The past decade has brought an increased awareness of the menacing scale and scope of human trafficking. There is now growing assistance to populations vulnerable to exploitation for commercial gain. Yet one demographic remains overlooked: men, women & children living with physical and intellectual disabilities.
Fifteen years ago modern day slavery was largely understood to mean the commercial sexual exploitation of women. Today, the global community’s understanding of the insidious nature of trafficking has broadened. We now know that a trafficker’s exploitation of humans for profit also encompasses forced labor, organ removal, child military conscription, false marriages, and beyond. Traffickers prey on human vulnerabilities fueled by conflict, corruption, weak rule of law, poverty, and discrimination, making certain groups particularly susceptible to victimization.