HumanTrafficking: Causes and Prevention
Thepaper explores the issue of human trafficking in the society and howto address it. It is noted that human trafficking is one of thecontemporary challenges to humanity, defined as a form of illegaltrade that deals in transportation, recruitment, harboring, orreceipt of human persons employing coercion, fraud, and deception.Several countries are involved in trafficking, spanning developed anddeveloping economies. Theprimary target for human trafficking is children and women. Factorsresponsible for the rampant human trafficking include violentconflicts, weak legal systems, and lack of adequate legislation.Therefore, thereis the need to have concerted efforts to address the issue, focusingon the areas of weaknesses.
1. Introduction 3
2. Literature Review 4
2.1. Causes of Human Trafficking 4
2.2. Sex trafficking 5
2.3. Reasons or purposes behind Sex trafficking 6
2.4. The Nature traffickers 7
2.5. Target Victims of Trafficking 7
2.6. Countries involved in Sex trafficking 10
2.7. Methods used by traffickers to confuse their victims to travel with them. 12
2.8. Modes of transport used by traffickers and risks posed to victims 13
2.9. Challenges that victims face at destination countries 14
2.10. Is sex trade a Crime against Humanity? What is the role of the international community on sex trafficking 14
2.11. Involvement of Law Enforcement and how most Traffickers and their rings are arrested and the victims saved. 14
2.12. Areas of future discussions 15
3. Summary 15
4. Recommendations 16
5. Conclusion 17
Humantrafficking is one of the contemporary challenges to humanity anddescribes a form of illegal trade that entails transportation,recruitment, harboring, or receipt of human persons using coercion,fraud, and deception to lure victims to consent, an act whose motiveis exploitation (UNODC, 2012). Typically, the reasons of humantrafficking include forced labor and sexual exploitation.Nevertheless, other motives of human trafficking such as extractionof tissues and organs, or even surrogacy have been noted (Kara,2012). The goals of human trafficking are what have often attractedhumanity concerns, considering that the crimes amount to grossviolations of human right. In response to rampant cases of humantrafficking, various institutions and authorities have ratified andimplemented protocols aimed at suppressing, deterring, and punishingthe perpetrators. Despite these efforts, incidences of humantrafficking continue to occur rampantly (Berkovitch, 2013).Therefore, of particular intrigue is what could be the solution tothe problem. This paper explores the causes of human trafficking withthe aim of recommending measures to practice.
Causes of Human Trafficking
Understandingthe causes of human trafficking is imperative to devising measures toaddress the problem. Cases of human trafficking have been growing atan alarming rate due to various factors, which have served as anincentive for the business. Ideally, as Aguilera (2012) notes, suchconditions have either enabled victims to be vulnerable or haveserved as incentives for the trade to thrive or have presented theenforcement authorities from detecting it. These factors have beennoted to include violent conflicts, weak legal systems and lack ofadequate legislation (Marchionni, 2012).
Accordingto Berkovitch (2013), unstable governments, characterized by theexistence of civil wars, lawlessness, and armed groups have been pushfactors for trafficking and migration. These situations have beenattributed to hostile political environments and war. Armed conflictshave particularly led to the massive impoverishment of people. Warshave also bred large numbers of orphans and streets, renderingfamilies more susceptible to trafficking because of the incentives itpromises. At the same time, lawlessness has created the allowance forthe criminals to take the advantage and traffic people with minimalinterruption. Indeed, according to the UNODC (2012), 1.5 billionpeople reside in countries affected by violent conflict, which alsohappens to be the major target of human trafficking trade.Occupations of radical groups such as the Islamic state in Syria andBoko Haram in Nigeria have been some of the notable examples oflawless environments encouraging human trafficking (Marchionni,2012).
Secondly,weak legal systems characterized by porous borders, corrupt publicofficials, and non-commitment by immigration departments and lawenforcement agencies have also allowed organized criminal groups andnetworks to practice the illegal trade. Marchionni (2012) has notedthat this is the major factor in the politically stable countriessuch as the US, China, and Britain.
Moreover,lack of adequate legislation, political will, and full commitment bygovernment officials to enforce existing laws has also served asincentives for the perpetrators to carry on the crime. While therehas been a call for countries to adopt drastic measures to addressthe issue, many countries have been slow in implementing informedreforms to combat human trafficking (UNODC, 2012). This point isindeed supported by Kara (2012), who notes that authorities aretaking long time to come up with proper legislation and enforcementreforms to keep abreast with the tactics that traffickers are usingto outflank police.
Sextrafficking is one of the common forms of the illegal trade. Asdefined by International Labor Organization (2013), sex traffickingis a form of modern-day slavery that involves the coercion of womenand children for commercial sex exploitation. Perpetrators achievetheir objectives by using incentives, threats, debt bondage, andtorture to compel victims. More focus has been centered on childrenand women because of their high demand for prostitution, pornography,and child sex tourism (Aguilera, 2012). Human trafficking and sexualslavery have been likened to modern-day slave trade because ofinhuman conditions that the victims are subjected, for instance, gangrapes, physical harm, restraint, loss of self-determination, and lossof liberty (International Labor Organization, 2013).
Asstated by UNODC (2012), Germany and the United States of America arethe leading destinations for children and women trafficked mainly forsexual exploitation. Every year, Germany and the US receiveapproximately 18 000 victims whom a large percentage, approximately96 percent, are females, while the rest are children (InternationalLabor Organization, 2015). However, it has been argued that well over50 000 victims are trafficked into these countries annually, many ofwhich go unreported. Marchionni (2012) estimates that approximately700 000 people are trafficked annually across the globe. Theincreasing incidences of child trafficking and women trafficking areexacerbated by the fact that some parents are also falling into thetrap. This move has eased the pressure on perpetrators and made iteasy for double trafficking (Berkovitch, 2013). Besides, traffickershave been camouflaging by changing operation tactics, for instance,posing as massage parlors, spas, and strips club operators.
Concernshave been expressed about the shift of focus by criminals from drugtrafficking to human trafficking by because of massive profitsassociated with it, and this is especially for the case of Germanyand the United States. Moreover, the criminal has shifted theirpreference to human trafficking because of the less risk incurred inpractice of sex trafficking, compared to drug trafficking, and thisis because of the inherent difficulty to detect. Kara (2012) haspredicted that the rates of sex trafficking might overtake drugtrafficking soon because of the growing trend.
Reasons or purposes behind Sex trafficking
Variousinterconnected factors, for instance, the political, governmental,economical, and societal aspects, have fortified sex traffickingdeals. Globalization and western capitalism have been escalating thedemand for women and children. Cultures exist all over the world thathas not only tolerated but promoted sexual exploitation. Indeed, mostsocieties have placed less value on women, and this has encouragedperpetrator to be assertive to lure women and children for the trade.Moreover, the availability of ready market has enabled sextrafficking to flourish due to the erosion of morals in the society.Powerful individuals have raised the demand levels off by investingmore money in the business, putting pressure on intermediaries toexpand their networks (Berkovitch, 2013).
Somecountries have been complacent in acceding to the call by theinternational community to tame human trafficking, providing a havenfor traffickers to use as channels to global market. Corruptions inthe government institutions, lack of proper legislations and policieshave encouraged sex trafficking. Natural calamities and war haveresulted in a humanitarian crisis that has robbed some societies ofresilience, causing them to become vulnerable to human traffickingbecause of desperation. Lastly, lack of knowledge has resulted in thelack of awareness about human trafficking among many victims who fallvictims to the ruse, only to become victims of human trafficking(Berkovitch, 2013).
The Nature traffickers
Humantrafficking involves networks of organized criminal gangs. The groupsin different regions have been networking to make the tradesuccessful. According to UNODC (2012), some of the members in groupswork in law enforcement agencies. The emergence of strong armedgroups has accelerated sex trafficking. Many radical groups, forinstance, ISIS in Syria, Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Shabaab inSomalia, have contributed to the growth of the business. These groupshave been kidnapping and selling young girls and women to interestedgroups in exchange for money and armory. Older boyfriends and newfriends with different interests have tricked women and girls andboys in sex trafficking. As Kara (2012) notes, many victims haveadmitted having been easily lured because of trusting someone who wasfamiliar with them.
Target Victims of Trafficking
Theprimary target for human trafficking is children and women,especially those aged between 15 and30 years old in women. This focusis mainly because the demand for this age group is very high in thedestination areas, driven by the growing popularity of spas andstripper clubs in the Western countries.
Accordingto Marchionni (2012), there are various motives for childtrafficking. The most common motives include prostitution, childpornography and sex tourism. Other forms of child exploitation areforced labor, servitude, illegal adoption, and forced marriage,recruitment into a child soldier, recruitment into cults, orrecruitment into sports such as football. It has been argued thatBrazil and Thailand have the highest records of child traffickingincidents (Marchionni, 2012).).
Childtrafficking is often targeted at low-income families. Parents arelured to release their children to the traffickers because of thepromises. According to International Labor Organization (2013), mostparents are deceived about training and improved life for theirchildren, causing them to release the children, only for the childrento become victims of illegal adoption, child labor, and sextrafficking. The incidences of child trafficking from Europe, Asia,South America, and North America into the world sex trade are welldocumented, with many often kidnapped or orphaned in every year.
Aguilera(2012) has noted that, while there are various motives underlyingchild trafficking, child labor is the most outstanding. It isestimated that as significant as 160 million children under the ageof 5-14 were victims of child labor in the developing countries, in2011 alone. About 60 percent of the cases of child labor werewitnessed in the agricultural sector. Furthermore, a significantnumber of children are involved in illegal activities such as drugtrafficking and sex (Aguilera, 2012). Nevertheless, it has also beennoted that the incidences of trafficking for sex are equally rivalinglabor-oriented child trafficking.
Indeed,according to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2013),incidences of child sexual exploitation encompass various illegalactivities. In one way, it includes the use of boys and girls forsexual activities such as in the brothels, bars, and hotels, so on.In another way, it includes promotion of sex shows using children,child sex tourism and child prostitution. Although it is hard toascertain the extent in of child sexual exploitation in the society,it is estimated that over two million children a trafficked each forsexual exploitation purpose. It has further been argued that femalechildren involved in various forms of child labor, such as streetvendors, are the eventual victims of sexual exploitation.International Labor Organization, (2013) notes that the incidences ofchild sexual exploitation have been particularly exacerbated by theinflux of internet technologies, which have improved child networksfor child traffickers.
Significantnumbers of children continue to be trafficked for military purposes.Trafficked children can then be deployed in direct combat roles,espionage roles and for propaganda purposes. About 17 countriesacross the globe are trafficking children for military purposes(Marchionni, 2012). Children are also not spared from illegalactivities such as drug trafficking. Children are increasinglytrafficked for exploitation purposes such as drug dealers andcouriers. The eventuality is that most children are arrested ascriminals, instead of perpetrators. Incidences of Afghan childrenbeing trafficked to sell heroin, as well as incidences of childrenbeing trafficked to sell marijuana in Brazil, are common. Childtraffickers are also deploying children as beggars (Kara, 2012). Inthis regard, criminal elements of child trafficking are those withself-vested interests such as drug barons, businesspersons, andillegal gangs.
Besides,traffickers have the tendency to target women because they aredisproportionately affected by discrimination and poverty. These turnout to be the factors that constrain their access to education andemployment, among other opportunities. The practice of traffickingwomen for labor and practice is relatively complex to account, butwomen are often lured into looking forward to promising economicactivities abroad (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,2013).Such decisions have often been blamed on desperate financialsituations in the home countries. Women become victims of humantrafficking as they ask for assistance to secure employment, obtainwork permits and visas, among other documents that are necessary fortravel. Traffickers turn to prey on vulnerable women, and may evenlure them into networks of crimes by deception and false promisessuch as decent living and well-paying employment.
Insome cases, women willingly travel abroad while aware that they wouldwork in the sexual tourism industry. However, they are never aware ofthe underlying consequences and violence associated with trafficking.In other cases, women apply to advertisements or positions such asnannies, dancers, and waiters, only to find themselves forced to workas prostitutes or slaves upon arrival. The most common violations inthe destination of the trafficked victims are sexual assault, rape,imprisonment, battery and physical violence, among other means ofcoercion (Aguilera, 2012).
Countries involved in Sex trafficking
Accordingto International Labor Organization (2013), China has been rankedamong the worst regarding human trafficking. Approximately 50 000victims have been reported to be trafficked. The high numbers havebeen attributed to corruption in the police force and unwillingnessof the authorities to enforce the enacted laws. Traffickers liaisewith the police to enable the vice to spread across the country.Porous borders have also allowed traffickers to gain access to thecountry and do their operations at ease.
Besides,United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, (2013) has noted thatRussia has also recorded alarming statistics of sex trade victims,with 30 000 to 40 000 victims reported being reported annually. Here,traffickers have shifted tactics by operating in spas and stripperclubs, making it difficult to detect. Some traffickers have movedtheir operations to the suburbs to avoid detection, while rich armedgangs have overpowered the enforcement system by using bribes andshootings to silence the police officers.
Sextrafficking cases have increased in the Asia due to its growingdemand for commercial sex work and household workers. Asiancountries, for instance, Thailand, India, Cambodia, and thePhilippines have been noted to be major destinations of sextraffickers. Incidents of sex trafficking among young girls betweenthe ages of 16 years and 25 years have been reported by authorities(Berkovitch, 2013).
Besides,sex trafficking has also been reported a major challenge that theenforcement authorities in South America should grapple with. Druggangs have taken advantage of the economic returns associated withthe business and have turned their attention to the sex trade. Mexicohas accounted for an average of over 20 000 victims trafficked forsex per year. North Korea is among the emerging economies withrampant incidences of trafficking.
InAfrica, Gabon is considered as the major transit and destinationpoint for trafficked children and women from the neighboring regions,such as Togo, Benin, Guinea, and Mali. Most of those trafficked areboys, who are then forced to work as street hawkers and mechanics.(International Labour Organization, 2013). According to UNODC (2012),forms of women trafficking are pronounced in various parts of theworld. Women are often trafficked from developing countries to therelatively developed countries. The Middle East has featuredconspicuously as the hub of children trafficking. Other regions thatare popular for women and child trafficking include Gambia, Gabon,Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong,India, and Iceland, among others. The Even United States has not beenspared. Incidences of child and women trafficking are on the increasearound the border areas between the United States and Mexico(Zbigniew, Dumienski, 2013).
Methods used by traffickers to confuse their victims to travel with them.
AsZheng, Tiantian, (2014) notes, victims are lured into trafficking ina variety of ways. In particular, traffickers target low-incomefamilies by offering them promises of better jobs and improvedeconomic conditions in the destination countries. It is after winningthe victims trust that the victims themselves agree to travel withtraffickers with ease. Others are trafficked by boyfriends,acquaintances, neighbors, and parents. For instance, formerboyfriends, girlfriends, and the new friends have taken advantage ofthe victims by promising marriages, job opportunities as waitressesor shop assistants and education and a better life to victims.
Moreover,Heavey (2013) states that agents working for sex trafficking cartelshave been moving across the world to different destinations promisingto offer employment opportunities to victims. Some agents offercovered ticket fees and other immigration fees to lure the victimswith relative ease. Victims often pass through multiple sextraffickers networks, moving further and further from their residencecountries and become confused and disoriented along the way. Victim’spassport and official papers are confiscated and held once they reachdestinations, making them overly dependent on traffickers. Victimsare often kept in captivity and trapped into debts, where areblackmailed to pay back huge recruitment and transportation feesbefore being released from their traffickers. Many victims havereportedly been charged additional fines or fees while under bondage,requiring them to work longer to pay off their debts.
Zbigniew(2013) notes that tourists have also been involved in sex traffickingby luring underage victims with promises of money. Due to poorbackgrounds, victims fall to the traps by consenting consciously,while some are drugged and trafficked unconsciously.
Modes of transport used by traffickers and risks posed to victims
Accordingto Heavey (2013), traffickers have been shifting their modes oftransport to evade the police, especially in countries with thestringent law on trafficking. They have relied on air transport toconduct sex trafficking to distant destinations where other means oftransport are not reliable. Cooperation with immigration officialsthrough the exchange of bribes has eased procedures at airport exitsto evade detection and arrest by law enforcers. Besides, roadtransport has been used to complement air transport. Ideally, victimstravel by road to neighboring countries and other designated placesbefore they are airlifted to the destinations. Sea transport has alsoserved as possible means for transportation. However, road and airtransport have been used in combination to enable faster delivery ofvictims to desired destinations with minimal tracking by authorities(Heavey, 2013).
Sextrafficking victims may face severe psychological trauma while ontransit. Most violent traffickers have abused and tortured theirvictims when victims refuse to follow orders, resulting in anxiety,stress, and depression. For instance, victims transported by sea androad are loaded in cargo containers and transit-good trucks, which donot have enough ventilation, toilets, and fresh air. These conditionshave contributed to the spread of airborne diseases for example flu,tuberculosis, and skin infections due to contact with victims.Suffocation has also caused death to many victims in cargocontainers. Moreover, victims are given irregular meals that consistof unbalanced diet that has led to emaciation, starvation, and death(Marcus & Anthony, 2014).
Challenges that victims face at destination countries
Traffickersturn on the victims by confiscating their traveling documents such aspassport and credentials. They can be subjected to inhuman treatment,for instance, abuses, gang rapes, and forced sex for little pay or nopay at all. The traffickers also sell the victims to the rich cartelfor sex and forced labor as strip club workers and waitresses, wherethey are raped and harassed. These atrocities have resulted inpsychological and physical challenges on victims (Horning, Thomas,Henninger & Marcus, 2014).
Is sex trade a Crime against Humanity? What is the role of the international community on sex trafficking
Accordingto Marcus and Anthony, (2014), sex trafficking is a crime to humanitybecause it entails a violation of human rights and dignity. Indeed,all countries across the world have recognized human trafficking as asocial challenge and stipulated laws to curb the issue. Sextrafficking victims face various adverse human rights violation andwarrant international attention. In this regard, there is the needfor the international community to expedite concerted efforts indealing with the issue.
Involvement of Law Enforcement and how most Traffickers and their rings are arrested and the victims saved.
Thefuture discussions will be concerned about how the relevantauthorities should adopt measures that will aim at eradicating thefactors that serve as incentives for human trafficking and deviseapproaches to complement the existing policies, guidelines, and lawsthat deter perpetrators of the crime. For instance, the discussionscould focus on how the government official can play a crucial role inensuring fast response to combat human trafficking in differentterritories. Other areas of interest will be how to develop aframework to help the enforcement teams to liaise with the public toaddress the issue.
Areas of future discussions
Thefuture discussions will be concerned about how the relevantauthorities should adopt measures that will aim at eradicating thefactors that serve as incentives for human trafficking and deviseapproaches to complement the existing policies, guidelines and lawsthat deter perpetrators of the crime. For instance, the discussionscould focus on how the government official can play a crucial role inensuring fast response to combat human trafficking in differentterritories. Other areas of interest will be how to develop aframework to help the enforcement teams to liaise with the public toaddress the issue.
Insummary, this paper has explored issue of human trafficking in thesociety and how to address it, focusing on the type whose motive issex exploitation of victims. Indeed, human trafficking is one of thecontemporary challenges to humanity and it is defined as a form ofillegal trade that deals in transportation, recruitment, harboring,or receipt of human persons employing coercion, fraud, and deceptionto lure the consent of the individual. Typically, the motives ofhuman trafficking include forced labor and sexual exploitation, yetother reasons have been noted to include extraction of tissues andorgans or even surrogacy. It is acknowledged that understanding thecauses of human trafficking is imperative to devising measures toaddress the problem. Cases of human trafficking have been growing atan alarming rate due to various factors that have served as anincentive for the crime. These factors include disorderly government,weak legal systems, and lack of adequate legislations (Marcus,2014).
Sextrafficking is one of the common forms of the illegal trade. Thiscrime of trafficking is defined as the kind that that involves luringvictims for sex exploitation. Perpetrators advance the practicesusing incentives, threats, debt bondage, and torture to compelvictims. More focus of modern trafficking has been centered onchildren and women, who are the exploited through prostitution,pornography, and child sex tourism. Sex trafficking has been likenedto slave trade due to inhuman conditions that the victims aresubjected, such as gang rapes, physical harm, restraint, and loss ofliberty. Several countries are involved in trafficking, includingdeveloped and developing economies. Traffickers have been shiftingtheir modes of transport to evade the police, especially in countrieswith the stringent law on trafficking. The dealers use roads, trains,air and water transport to move victims. In this regard, the effortsto address the human trafficking syndicates will need to examinedifferent loopholes that criminals are exploiting. In particular,based on the causes that have enabled the trade to exist, relevantauthorities will need to adopt measures that will aim at sealing theloopholes that criminals have exploited, and addressing factors thatmake victims vulnerable to trafficking agents. There is the need tohave concerted efforts, considering that the crime is networkedacross borders (Marchionni,2012).
Ashas been noted in the literature review, various factors areresponsible for escalation of human trafficking incidents around theworld. In this regard, addressing the human trafficking will need toconsider different loopholes that criminals are exploiting. Inparticular, basing on the causes that have enabled the trade toexist, relevant authorities will need to adopt measures that will aimat eradicating the factors that make victims vulnerable totrafficking agents and invent more measures to complement theexisting policies, guidelines, and laws that deter perpetrators ofthe crime.
Inconclusion, the aim of this paper has been to explore the issue ofhuman trafficking in the society. It is established that humantrafficking is one of the contemporary challenges to humanity and itis defined as a form of illegal trade that deals in transportation,recruitment, harboring, or receipt of human persons by means ofcoercion, fraud, and deception to lure the consent of person. Themotive of such acts is exploitation. Typically, the goals of humantrafficking include forced labor and sexual exploitation, but othermotives of human trafficking such as extraction of tissues andorgans, or even surrogacy are common. It is acknowledged thatunderstanding the causes of human trafficking is imperative todevising measures to address the problem. Cases of human traffickinghave been growing at an alarming rate due to various factors thathave served as an incentive for the crime, including disorderlygovernment, weak legal systems, and lack of adequate legislation.
Sextrafficking is one of the common forms of the trade, a kind ofmodern-day slavery that involves sexual exploitation of victims.Perpetrators achieve their goals using incentives, threats, debtbondage, and violence to contain victims. More focus has beencentered on children and minors by exploitation through prostitution,pornography, and child sex tourism. Sex trafficking has been likenedto slave trade due to inhuman conditions that the victims aresubjected such as gang rapes, physical harm, restraint, loss ofself-determination, and loss of liberty. Several countries areinvolved in trafficking, including developed and developingeconomies. For instance, china has been ranked among the worst interms of human trafficking. Approximately 50 000 victims have beenreported to be trafficked. The high numbers have been attributed tocorruption in the police force and unwillingness of the authoritiesto enforce the enacted laws. Moreover, traffickers have liaised withpolice to enable the vice to spread across the country. Porousborders have also allowed traffickers to gain access to the countryand do their operations with relative ease. Traffickers have beenshifting their modes of transport in order to evade the police,especially in countries with the stringent law on trafficking. Theyuse roads, trains, air and water transport to move victims. In thisregard, the focus for interventions should be on the variousweaknesses and channels that human traffickers are exploiting.
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