Human Trafficking – Causes, Victims, Impacts and Solutions

    Slavery is a common phenomenon from the ancient times. It was a type of domination of stronger parties to the weaker ones. It used to indicate a differentiating sign of developed kingdom to underdeveloped territory. Time has changed and this brutal system is no more. But the smudge of slavery could not be uprooted totally. It has been emerged to a new form named as human trafficking.

    Human Trafficking - Causes, Victims, Impacts and Solutions
    Human Trafficking

    What is Human trafficking?

    The term human trafficking is defined by as a trade of humans, most commonly for sexual slavery, forced labor or bonded labor and commercial sexual exploitation for traffickers or others. They may extract organs or tissues or provide a spouse for forced marriage. This type of crime can occur locally, nationally or internationally. It is a heinous crime against the person as it violates the right of the victims of movement through coercion. Though human trafficking is the trade in people, it involves especially women and children and the movement of the person is not necessary always.

    ILO estimation in income by slavery

    According to ILO, only forced labor generate an estimation of 150 billion US dollar per annum as of 2014. ILO estimated a number of 21 million victims who were trapped in modern day slavery. Among them , 68% was exploited for labor, 22% was exploited sexually and remaining 10% was exploited in state imposed labor.

    US Department report on human trafficking

    Belarus, Russia, Iran and Turkmenistan remain among the most suffered countries when it comes into the consideration of protection against forced labor and human trafficking.

    Elements of Human trafficking

    On the basis of the definition given in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, it is evident that trafficking in person has three constituent elements;
    • What is done? Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons.
    • How it is done? Threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim.
    • Why it is done? For the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs.

    Victims of Human Trafficking

    Irrespective of caste, creed and color, victims may be man, woman or children of different ages of different levels of education. They are the migrants who move voluntarily to get rid of poverty, discrimination and persecution. The victims could be abducted involuntarily and held against their wishes through force, fraud or deception.

    Who are the Perpetrators behind human trafficking

    A criminal group can be of small network when this commits its criminal activity nationally. This group can be a part of large network when it could be connected with the group of other  countries traffickers. A trafficker can be a member of small network or large network. Sometimes they work on their own. In fact, a human trafficker can be anyone. A victims can be known to a trafficker on a personal basis, such as a family member friend, or community member. The traffickers and the victims are most of the time from the same nationality. So, human traffickers may be transnational, national, or from local criminal organization, neighbors, family members, village chiefs, returns, agricultural operators, owners of small or medium sized business, pimps and brothel owners, police, government authorities, military etc.

    How does Human trafficking happen

    Human trafficking does not occur globally following the same way. It may happen as a result of combined effort of many organizations or active participation of larger organizations or personal effort. They apply different types of tricks to bring under control their victims such as physical assault, punishment, starvation, rape and other sexual abuse, drug addiction etc. People may be trafficked through coercion or deception. They might be threatened of attack against their beloved ones or family members or seizure of their necessary documents or passports.

    Origin of Human trafficking

    The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) included destination countries such as the United State, Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom etc. The common origins for victims include the regions of East Asia, the Balkans and West Africa. In fact any country can be an origin country and any country can be a destination country. In case of South Asia the common origins for victims include Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand the destination countries include Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines etc. There are significant differences in terms of region in the form of detected exploitation. Forced labor is found in African and Asian countries whereas sexual exploitation is found in Europe and in the Americas. Additionally, trafficking for organ removal was detected in 16 countries around the world.

    Types of Human trafficking

    Trafficking can be variety of forms such as trafficking in women for sexual exploitation, trafficking for forced labor, trafficking in organs or commercial sexual exploitation of children in tourism.

    Children Trafficking

    The main reason behind children trafficking is parents’ extreme poverty. Traffickers take the advantage of their penury. Being persuaded by the perpetrators, parents sometimes sell their sons or daughters to the traffickers to repay their debts or get a handsome amount of money. They may be swindled of a luxurious life for their children or getting professional training. Children could be sold into sex trafficking, labor or any other heinous activity. Different types of exploitation may be occurred by the traffickers such as slavery, servitude or sexual assault. Sexual assault may be of different types such as coercion a child into prostitution or child pornography. Child pornography is of great demand to the perverted people.

    Sex Trafficking

    Almost 4.5 million people are affected by sex trafficking worldwide according to the estimation of ILO. It becomes tough to get exemption from this horrible conditions. Traffickers keep them into coercive or abuse manner. Specially women and children are sexually exploited through cheat, coercion or trickery trap of bondage. Traffickers tell them that they will get job in any firm or industry. But they are taken to bordello where they have to engage themselves into sexual activity. Their passports or important documentations are seized. They may be attacked unmercifully and detained to be promised that they will be free only when they repay the money of travel and visa through sex work.

    Forced Marriage

    When anyone or both are not agreed in any marriage is defined as forced marriage. Participants can not show their consent of whether they get married or not. When anyone is involved into a marriage being sold, shifted or inherited is called servile marriage. Forced marriage is a way to get trafficked. When a woman is taken oversea, coerced to marry and then compelled to sexual relation with her new husband. This type of experience is defined as sex trafficking.

    Labor Trafficking

    When any person is moved into any place to another for coercive labor or services is called labor trafficking. The labor can be of child labor, servitude of domestic work, forced labor by bonding or compulsory servitude. This happens within industries of manufacturing, firm of construction or domain of domestic chores. In this case, the risk factor is high for the migrant workers.

    Organ Trafficking

    Organ trafficking has been a popular business because of high demand of substituted organs. Though victims agree to sell their organs expecting huge amount of money, they do not get their expected money at all. Sometimes they have to surrender everything free of cost. Ultimately, their organs have been removed without their consent.

    Human Trafficking - Causes, Victims, Impacts and Solutions
    Human Trafficking

    Factors behind Human trafficking

    Poverty : Poverty is a prime cause behind human trafficking. Because of extreme poverty, people are motivated to seek better conditions for themselves and their families. So people find an economically enriched country for their wage earnings and livelihood. Taking that chance, traffickers persuade poor people and traffic them to the desired place of perpetrators. Globalization : As globalization opened up national borders to greater exchange of goods and capital, labor migration also increased. Less wealthy countries have fewer options for livable wages. The economic impact of globalization pushes people to make conscious decisions to migrate and be vulnerable to trafficking. Gender inequalities that hinder women from participating in the formal sector also push women into informal sectors. Organ Substitution : Long waiting lists for organs in the United States and Europe created a thriving international black market. Traffickers harvest organs, particularly kidneys, to sell for large profit and often without properly caring for or compensating the victims. Victims often come from poor, rural communities and see few other options than to sell organs illegally. Wealthy countries’ inability to meet organ demand within their own borders perpetuates trafficking. Internet Technology : The rise of Internet technology has also facilitated sex trafficking. Online classified sites and social networks such as Craigslist have been under intense scrutiny for being used by johns and traffickers in facilitating sex trafficking and sex work in general. Traffickers use explicit sites and underground sites to market, recruit, sell, and exploit females. Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites are suspected for similar uses. Commercial Demand for Sex : Abolitionists who seek an end to sex trafficking explain the nature of sex trafficking as an economic supply and demand model. In this model, male demand for prostitutes leads to a market of sex work, which, in turn, fosters sex trafficking, the illegal trade and coercion of people into sex work, and pimps and traffickers become ‘distributors’ who supply people to be sexually exploited. The demand for sex trafficking can also be facilitated by some pimps’ and traffickers’ desire for women whom they can exploit as workers because they do not require wages, safe working circumstances, and agency in choosing customers. Political Instability : Difficult political situations such as civil war and social conflict are push factors for migration and trafficking. A study reported that larger countries, the richest and the poorest countries, and countries with restricted press freedom are likely to engage in more sex trafficking. Specifically, being in a transitional economy made a country nineteen times more likely to be ranked in the highest trafficking category, and gender inequalities in a country’s labor market also correlated with higher trafficking rates.

    Impacts of Human trafficking

    Human trafficking has adverse impacts on trafficked people, family members, society and in the whole country. Victims of human trafficking have absolutely no freedom and most of the time they experience horrors such as abuse, violence deprivation and torture. Psychological Impact : Reports indicate that captivity for the person and financial gain of their owners adds additional psychological trauma. Victims are often cut off from all forms of social connection, as isolation allows the perpetrator to destroy the victim’s sense of self and increase his or her dependence on the perpetrator. HIV Spreading : People all over the world, especially in the world of human trafficking, are spreading life threatening diseases such as HIV and AIDS unknowingly. On one hand, child-prostitutes are sought by customers because they are perceived as being less likely to be HIV positive, and this demand leads to child sex trafficking. On the other hand, trafficking leads to the proliferation of HIV, because victims, being vulnerable and often young/inexperienced, cannot protect themselves properly, and get infected. Economic Benefit : According to estimation of ILO, every year the human trafficking industry generates 32 billion USD, half of which is made in industrialized countries, and a third of which is made in Asia.

    Prevention Against Human trafficking

    Lack of employment opportunities has propelled people to leave the home country in search of jobs and better living elsewhere. The government must provide them with jobs or business or loans to conduct business. And if they want to go these countries, they must go there with adequate training and skills. Informative : We all must know about human trafficking and educate our self by reading newspapers, watching news on TVs and also related programmes. Our friends, family and colleagues, neighbors and relatives etc. all need to be informed so that they never get trapped by the trafficking. Involvement : We can join in an anti-trafficking movement in our locality and must get involved in its activities and campaigns. Encouraging Business : We have to be a responsible consumers and know about the labor policies of companies to ensure their products are free from slave labor and other forms of exploitation. Seeking Support : We should report to nearby police stations or institutions if we suspect that someone has been trafficked.

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