• Brooke Ruhl

Coronavirus and Human Trafficking

While the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic causes chaos and challenges spanning throughout many industries and affecting many lives, it presents a particularly challenging concern for sex trafficking. The interesting connection is that coronavirus can be making human trafficking worse, while human trafficking can be making the spread of coronavirus worse.

Coronavirus’s affect on human trafficking

There is one major player exacerbating this issue: Pornhub.

Pornhub is a sexual content streaming service with a complicated history. While maintaining its popularity with users, Pornhub has been criticized for its questionable content management tactics and screening techniques. Pornhub is user based, meaning content can be uploaded by anyone. As long as it passes the narrow, often automated screening process, it gets posted publicly. The popular porn site has been criticized in the past for not removing or screening videos of non-consensual acts, or acts with children.

When coronavirus consumed people’s lives, and lockdowns and stay in place orders were made, Pornhub made it’s usually subscriber-only content free for everyone.

The site reported almost a 50% increase in traffic. And with increased traffic comes increased demand, and with increased demand comes increased risk for exploitation.

Because Pornhub is not a reliable advocate for sex trafficked women, it’s increased success becomes alarming for human trafficking professionals.

Human Traffickings affect on Coronavirus

Officials in multiple countries are closing their borders to slow the spread of COVID-19. But unfortunately, human traffickers don’t generally enter countries legally. Colombia is facing this challenge head-on.

Because human trafficking is hard to track, this adds a new layer of complication to containing the disease causing massive worldwide hysteria.

Photo by Charles Deluvio

Should Pornhub start charging again to lower the demand?

Tweet me your answer!

@Brooke_Ruhl and use the hashtag #BRuhly_Trafficked


Brooke Ruhl

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Brooke Ruhl

University of Nevada Reno

2020 by Brooke Ruhl.