Humantrafficking can be defined as recruiting, transporting, transferringand harboring people against their will by the use of coercion forthe purpose of forced labor, slavery, and prostitution (Iñiguez deHeredia, 2007). Human trafficking is a heinous multi- billiontransnational trade and can be graded as second to international drugtrafficking in reference to organized crimes. It is an expanding evilannihilating community and depriving of the naivety of the world’syouth. This practice is a version of slavery in the modern world.
Accordingto an article published on CNN by Amanda Kloer (2011), humantrafficking involves exploitation of people in different forms. Thesetypes include forced prostitutions, slavery and committing sexualacts for the purpose of shooting a pornography film among others.Sanghera (2014), explores the conditions of the contentious debatesurrounding sex trafficking. Sex trafficking involves procuring ofanother person as one’s property. The individual bought is forcedto engage in sexual activity against his/ her will to the advantageof the trafficker. The primary victims of this kind human traffickingare people from poor families, the homeless and those with littleknowledge of where to gain resources to earn a healthy living. Hendry(2010), presents Radhika story on how she survived sex trafficking.Radhika was sexually assaulted by 25 men in a day after she wasseparated from his son. However, Radhika refused to accept herordeals and found the strength to escape her horrific life anddesperately reunited with her child. The story is a depiction of theillegal business and underworld of trafficking in human organs.
Humantrafficking can also be narrowed to child trafficking. Here youngchildren are procured and treated as personal property. These kidsare also recruited into illegal groups like the ISIS, al Shabaabamong others. They could also be victims of child labor, sexualassault or other forms of child abuse. Harvesting baby organs is agrowing evil that has resulted into child trafficking. Organizedmilitia groups are taking advantage of the growing need for an organtransplant and selling them in the black market. Such incidencehappened in Somalia where a girl was abducted and smuggled to the UKin 2013 for an organ transplant.
Shelley(2010), examines most systems of human trafficking in a globalperspective. The author reveals the events in trafficking trade andthe condition of the traffickers themselves. It utilizes the past andrelative viewpoint to prove that there exist many models of humantrafficking and variations in different regions of the world. Shecontinues to contend that human trafficking will continue to grow inthis century due to economic and demographic disparities in theworld, the rise of civil wars and transformation in global climate.She, therefore, concludes that there is a need for a coordinatedeffort among all stakeholders, so as to fight this problem. Shelleysuggests that the civil society, government, business community andthe general public should take a center point in preventing humantrafficking as a new form of modern-day slavery.
Humantrafficking dates back in the 1980’s. However, it caught theattention of the publics in the 1990’s. This act was a jointprogram of numerous conferences and international meetings. In 2000,the International definition of human trafficking was created to helpthe world differentiate between human trafficking and other illegalmigrations. The global definition came up with the signing of UNprotocol to prevent and punish human traffickers. Nevertheless, humantrafficking is defined differently by the legislation of differentnations. The global definition, which was established in 2000 by UN,defines human trafficking as recruitment, receipt, transportation,harboring and transfer of persons against their will by use of forceand threats.
Anongoing controversy is a debate regarding whether prostitution is anengine of human trafficking or it is purely a product of poverty.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 emerging countries will be willing to doanything to reach the developed countries, including unorthodoxmethods.
Legalizingprostitution 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.
Accordingto McCarthy (2014), those who are opposed to this claim that humantrafficking 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. Besides, not allthe victims of human trafficking end up as sex slaves some usuallybecome domestic slaves working at no pay. Others end up working incasinos, restaurants, and massage parlors. Criminalizing prostitutionwill not diminish demand for these victims of human trafficking inother sectors of the economy. The cause of human trafficking ispoverty, greedy businesspeople and lack of information. Placing morecontrols for business owners who employ immigrants, teaching youngpeople the benefit of getting the right papers before moving to aforeign country, and placing measures in place to eradicate poverty,might be the only solution to human trafficking.
Bothprostitution and poverty are key contributing factors to human. Onefactor compliments the other. While poverty makes young people throwcaution to the wind in the pursuit of greener pastures in foreigncountries, prostitution forms a bigger recruiting ground for thevictims of human trafficking. This essay focuses on other factorsthat have led to human trafficking such as globalization. It alsodiscusses into depth forms of human trafficking and their effects onhumankind and the probable solution to this rapidly growingpredicament.
Globalizationhas been a major contributor to the increasing rate of humantrafficking compared to other points in history. Globalization hasled to the development of free trade, free flow capital and enhancedthe ability to draw cheap labor from any foreign market within theworld. It has resulted in the interaction of people and exchange ofcultural values and norms including the wrong values. It, therefore,implies that human trafficking and the modern-day slavery are notonly outcomes of globalization but also part of globalization processitself due to the interaction of economic activities from variousregions of the world. Slavery in the past was an accepted way of lifeas people were laborers in farms and domestic workers in the home.With globalization, labor became cheap and freely disposable whichresulted into greed and misuse of human rights. Globalization camewith moral degradation due to the exchange of cultural beliefs andmoral values. Prostitution and sex trafficking became the order ofthe day (Bales 2005). It has led to child trafficking for the purposeof sexual use. Today children as young as three years are beingkidnapped only to be procured in other countries for sexual use.Human trafficking comes with its effects on people both physiologicaland psychological. It can be regarded as the one of the mosttraumatizing experience of the survivors of human trafficking.
Humantrafficking has various effects on the victims includingpsychological trauma, physical violence, and emotional instabilitythat affects their social life. They include loss of innocence forchildren and the youth at a very early age in life. It also leads tohigh financial cost, slavery, emotional scars, increases in gangactivities, administrative burden and degradation of morals andcultures in communities. In sexual trafficking, victims face threatsand physical violence from customers, employers, and law enforcementofficers. The society alienates them, which leads to exclusion andstigmatization. The victims demonstrate behavioral change and maybegin abusing drugs and alcohol. These are both short and long-termeffects. They may also contract diseases such as stress, depression,HIV/AIDS, and anxiety.
Humantrafficking was started as a sexual sacrifice of the temple byancient Babylon and Mesopotamia. At the time, this trade was creatinga market for sacred prostitutes. However, today some arguments statethat that criminalizing sex industry will lead to rampantprostitution. To end human trafficking, various institutions in thesociety have to work together. They include individuals, communityleaders, law enforcement officers and lawmakers. They should enforceexisting laws against human trafficking, amend and come up with newand better laws. They should also assist survivors and victims’ byproviding them with counseling for them to cope with life. Creationof awareness on the issue and human rights is also important.Governments should also eliminate the situations that lead to humantrafficking.
Bales,K. (2005). Understandingglobal slavery.Berkeley: University of California Press.
McCarthy,L. A. (2014). Human trafficking and the new slavery. AnnualReview of Law andSocial Science,10,221-242. London:New Holland.
Iñiguezde Heredia, M. (2007). People Trafficking: Conceptual issues with theUnited Nations Trafficking Protocol 2000. HumRights Rev,9(3),299-316.Berkeley: University of California Press
Hendry,S. (2010). Survivinghuman trafficking.London: New Holland.
Kloer,A. (2011). 5things to know about human trafficking.Retrieved May 21, 2016, from CNN:http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/15/5-things-to-know-about-human-trafficking/
Sanghera,J. (2005). Unpacking the trafficking discourse. Trafficking andprostitution reconsidered: New perspectives on migration, sex work,and human rights. New York: University Press.
Shelley,L. (2010). Human trafficking:A global perspective.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.