Human trafficking is a crime against our brothers and sisters which must be addressed by everyone. It is a violation of human rights that no one can afford to ignore. Although it’s impossible to be certain of the exact amount of people being trafficked, it’s easy to be certain that anyone can become its next victim.
What it is
Basically, human trafficking is the non-consensual enslavement or bondage of people for the purpose of exploitation. This mistreatment frequently takes the form of sexual exploitation, forced labor, servitude, or forced removal of organs. The enslavement or bondage can occur as the result of recruitment, various means of coercion and threats, and abduction. It can also result from fraud, deception, abuse of power, and abuse of a person’s vulnerability. Despite mankind’s claims to being a civilized and humane species, these barbaric activities are very prevalent in today’s global society.
Countries of origination and destination
Every country has some degree of internal trafficking occurring, and so can be a point of origination. However, trafficking is done on an international basis as well. International human trafficking involves utilizing countries of origination, transit, and destination.
The origination countries are normally countries that are destitute, war-torn, politically corrupt, or suffering from the effects of climate changes or natural disasters. Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, China, Guatemala, Moldova, Nepal, Nigeria, Ukraine, and Vietnam are known to be source countries. Transit countries, like Israel and Mexico, are temporary stopping points in between the origination and destination countries.
These countries are generally neither extremely destitute nor affluent. Most of the destination countries are affluent ones like Belgium, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States. Some countries, like Cambodia and Thailand, are so open to human trafficking that they are used for all three purposes.
More information can be found here: CHW Human Trafficking Page.
How and why it’s used
Human trafficking is a highly-profitable type of supply and demand business venture which requires low start up funds and little risk. Traffickers supply humans to fulfill various consumer demands. The consumer demands may range from individuals seeking sexual pleasure to a couple seeking to adopt a child. The consumers can also include military organizations, medical facilities, and many other legitimate businesses seeking cheap labor. Since the demand frequently outnumbers the supply of humans voluntarily meeting the demands, traffickers enslave people to meet the remaining needs.
In order to make a profit, traffickers must obtain “merchandise” at a cheap price. Therefore, they usually lure their victims into a trap or simply abduct their victims. In 46% of the trafficking cases prosecuted in the U.S., the victim already knew the recruiter. Many people, especially children, become victims due to relatives selling them or placing them into the trafficker’s care.
When luring their victims, traffickers frequently use legitimate business marketing and sales techniques. The traffickers will advertise jobs, promise better living conditions, and sometimes will even arrange legitimate immigration visas. They rely on their prey’s hopes and fears to lure the victims into making initial contact. Once contact has been made, the trafficker uses a variety of methods to control the victim. These controls frequently entail debt bondage, drugs, physical restraint, emotional and sexual abuse, feigned affection, and physical violence.
Due to the various types of demands that need to be fulfilled, traffickers target people from all ages, nationalities, genders, educational levels, socio-economic backgrounds and lifestyles. However, the majority of victims are women between the ages of 18 and 24 and children. These victims are most commonly used for sexual exploitation.
Members of the homeless, displaced, impoverished, and uneducated segments of society are highly likely to become trafficking victims. Run-away teens, people with drug/alcohol addictions, victims of domestic violence, and immigrants are extremely vulnerable.
Effects of human trafficking
Human trafficking has manifested various effects. On one hand, it generates wealth for the countries involved with trafficking, due to the types of jobs performed at a lower cost. It’s estimated that a global annual profit of $31.6 billion is made from the exploitation of trafficked forced labor. On the other hand, trafficking reduces jobs for the general population. Trafficking also creates higher safety and health risks for both victims and the general population. Human trafficking increases drug trafficking, violent crimes, immorality, and social unrest. These in turn create higher expenditures on healthcare, welfare and other social services, and penal systems.
Victims must endure social exclusion, intolerance, and stigmatization in the source and destination countries, even after they are returned to their homes. The victims most likely will develop post trauma distress, as well as other mental and physical health problems. Victims frequently must face the ramifications of criminal sanctions due to the criminal activities they are forced to carry out.
Solving the problem
There is no easy solution to the problem of human trafficking. The solution entails many socio-economical changes to be made on a global basis. It also requires the co-operation and coordination of every country in existence. It’s essential to set one standard universal definition and punishment for human trafficking. Once the universal law has been enacted, it’s essential that every law enforcement agency ensures it is enforced.
ABC news video:
Any solution requires every government to address three areas:
- 1) Prosecution of traffickers, which would increase the traffickers’ risk and reduce trafficking’s profitability
2) Protection for victims by making it easier for people to receive assistance before and after they become victims, and
3) Prevention of human trafficking by increasing public awareness, reducing consumer demand and reducing the population’s vulnerability to traffickers.
Addressing one area without addressing another one is futile.
Human trafficking is not just a crime against our brothers and sisters; it’s a crime against all decent human beings. No one government or person is going to eliminate the trafficking and exploitation of humans. All humans must make a conscious effort to work together to resolve the problems that allow trafficking to flourish in a global society.
More information can be found here: NOT-4-Sale.org/trafficking.html
Kathleen Hubert is a blogger who writes on a variety of topics. You can read some of her other work at auto loan rates.
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