Miscellaneous / Human Trafficking
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Autor: anton 01 April 2011
Words: 1701 | Pages: 7
Many women and young girls dream of having a better life. They are willing to travel across the ocean to other countries that would offer them better opportunities. One of their main goals is be able to provide for themselves and their families financially. However, in their lifetime they could never imagine that their dreams would be shattered by a horrendous act called human trafficking. Every year, these unfortunate victims are either lured, sold, or forced against their will into a black-market of human trade known as human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a global phenomenon and is the criminal commercial trade of human beings. This act exploits human beings in involuntary acts such as forced labor, prostitution, and psychological and physical abuse. Human trafficking deprives people of their human rights and freedom; it is also a global health risk due to infectious diseases like AIDS and cervical cancer. (U.S. Department of State, 2006) This kind of exploitation should not be happening. It is appalling and morally unacceptable that this still exists in our society.
Each year, roughly 600,000 to 800,000 women and children are trafficked across international borders; about 80% of them are women and young girls, and up to 50% are children (Herro, 2006) According to International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates, there are 20 millions people enslaved in bonded labor around the world. It is recognized that out of 192 countries worldwide, 143 are involved in human trafficking. Asia being the region that has the most trafficked persons; Africa is second and followed by Europe. (Getu, 2006)
Human trafficking has become one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world. According to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, it is the third largest criminal industry, with revenues totaling $9.5 billion annually. Surprisingly enough, this is expected to exceed the other two criminal industries, which are narcotics and firearms. (Harvard Law Review, 2006) The criminals are making an astounding amount of money out of these victims' suffering.
What caused the high demand of human trafficking? There are a few major contributing factors, including: poverty, cheap labor, and sexual exploitation. In some countries where trafficking occurs more than 50-60% of the population live on a dollar a day. (Getu, 2006) That is barely enough to provide for themselves, let alone for their family. These women cannot find a decent-paying job because they have no skills, they lack education, they are discriminated against, and they have very few resources. They have no other means or choices but to face and accept the only option that is given to them: to get any low paying job that they could find to support themselves and their family. Many women travel far distances in hopes of finding any paying job. They desperately take any job offered without knowing what it entails.
Furthermore, cheaper labor and sexual exploitation have increased the high demand. Many of the victims make as little as a dollar a day and work as much as 12-15 hours a day. In addition, the uncontrollable expansion of the sex and pornography industries: sex tourist, pornography producers, brothel owners, sex customers, and employers of all types looking for pleasures have created increased for women and young girls. (Getu, 2006)
Who are the criminals and how do they operate? The criminal enterprise operates through a family of networks of organized crime. Their operation is set up in three stages: recruiting, transporting and enforcing. The first stage is recruiting in which they travel to the most poverty-stricken places like China, Philippines, Russia, and many other countries to find their victims. Many of these women and young girls are from rural areas because the recruiters know that they are the most vulnerable and desperate.
The criminals lure these women and young girls with false advertisements and promises of non-existing jobs as housekeepers, sales clerks, nannies, and other similar positions. They sometimes use manipulative approaches to dupe their victims. In one occurrence, a network agency had placed an ad for contract labor to work for $125 per month for a three-year contract, with promises of overtime, medical expenses, and free board. Instead, the workers were forced to pay excessive advanced fees, had their passports confiscated, were confined to horrible conditions with no food or water, and were tortured. (U.S. Department of State, 2006)
The second stage is to transport the victims to their destination. Unlike illegal Mexican immigrants who enter the United States crossing over the border by foot or car, many of these victims are transported by boat or plane. The organized crime families have their people working on both sides of the international borders. In addition, they have government officials and law enforcements personnel working for them as well. Instead of protecting the innocents, the government officials and law enforcements personnel looked the other way; accepted bribes and aid the criminals. They helped the criminals in obtaining fake passports. Using the fake passports, the transporters arrange for these women and young girls to reach their destination, where they are forced into cheap labor or are sexually exploited. They make certain that they can move these women and young girls from one transit point to another, and help them to enter the country without any problems.
The final stage is enforcement. Upon arrival in the new country, the criminal enforcers make certain that their victims are obedient. If they do not obey, there will be severe consequences such as beatings, starvation, deportation, and sexual assaults.
Although, many of these victims accepted job offers from traffickers voluntarily; many of the victims were kidnapped, drugged, threatened with violence or sold against their own will. In one case, the victims' own families have sold them to the traffickers against their will. In one instance, a mother sold her 13-year-old daughter to a trafficker who had her employed as a prostitute in Dubai. She was discovered by the police and deported back to Azerbaijan. She worked as a prostitute for another three years and became pregnant. She had contracted AIDS at the time and unfortunately gave birth to a HIV-positive baby. (U.S. Department of State, 2006) This case is one of many thousands cases that have occurred in human trafficking.
The victims who are forced into prostitution serve as many 8-10 men a day. Moreover, they are coerced to work in sweatshops with very little or no pay and under horrible conditions. The victims must hand over the little money that is made to the traffickers. If they refuse, the traffickers will do bodily injury to ensure submission. In addition, the traffickers may resort to sexual assault, rape, physical abuse, starvation and other methods of torture. There are cases where traffickers lock up their victims in a small room to ensure that they do not escape. These victims had endured unimaginable conditions. Prostitution had left them with physical, sexual, and psychological trauma. They contracted infectious diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis, stress disorder, cervical cancer, and non-infections such as malnutrition, dental health problems, and skin diseases. Many of the victims were forced to have abortions which can leave emotional and physical scarring. Some victims suffer permanent damage to their reproductive organs. These victims pay a horrible price for wanting a better life. (U.S. Department of State, 2006)
This is a worldwide problem, and therefore governments should work together to implement laws and raise awareness regarding this problem. However, when dealing with a problem of this magnitude, there is much to accomplish. Tougher criminal punishments need to be implemented for these types of crimes. Many of the traffickers do not serve or serve very little for their crime because their governments are either not aware of the problem or there is corruption within their own government. (U.S. Department of State, 2006) If the governments implement tougher sentences, perhaps, the criminals would think twice before they commit the act. Secondly, government officials and law enforcements personnel should protect these women and young girls instead of accepting bribes from the criminals. To do that, the governments should train and educate their government officials and law enforcement personnel on how to protect the victims and to punish the criminals. Most importantly, education is a useful source to raise awareness to combat human trafficking. Many victims know very little or nothing about human trafficking, because they have no way of accessing any information. To prevent any future incidents, the governments should raise awareness through campaigns, provide access, and inform communities about this issue. (Getu, 2006)
Although the United States has worked vigorously addressing this issue of human trafficking, one country cannot do this alone. This is a global problem and it must be dealt with globally. There are many countries still at a preliminary stage to combat this issue. However, with global funding, they are slowly making progress to prevent human trafficking. For example, the United States government offered funding to countries to help set up programs to boost anti-trafficking. The funding helps set up educational programs to raise awareness, prevent human trafficking, protect the victims, and punish the criminals. Moreover, the United States Congress passed a Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in 2000, to combat human trafficking through prosecution of the traffickers on a global level. (U.S. Department of State, 2006)
In summary, human beings are being exploited as sex slaves, suffered physical abuse, and enslaved to hard labor. Many lives are shattered because of this immoral act. The mental and physical abuse that these women and young girls endured leaves a permanent scar on them forever. Those who are unfortunate are dead or find themselves with transmitted infectious diseases.
Herro, A. (2006, July/August). Small victories in the battle against human trafficking. Retrieved August 11, 2006, from web.ebscohost.com Web site: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=22&hid=6&sid=f1f89044-e36d-4e87-9241-631b8bdd12d7%40SRCSM1
Getu, M. (2006, July). Human trafficking and development: The role of microfinance. Retrieved August 26, 2006, from web.ebscohost.com Web site: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdf?vid=16&hid=104&sid=4fd1b6ba-e75c-4c9d-8b7f-dd5465b08ca8%40sessionmgr103
Harvard Law Review. (2006, June). Remedying the injustices of human trafficking through tort law. Retrieved August 11, 2006, from web.ebscohost.com Web site: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/results?vid=38&hid=6&sid=f1f89044-e36d-4e87-9241-631b8bdd12d7%40SRCSM1
(2006, June). Victims of trafficking and violence protection act of 2000. Retrieved August 11, 2006, from www.state.gov Web site: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/66086.pdf
Miller, J.R. (2005, March 9). Combat human trafficking. Retrieved August 2, 2006, from web.ebscohost.com Web site: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=10&hid=6&sid=f1f89044-e36d-4e87-9241-631b8bdd12d7%40SRCSM1
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