Human Trafficking in South Carolina

Human Trafficking in South Carolina

1. Introduction

In today’s world, there are a lot of challenges faced by human beings, and once such is human trafficking. Human trafficking in general means that a person is forced to work against his/her will in an environment that does not comfort them. Human trafficking is a sort of trade of human beings in order to have forced labor, sexual slavery, or sexual abuse. This can involve offering coercive marriage for a partner, or removing body parts or tissues, even for surrogacy and similar issues (Bales:15). This issue has been in the developing, underdeveloped, and even in developed nations of the world. In South Carolina, the state is struggling with human trafficking.

2. Background of the problem

The rate of crimes in the world either increases or decreases with the passage of time, however, in South Carolina, the rate of human trafficking has increased over time. In 2019, there was an increase of 360% in victims with a total of 678 in number. Almost 113 cases were of sex trafficking, whereas 35 labour trafficking cases were reported in the year 2019. (Charles: 1).  Keeping this in view, the main argument of the research is “Using combined community efforts to reduce human trafficking in South Carolina.”

Human trafficking is a secret activity, so it’s impossible to determine precise data on the existence, incidence so region of human trafficking. The perpetrators of trafficking are frequently in vulnerable situations and may be unable or reluctant to complain to or request help from the state authorities. Many offenders deal with inhumane care, physical and emotional violence, and threats to home safety to themselves or their relatives, every day. They are fearful of police and other officials because they fear they’ll be detained. Even their traffickers take travel and identification papers which they might have provided (Lovett:12). Keeping this in view, the control and reduction of human trafficking are not possible by the authorities only rather a community as a whole can make combined efforts with the other stakeholders.

3. Factors affecting human trafficking

South Carolina is a fertile breeding ground for the abuse of sex slavery by prostitutes and groups. There are several explanations for this, such as the rising population of under 18 in the region. The state’s transportation network offers easy links to the rest of the country, and a growing rate of individuals with unstable or troubled homes due to financial or drug abuse issues. South Carolina is especially insecure because its closeness to external boundaries numbers its ports of entry, a substantial immigrant community, and a wide market that contains sectors that draw forced labor. It acts both as an entrance point for slavery transported from outside of the US and as a source for slavery. All these factors combine to contribute to different forms of human trafficking including labor trafficking, sex trafficking, child trafficking, and domestic servitude (Force:10). If all these factors are viewed a person can get to know that there is a relationship between these factors.

If the rate of food hunger and poverty in South Carolina is viewed, the percentage is significantly higher as in some other regions of America. Food shortage enables people to get some work in order to avoid starvation. This is one of the reasons that people are engaged in such activities that cannot reduce the number of incidents due to human trafficking in South Carolina (Ross:105). Another significant factor is that the food shortage may lead to human trafficking as from this source, people can earn more money and afford some food from other regions. The second factor that contributes to human trafficking in South Carolina is the rate of poverty. A significant population of South Carolina lives below the poverty line. This also enables people to have such forced work to get some money in return so that they can have the basic necessities in life (Byrne:20). The cause and effect of these factors are evident and thus a combined effort is required from a number of stakeholders to value the concerns of those innocent people who do not want to be a victim of human trafficking.

4. Proposal for the problem

The main proposal as a solution to reduce human trafficking step by step in South Carolina is to have attention from the local government and not the state government. This needs to be addressed that human trafficking in any form cannot be identified by the state only rather such activities are to be observed by the local community and local government system (Force:25). For this purpose, the proposal is that the local government of South Carolina must from a group of young men and women to voluntarily participate in this work and identify where such activities are being held. Common people may prove to bring some very insightful thoughts that the state-level otherwise may ignore. In this regard, priorities may be set to have effective measures across the region. If this is viewed, child trafficking must be stopped at first, after which working on domestic servitude, sexual trafficking, and labour trafficking can be reduced. 

5. Audience for proposal

The main stakeholders who can get the suggested proposal done include the local government bodies, the educated community of South Carolina, and the law enforcement bodies. Their combined efforts may prove to be an essential element in the reduction of human trafficking incidents across South Carolina  (Grace:856). The local government can form an active force that includes members of the community who are well aware of the cons of human trafficking, the law enforcement members as well as the members of the local government who would be informed to take action. This would prove to be the right manner in which a combined effort from several walks of life is made to minimize the activities of human trafficking.

Thus, taking care of the fact that for the reduction of the human trafficking activities, the government neither at the state level nor at the local level alone can do anything without the help of the local community members is the only solution left. When there are combined efforts from every house to reduce this activity step by step, the region can see better results in the near future and together with the law enforcement and local government authorities in action.


Force, South Carolina Human Trafficking Task. "South Carolina state plan to address human trafficking/by the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force." South Carolina State Documents Depository (2014).

Lovett, Jamesetta, et al. "South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force: 2018 Annual Report." (2018).

Ross, Caroline A. "Land of the Free, Home of the Slave: Human Trafficking Legislation in South Carolina." SCL Rev. 68 (2016): 1015.

Byrne, Melissa, Sophia Parsh, and Bridget Parsh. "Human trafficking: impact, identification, and intervention." Nursing management 50.8 (2019): 18-24.

Grace, Aimee M., et al. "Educating health care professionals on human trafficking." Pediatric emergency care 30.12 (2014): 856.

Force, South Carolina Human Trafficking Task. "2016 annual report." South Carolina State Documents Depository (2016).

Charles, Duncan. “360% increase: Almost 700 human trafficking victims recorded in SC in 2019, state says.” The State. 10 January 2020, 

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