependent parent sell them on a nightly basis.
In some cases, families are tricked into letting their child go with someone who promises that the child will receive an education or a job in another location.
In other cases, parents are not at home due to work when a child arrives home from school or are too busy or self-centred to provide their child with the time and attention necessary for that child. These young people often look for the love missing in their home life and are easy prey for traffickers who target this type of young person. This type of young person is vulnerable to and flattered by the attention paid to them by someone older who lures them in with attention and promises of affection and goods and then hooks them on drugs and into a trafficking ring.
In other cases, young people run away from home for various reasons. Alone, scared, out of money and often with no skills or completed schooling, they fall prey to drug dealers and traffickers.
In war situations, trafficking in persons has long been a consequence for those caught in the fighting zones or who are defeated. Sadly, we have learned of girls being kidnapped from their villages or schools and forced to serve as sex slaves for their captors, being sold and traded about. Others are made to work with no compensation.
The effect of human trafficking on a family has many different aspects and many different far-reaching results.
It is difficult to imagine the pain of making the choice to sell one of your children so that the rest of the family can survive. Those parents and siblings must live with the terrible thoughts of what may become of their child, sister, or brother and surely the other children must fear the same thing happening to them. Fear and loss. If it was the decision of a dominant parent then there would be recriminations and ultimate rejection by the other parent. The family itself can dissolve as one parent leaves causing further material and emotional loss for the remaining children.
The same fear must grow gradually for those parents who allow their child to go with an “uncle” or wealthy person who promises that their child will be educated or will find good work. Not hearing from their child after time results in anxiety and stress in the family.
Runaways and other Vulnerable Children: What parent would not live in fear of their child leaving home with no warning? Would they not fear that their child would be lured into the sex industry, become a drug addict, or worse, be killed by people who do not care about their child? This can draw the parents closer to each other as they face this awful situation or can destroy their love for each other as each seeks to blame the other for this outcome. Arguments, stress, blame, potential breakdown of the marriage and family.
Kidnapping: The terrible fear, grief and stress caused when a child is kidnapped and trafficked is well documented. Recovery of the victim becomes the overriding mission of the family and normal life is suspended, affecting all family members.
Trafficked for Work: Young and mature persons who leave home for work and find themselves caught in situations where they are overworked and have no documents or money, have no hope of returning home or sending aid home to their families. The families left behind, already separated from their loved ones, grow more impoverished and are left wondering if the worker deserted them or to wonder at what terrible fate may have befallen them. Again, stress, grief, and anxiety overshadow the normal life of the family.
The effect on families of persons who are trafficked, kidnapped or unjustly imprisoned so that their organs can be harvested is devastating. The loved one and often breadwinner disappears never to return. The emotional, physical, and financial loss often spells ruin for the family. The women may be forced to turn to prostitution to support young children or to accept long days of labor for little money. The cycle of trafficking being perpetuated due to economic loss.