Human traffickers are now shifting their focus to a rapidly growing online-world where many users unknowingly expose themselves to criminals on a daily basis with children and teenagers most at risk.
According to the We Are Social Digital 2020 report, over 4.5 billion people use the internet while 3.8 million make use of social media platforms. Many use such platforms for entertainment and educational purposes or interaction with others, the internet may serve as a more sinister tool than what many may believe.
Stop The Traffik, a campaign aiming to end human trafficking, says that grooming is often the first phase of human trafficking that may serve as a gateway to further exploitation.
“Common patterns involve traffickers sending friend requests to huge numbers of people, in the hope that some will accept. Alongside social media, online gaming sites and dating apps are the most common places where traffickers target their victims as they involve interactions with complete strangers,” they said.Social Media