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Paralyzing Panics

The WFU Law School Review hosted a symposium covering human trafficking last week, and one of the many seminars focused their discussion of human trafficking as a moral panic. There seemed to be several approaches to her discussion that explored the paralyzing panic that often accompanies human trafficking. Each year, there is a new report of the overwhelmingly large trafficking numbers. Most often when people hear of human trafficking, they associate it with sex trafficking that leads to prostitution. While this is often the truth of the matter, there are different types of trafficking that still occur today. The speaker explained the panic that comes along with big sports games that is a typical site for trafficking. There are several organizations that focus on the rescue of these victims, and that line of work has begun to have a seductive power to a country that promotes social justice. These are not selective cases, so it is important to have a holistic view of the problem of trafficking.

Moral panics are characterized by heightened concern, hostility towards perpetrators, general consensus about the issue, and so on. These qualities are true of human trafficking and there are several different responses to this widespread panic. Many people have different approaches of how to help. Raising awareness isn’t enough, but not all of us can be the rescuers of these victims, and there is a great need for counseling after they are rescued. The speaker also emphasized the importance of legal assistance, available jobs, and platforms to be heard for both the trafficked victims and low wage workers. Hardships are not exclusive to trafficked victims, although they experience great emotional damage that should be addresses as well.

Caroline • November 8, 2016

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