A Human or an Item?

When I started looking for a picture that goes along with my White Paper topic Human Trafficking, I was a little bit concerned with what I would find. Human Trafficking is a very serious and horrific crime committed and is considered modern day slavery. I believe the picture I found represents the underlying themes with Human Trafficking. Traffickers do not think about the human’s they sell as actually people, they are considered items. Each person is worth a different amount and that is all that the traffickers care about. The picture above only shows the persons hand, this makes them gender neutral because both men and women are affected by trafficking. Furthermore, the bar code represents what this person is…an item. The trafficker only focuses on how much they can get for the person, nothing else. Human Trafficking is about making unregulated money, not about protecting these people. People that are trafficked has no control, they are taken from families and sold as if they were an item in a convenience store.

The picture is from the Salvation Army Website.


14 thoughts on “A Human or an Item?

  1. Very interesting image for your topic. It reminds me of the Holocaust when people were issued and known by the numbers that they were given. This de-humanizes people and makes it easier to see them as objects, not people.

  2. Pretty disturbing image. Really makes you wonder how individuals can allow themselves to treat other humans as objects.

  3. I wonder what Liam Neeson would think about this photo. I bet he has a very particular set of photo-shop skills that could eliminate the barcode from the person in the photo’s wrist and make the photo more pleasant.

  4. Another take on the idea is that this ‘tattoo’ is permanent. I don’t know many details about human trafficking but I would assume it is not something that people can escape from easily. Furthermore, if they are able to escape, these horrible memories will forever be tattooed in their mind.

  5. Really scary image, but perfect for your topic. I actually had to do a lot of research on human trafficking for another class I took. Definitely some horrifying stuff and reminds me of the “Taken” movie. (Taken 2 wasn’t that good if you haven’t already seen it)

  6. Really striking image! Good find – I think it really relates to your paper topic and the idea of a human being something that can be bought. This really puts that idea into an image in an effective and disturbing way.

  7. Really good symbolism. It makes me think of the philosophical argument that a person should never be used as the means to an end.

  8. I like Rubio’s comment on the image being a permanent tattoo. If it is permanent, it makes you think that the people in charge of human trafficking are highly organized with the people they are taking and “branding” them with a specific bar code. In reality, I am under the impression that they are not organized in that sense and the humans they take are not even given the identity of an individual number. I may be wrong, I am getting my information from Taken… regardless I am excited to read your white paper

  9. I am not sure if it is a man’s hand or a woman’s hand and the Salvation Army connected this image with an article of Human Trafficking

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