When looking at the causes of CSET many people will jump to poverty, lack of options, lack of education and deceit. Although these are circumstances that help to perpetuate the cycle – they do not CAUSE them. We must look deeper to find the foundation and the causes of CSET. By no means could I provide for you an exhaustive – or even adequate – list of causes. I only mean to expose and discuss a few:
Demand. This can morph itself in many different avenues and forms: lust, economic gain, greed, need for power, addiction, desire and control, and abuse of power. All of these types of demand can be addictive – drawing – beckoning a person to greater and greater depths of exploitative behavior. We will later explore in greater depth the economics of CSET – but the profit one can gain from a commodity you can reuse again and again is invaluable…and traffickers know that. While we live with the hope of rescuing girls out of this bondage they find themselves in – the hard truth is that we will ALWAYS be rescuing girls out of exploitation unless we address the demand side of CSET. These traffickers are supplying a product that people want – and as long as people are willing to pay for the opportunity to exploit another individual more vulnerable than them – this cycle will continue.
And now I may look like a hypocrite by speaking to a combination of other causes: poverty, lack of education, and lack of options – since I just said they were not really CAUSES. But once we begin to follow the trails and dig a little deeper, we see that all of these situations tie themselves together to create a situation that perpetuates the cycle of sexual exploitation. When looking at the supply-side vulnerabilities, we see that although poverty did not cause trafficking, it made someone more vulnerable. Generational dynamics (psychological, spiritual, and cultural) all play a big part. All these scenarios tie in with the lack of education as well as the lack of options. Especially in S. Asia where I am passionate about, the caste system plays a big part not only in how women are valued in general, but especially in how women of the lower castes are viewed and treated. This ties in with an inadequate view of human life which we can see stem from religious views. At a later time we look in greater depth at the affect Hindu and Buddhist beliefs have on the perpetuating cycle.
Although policies are being put in place and strides are made to crack down on human trafficking – we are a long way from where we need to be. Much of this is because of a lack of accountability. We have corrupt state and government officials who are too easily bribed (and the traffickers know that) and when these transactions take place no negative personal ramifications happen. And when it comes to the church – we are not asking the hard questions and pushing hard when faced with opposition. Who wants to admit we live in such a world? Isn’t it just easier to believe we are helping by simply caring – shaking our heads in disbelief that such a thing exists?
When we tie it all together it really all boils down to sin - selfish and pleasure-seeking persons. Girls that are trafficked take a journey from person to object. They are reduced to genitals; an organ you can rent for 10 minutes.
And it is right on our doorstep - California has the worst problem in all US with trafficking (and not just sexual-all types), the US average is 14,500 – 17,500 persons that are trafficked annually. (Elpis Project Stats)
What are you going to do about it?