Advertising democracy can be the answer to deal with the immense problem of sex trafficking, modern slavery, and human trade.

Why is that so?

There is a clear connection between human trafficking and authoritarian states.

The problem in numbers: There are over 40 million victims of trafficking worldwide, out of them 25 % are children. 25 of the 30 poorest countries are ruled by authoritarian regimes. 96 % of the refugees fled from authoritarian regimes. 94 % of the countries who are taking effort to end sex trafficking and modern slavery are democratic states.

Authoritarianism contributes directly to human trafficking.

Countries that suppress the freedom of their citizens care less for the rights of the vulnerable and donĀ“t spend money or resources on protecting the weakest from forced labor or trafficking. After all, even in developed countries, the trafficking business is good business.

More numbers: The money made with forced labor is 99 billion dollars worldwide. Profits made with sex trafficking victims in developed countries are higher than in less developed states. Big events like the Super Bowl increase the number of sex trafficking victims in the state that hosts the Super Bowl. The effort to end sex trafficking is decreasing. Fewer people are arrested and even less are prosecuted. Victims get arrested rather than their traffickers.

99 billion dollars is a huge amount of money. Money authoritarian states rely on. Therefore, their efforts to end trafficking are rare. But even though the situation is better in developed democratic countries, money is a good motivator to look away.

Do not look away. If you see or hear something report it to your National Human Trafficking Hotline or non-profit organization.