It is a problem that is both well-known, and yet often invisible. Human beings taken by force, or deceit, and treated as commerce to be bought and sold. It is a scourge that may be as old as humanity itself.
Historically, it has been called slavery, and in some places of the world it continues to exist and even thrive. But nowadays, it has branched out into an insidious form known as human trafficking.
Human trafficking, by all accounts, has flourished in recent times because of many factors. These include online services, political instability and war, and the vulnerability of the poor and displaced who are easily lured by the promise of work, a fix or even love.
It often sounds like something terrible happening to faraway people in a faraway land. But the global market has become a place where the buying and selling of men, women and children can easily transpire anywhere on the planet. This includes local communities, like ours. It can be, in short, a homegrown, equal-opportunity tragedy. Cambridge is not immune.