By Laura Cyrus Throughout the year, Truckers Against Trafficking has presented educational blogs expounding on some of the more complex issues related to the causes of human trafficking.  These Getting to the Root blogs have focused on the push or pull effects poverty, socio- and geopolitical factors (such as border insecurity, wars, etc.), marginalization, etc. have on people, moving them into becoming victims of human trafficking and exploitation.             This

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Getting to the Root: Poverty

In their 2005 Special Project on Poverty Statistics, the United Nations (UN) noted that poverty is a complex issue that can be very difficult to define. It is largely subjective from country to country, province to province, city to city, and even people group to people group. In an attempt to more accurately measure and address poverty, the UN classified it into two types: absolute and relative. These two types of poverty, though both very real, are subtly different in the ways they expose the poor to the forces of human trafficking.


Absolute Poverty

Those in absolute poverty are the poorest of the poor around the world. Regardless of the fact that income levels of the absolute poor can vary -- and are often disputed -- the reality is that those in absolute poverty are vulnerable to trafficking, because they are in need of the most basic human necessities. They may be homeless, hungry, or unable to access clean water or even the simplest medical care.

In some cases, men or women in absolute poverty find themselves in situations where they suspect they could be entering exploitative circumstances but feel they have no other choice or option, because they or their family are in need. In his 2010 TED talk, Kevin Bales explains that often those in poverty who are offered “jobs” by traffickers do what most of us would...

Human trafficking is easily understood when viewed through the lens of justice. It is wrong and evil, and that is straightforward and simple. But it seems the more one learns about the issue, the more complex it becomes, like peeling the proverbial onion back, one layer at a time, and discovering there is so much more to understand. It can be frustrating and taxing at moments when viewing the overwhelming