The vulnerabilities of others are exploited. These “helping hands” pose as if they are doing a good deed. Yet they exploit the disparity of the poverty of others by paying them a pittance for their labor. They get cheap labor, yet can rest their heads in peace at night because they have done their “good deed” in “helping the homeless.” I have to question the motives. They are not facilitating a chance to break the chains of oppression and poverty that bind these human beings. They are perpetuating them.
By definition, the exploitation of the vulnerabilities of those who have not by those who have is trafficking, whether labor trafficking or sex trafficking. They are exploiting the tough circumstances of poverty, homelessness, maybe mental illness and addiction, for their gain, which is cheap labor or perverted pleasure.
We have to acknowledge the intersection between poverty and homelessness as a place of vulnerability. It puts such individuals on a platform to be trafficked. Males are often labor trafficked, and females fall victim to sex trafficking. The victims often don’t even realize what is truly happening at the time. This is part of the cold injustice of trafficking.
We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to this population. We cannot ignore that they are a target of traffickers who seek victims to exploit for their financial or selfish gain. We must start by recognizing trafficking and exploitation for what they are. Asking another human being to work for less pay than someone else simply because they are poor, homeless, and without other options is labor trafficking, and it is wrong. And asking another human being to perform sexual deeds in order to meet their basic human needs—the needs every person should be entitled to—is sex trafficking, and it is nothing short of grotesque.
Every person is a human being made in the image of God. No matter how desperate a person may be, he or she is not a commodity to be used!
“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald