Human Trafficking: A Worldwide Problem Essay

This essay has a total of 3780 words and 16 pages.

Human Trafficking: A Worldwide Problem

Despite intensive efforts to combat human trafficking, the trade in persons, sexual
exploitation, forced labor, persists, in fact, continues to grow nationwide. The reason
for the limited success in preventing human trafficking is the dominant perception of the
problem, which forms the basis for laws developed to combat human trafficking.
Specifically, with the trafficker whom operate across multiple dimensions, including race,
gender, ethnicity, class, culture, and geography. There is a need to expose the observable
fact of human trafficking, driving demand for trafficked persons, influencing perceptions
of the problem, and constraining legal initiatives to end the abuse. By examining human
trafficking through a distinctive context, it will explain a deeper understanding of human
trafficking and offer a prescription for reducing the adverse effects and the efforts to
combat human trafficking and the individuals that now suffer such abuses. Human
trafficking is an illegal form of modern day slavery. Human beings are not property and
they are unfortunately being used for forced labor and prostitution.

According to the article, Sex Trafficking of Women and Children in the United States,
there is a large amount of victims taken into this life of crime. An estimated 12 million
people worldwide are in forced labor, debt bondage, forced child labor, or sexual
servitude. Depending on the methodology and definition used, other estimates of trafficked
persons are as high as 27 million (Hughes and Raymond, n). The numbers projected are of
men, women, and children annually that are trafficked across international borders.
Approximately 80 percent are women and girls, and up to 50 percent are minors; the young
boys usually age from11-13, and the young girl?s age range is 8-14 (Hughes and Raymond,
n). In the article Child Sex Trafficking in the USA: What Really Goes On, Erika Clark, Air
Force Intelligence analyst, in her fight to rescue the girls forced into this life of
human trafficking, Eisenmenger explains about how Clark was able to recue many of the
young girls. She mentions the average ages she rescued and the estimated ?293,000 children
in the USA trafficked.? ?Portland Oregon has become a sex trafficking capital in the
United States, and how Atlanta, Houston, Toledo, New York City, Washington DC, Miami, San
Francisco, Las Vegas, Kansas City, and Los Angeles are competitors? (Eisenmenger.n.).
According to Markon, despite estimates of up to 17,500 persons trafficked into the United
States every year, since 2000 only 675 have been counted as such. This low number accounts
only for the number of people who met the definition of a trafficked person within The
Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and received a T visa, which is a temporary visa
granted upon cooperation with law enforcement. Excluded from this count are those who do
not report to or assist law enforcement, those who do not require immigration relief,
those who are United States citizens, those who cannot meet the requirements for a T visa,
and those denied a T visa because law enforcement refused to offer support for the
application. In the article, Running From The Rescuers: New U.S. Crusades Against Sex
Trafficking And The Rhetoric Of Abolition, Soderlund states that although prosecution of
traffickers is a worthy goal, the needs of trafficked persons should also be addressed in
a way that helps restore their humanity and reintegrates them into society (Soderlund
64-87). In the Washington Post article, Human Trafficking Evokes Outrage, Little Evidence,
Markon explains how more a balanced global approach is needed to address the imbalance of
wealth and poverty and labor supply and demand. In particular, social scientists believe
that governments in the developed world of destination countries such as the United States
need to take a more proactive approach to address the confluence of unstable global
economies, lack of labor laws protecting low-skilled workers' rights, lack of availability
of living wages, and restrictive immigration policies (Markon.n).

The story, Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in the United States says that even though more
slaves were apprehended from Africa during the 300 years trans-Atlantic slave trade. Now
many countries like the Philippines, North Korea, Asia, Africa, Europe, Germany, and the
United States are affected by human trafficking (Kotrla 181-7). When white slavery, now
known as ?human trafficking,? began in the early 1700?s, slave traders transported their
victims to America by ships. The countries affected the most are Belgium, Germany, Greece,
Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Thailand, Turkey, and the U.S. are ranked
very high as destination countries of trafficked victims (181-7). From the Journal of
Criminal Law and Criminology, it discusses how human sex trafficking was first made known
internationally. In addition, how across the waters human trafficking was a huge problem
long before it was here in the US. This story gives the history of where it all began.
This article discusses how the authorities reached out to the U.S for help, and made the
U.S acknowledge the problem at home. (Andrews 415-53).

It is important to be clear on the definition of human trafficking, as the
characterization of the issue will determine the strategies to combat the problem and
protect the victims. In The Polaris Project: For a World Without Slavery article, The
National Human Trafficking Resource Center defines Human Trafficking as, ?all acts
involved in the recruitment, abduction, transport, harboring, transfer, sale, or receipt
of persons. It is within national or across international borders; through force,
coercion, fraud, or deception. It is to place persons in situations of slavery or
slavery-like conditions, forced labor or services, such as forced prostitution or sexual
services, domestic servitude, bonded sweatshop labor or other debt bondage? (NHTRC). This
modern-day slavery is most prevalent in agriculture, mining, and forced prostitution, but
it also exists in industries such as construction, domestic servitude, food services, and
manufacturing (NHTRC). There are various routes to human trafficking, but the common theme
is that the trafficker uses force or coercion to control the trafficked person. Some
people are captured and exploited; others are forced to work without pay to erase an
illegal "debt" (NHTRC). Some voluntarily migrate in search of better economic or political
situations but subsequently find themselves in oppressive situations once they get to the
destination country (NHTRC). Women and young girls are often tricked into migrating by
traffickers who promise a better life through marriage, employment, or educational
opportunities (NHTRC). As a means of control, traffickers sometimes keep them locked up
away from the public or their families; take away passports or other necessary documents,
and use violence or threats of deportation (NHTRC).

In the United States Department Of Justice Trafficking in Persons Report, mentions since
the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the sale of drugs and arms have become
the most profitable transnational crimes, human trafficking remains well known in the 21st
century ((USDOJ.18). The struggle against organized crime, corruption, and trafficking in
illicit drugs, and human beings is too big for any one country to tackle alone (18).
Organized crime threatens peace and human security, violates human rights, and undermines
economic, social, cultural, political, and civil development of societies around the
world. Transnational organized crime manifests in many forms, including as trafficking in
drugs, firearms, and even persons (18). At the same time, organized crime groups exploit
human mobility to smuggle migrants and undermine financial systems through money
laundering (18). The piece on Sex-Work Harm Reduction, is about the drugs involved with
human sex trafficking. Rekart goes into the depths of how traffickers use the women and
children to transport their drugs. He also discusses how the traffickers force the drugs
on the women and children to gain more control over them (Rekart 2123-34). Furthermore, he
discusses how the women and children are bought and sold for the drugs. Countless
individuals lose their lives at the hand of criminals involved in organized crime, give
way to drug-related health problems or injuries inflicted by firearms, or losing their
lives because of the unscrupulous methods and motives of human traffickers and smugglers
of migrants (2123-34).

As indicated by Weitzer in Sex Trafficking and the Sex Industry: The Need for
Evidence-Based Theory and Legislation, human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing and
most profitable illicit industries, second only to drug trafficking (Weitzer 1337-69).
Global profits from human trafficking are estimated at $44.3 billion per year (1337-69).
Globalization has allowed for greater movement across borders of people, money, goods, and
services. The increase of human trafficking is due to several interconnected factors on
both the supply side and the demand side. On the supply side, the increase in the world
population, rapid social and economic change in countries around the world, and government
policies or inaction have all played a role in the conditions that allow human trafficking
to prospe r(1337-69).Struggling economies of developing countries and enormous political
changes have created economic circumstances that have perpetuated extreme poverty and
desperate situations, leaving many people with no choice, but to accept work under
oppressive conditions (1337-69). In particular, post communist societies have experienced
much economic and political instability, and the weakening of law enforcement has allowed
organized crime to proliferate and engage in widespread global human trafficking
(1337-69). Other factors such as war, civil unrest, and natural disasters may lead to
population displacement and an increase in orphans and street children who are easy prey
for traffickers. Further, lack of opportunities for education and lack of a living wage
increase the number of individuals competing for low-skilled jobs. In the article of
Closing the Gaps: The Need to Improve Identification and Services to Child Victims of
Trafficking explains how human trafficking is a 7 billion dollar business in the United
States (Gozdziak and MacDonnell 171-84) Since there are currently no consistent or
accurate ways of tracking these crimes, statistics may vary. Up to 300,000 girls and boys
are sold in the US every year; their parents or family members groom 25% and 75% are
former runaways (171-84). Each year, 1.7 million children run away from home. From that
number, traffickers will approach 90% within 48 hours (171-84). Girls are between 9 and
17, with the average age of entry into sex trafficking being between 12 and 14. For boys,
the average entry age is 11-13 (171-84). The most common spots for a child to be lured
into trafficking are junior high and high schools, the Internet, shopping malls, parks,
playgrounds, and foster homes (171-84). A prostituted child is forced to serve 100 to
1,500 clients per year. There are 56,000 U.S. produced websites that sell child
pornography, and 1/5 of the images are of minors (171-84). All fifty states have reported
cases of domestic sex trafficking, with the most activity in Texas, Nevada, California,
and New York (171-84). The US is one of the top three destination points for victims in
the world, yet many states lack laws and resources needed to assist these victims.
Currently, only 1 out of 100,000 traffickers ever serve time for his crime (171-84).

For the protection of the victims and their families, there are many laws in place. As
stated by Becker in the story of The Human Rights Watch: Violence against Children
Worldwide , ?every human being has the basic right or freedom to which all human beings
are entitled and in whose exercise a government and non-political government may not
interfere, including rights to life and liberty as well as freedom of thought and
expression and equality before the law? (Becker.n) In the article Hidden in Plain Sight:
Human Trafficking in the United States, by Hepburn and Simon, they challenge the
government(s) to end abusive practices and respect human rights for everyone here in the
United States and internationally (1-26). It is another explanation of how human
trafficking is a widespread global human rights problem and refers to the recruiting,
transporting, harboring, or receipt of human beings by use of force, coercion, or fraud
(1-26). Trafficked persons are subjected to labor exploitation, sexual exploitation, or
both. In the article, Sexual Trafficking in the United States: a Domestic Problem with
Transnational Dimensions by Hodge, goes further to explain how exploitation may include
forced labor, debt bondage, slavery, abuse within the commercial sex industry, private
parties who demand work and sex (143-52). For children, trafficking may also include
trafficking for early marriage, illegal adoption, child prostitution, recruitment as child
soldiers, or recruitment for religious cults (143-52). The article by Sealing, The Paradox
of Vernacularization: Women?s Human Rights and the Gendering of Nationhood states The
Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) works to identify and protect all those who are
trafficked into the United States (475-505). The low numbers of victims identified can be
attributed to many different obstacles in completion. One important obstacle is a lack of
access to necessary legal (475-505). From the article of Soderlund, Running From The
Rescuers: New U.S. Crusades Against Sex Trafficking And The Rhetoric Of Abolition, The
Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Acts of 2005 and 2008 required the
Department of Labor to compile and publish a list of products produced by child labor or
forced labor, and the countries where these abuses were prevalent (67-87). This states
that all human beings deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and that no human
being should be subjected to humiliation or ridicule. In addition, no human being has the
right to ?own? another human being (64-87).

In the piece, Crime, Corruption, and Chaos, by Williams, she mentions how there are cases
where public officials, politicians, judges, and lawyers are either involved by helping
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