Causes and Probable Solutions to Human Trafficking
According to McCarthy (2014), human trafficking is the reincarnationof the old form slavery that took place in the 17thCentury. Usually, human trafficking happens to young women in poorcountries who are promised greener pastures if they migrate toanother country- usually a more developed country. When they reachtheir new destinations, the victims are forced to indulge inprostitution by the same people that promised them a better life. Thevictims usually end up serving a better portion of their life abroadas sex slaves. The question that arises is why these victims of humantrafficking do not report their ordeal to the authorities. Quiteoften, they enter the foreign country without the legal documents. Asfor those who are in a foreign country legally, the traffickerusually confiscates the legal documents of the victim andconsequently barring her from travelling back to her home country.
An ongoing controversy is the debate regarding whether prostitutionis a driving force of human trafficking or it is purely a product ofpoverty. Most of the victims of human trafficking usually may end upin forced prostitution. It is the perceived demand for prostitutesthat leads to increased human trafficking. On the other hand, somepeople may agree to be trafficked into a life of prostitution inanother country because they want to evade the biting poverty intheir home country. Cases of poverty leading people to leave theircountry for any available opportunity have been used to show theextent that the locals take to find better incomes elsewhere. ThisThey would rather be sex slaves in a developed country than remain tobe commercial sex workers in their underdeveloped home country. Thismakes the controversy substantial as people argue legalization of thepractice will make it easier for people to travel to other countriesfor prostitution.
Pro-side of the controversy
Legalizing prostitution in many developed countries was a major blowto efforts that aim at eradicating human trafficking. By makingprostitution legal, it is hard to separate the genuine prostitutesfrom those who are forced into it. Many clients have inadvertentlyreceived the services of a victim of human trafficking thinking thatthey were genuine commercial sex workers. Legalizing prostitution hasalso attracted many commercial sex workers from undeveloped countriesto actualize their dreams in developed country economies. Thesecommercial sex workers from poor countries will be willing to doanything to reach the developed countries, including unorthodoxmethods.
Legalizing prostitution has also made the industry more lucrative forunscrupulous business people. The taxes and stringent controls haveforced the industry to charge clients extra, sometimes exploitingthem. The meager earnings that are advanced to commercial sex workersfrom the humongous profits motivate pimps threefold. In a bid tomaximize profits and cut on overhead costs, some pimps resort totrafficking poor girls from third world countries. They calculatethat the girls will double their profits because they might neverhave to pay them because their illegal status in a foreign countrywill make them slaves.
Legalizingprostitution did not come with adequate controls. The authoritieslack a mechanism to counter check the situation of every commercialsex worker in the legal brothels. The rich owners of the saidbrothels have compromised the immigration department. Some brothelsare home to numerous victims of human trafficking yet the authoritiesare not doing anything about it. It is for this reason that thelegislature should criminalize prostitution or place more controls.
Conside of the controversy
Accordingto McCarthy (2014), those who are opposed to this theory claim thathuman trafficking would still be in place even if prostitution werecriminalized. Even if prostitution were illegal, people would stillfind means of doing it without the knowledge of the authorities. Inmost developing countries where prostitution is illegal, the vice ismore rampant that in the developing countries where it is legal. Thisvice is especially rampant in developing economies where thecommercial sex workers have to do it for survival.
Inaddition, not all the victims of human trafficking end up as sexslaves some usually become domestic slaves working at no pay. Othersend up working in casinos, restaurants, and massage parlors.Criminalizing prostitution will not diminish demand for these victimsof human trafficking in other sectors of the economy. The root causeof human trafficking is poverty, greedy businesspeople and lack ofinformation. Placing more controls for business owners who employimmigrants, teaching young people the benefit of getting the rightpapers before moving to a foreign country, and placing measures inplace to eradicate poverty, might be the only solution to humantrafficking.
Both prostitution and poverty are major contributors of humantrafficking. One factor compliments the other. Whilst poverty makesyoung people to throw caution in the wind in their pursuit forgreener pastures in foreign country, prostitution forms the biggestrecruiting ground for the victims of human trafficking. In order toeradicate this vice from the face of the earth, better controls inthe commercial sex industry and lowering levels of poverty areeminent.
McCarthy, L.A. (2014). Human trafficking and the new slavery. AnnualReview of Law and Social Science, 10,221-242