I admit I knew very little about it until a few years ago when I was working on a story about missing and murdered Aboriginal women in our country. One of the resources I contacted at Crimestoppers mentioned the issue of human trafficking, and what followed left me stunned. The information that human trafficking was an issue in our own country and communities shocked me to the core, because I was one of those who thought it affected "other people" in "other places". I spoke to friends and family, and even other writers, to see what they knew about the subject of human trafficking, and the answer was virtually always the same: next to nothing.
There are many stories I could share, frightening ones. A quick web search brought up stories like this one and this one. Human trafficking is far from a rarity in this world and even in our own country, but the trouble is that the statistics are somewhat nebulous as we simply don't really know the magnitude of the problem. It is a slippery thing to grasp, under reported and misunderstood. How many of our missing young adults, supposed runaways. have been trafficked? How many missing women are forced into a life of servitude, sexual or otherwise? What are the real numbers? We don't actually know - but here are some things we do believe to be true: