Human Trafficking

“Trafficking of persons is not a new phenomenon. It is a modern day form of slavery and is one of the most lucrative criminal enterprises in today’s world economy” (State of Washington). Human trafficking is a problem in all countries and is a crime against humanity in that it is the enslavement of someone in order for that person to be used in some way. The words human trafficking can refer to the legal transfer of employees between countries however all too often it is the enslavement of people into a business in which they do not want to be in.

These human beings are being treated as slaves for work, sex and other forced practices and are not cared for during this time of enslavement. Although some victims of human trafficking do get out and are able to get away there are times when there is no ability for those who are being trafficked to escape and many die in this type of lifestyle. Human trafficking is currently the fastest growing industry in the world as more money exchanges hands in the enslavement of people than has ever before occurred.

There are many reasons that one could be trafficked, these include “exploitation including prostitution or other sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to and servitude” for adults, for children there could be forced “prostitution, illicit international adoption, trafficking for early marriage, or recruitment” including “child soldiers, beggers, for sports such as child camel jockeys, or within certain religious groups” (Wikipedia 1-3).

One of the prime examples of how humans are trafficked into the United States is that they are given visas and other necessary means of travel and then when they get to the United States the story changes. “It is easy to track the success of the immigrant trafficking industry. People are brought here, some with visas and some without, with the promise of a new life, but then are stranded in a world where no one is looking out for them. Suddenly they are threatened with death and they are told their families back home will be killed” (Kennedy 1).

These people are often told “lies” about what the American authorities will do to them and therefore they are afraid to go to anyone and they literally are trapped in the world which they are in. In some of the cases in the United States there are “recruiters” who often present themselves as the typical high school student who is new and looking for friends. Little do the friends know that they are in danger and that they could soon be kidnapped, drugged, raped, beaten or worse.

Some of the other ways that young people are recruited into the trafficked industry is through “more predictable ways,” being told about how attractive they are and promises of a career in modeling or in the movies (Kennedy 2-3). One of the biggest perceived problems in human trafficking is sex slavery. This seems to be the most controversial and it seems to be the biggest crime against humanity as forced sexual activity for the profit of someone else seems to be more extreme and to be more of an issue than forced labor or child labor at this time in the world.

With sexual slavery there is irreversible psychological damage to those who are the victims. This is especially the case when the victim is a child, adolescent or teenager as there are many more problems and issues for them to be developing mentally and psychologically and forced to commit sexual acts on others. When researching sexual slavery it is alarming to see how someone can twist religious texts and force someone into sexual slavery in an attempt to make the slavery easier and in some way okay (“Chapter XII…”)

Sexual slavery rings are possibly in every state and in far more cities than can be imagined in the US. In 2008 one of the largest sex rings in California was shut down and the main trafficker was a 28 year old Guatemalan woman in Los Angeles. It is typical that victims are women as “80 percent of victims are women and girls. ” However, an “increasing number of young men and boys being forced into the commercial sex industry. ” In the last year there have been other cases as well, one of a Johnson County, Kansas prostitution ring ran from a massage parlor.

In this case women were enslaved from China and brought to the US where they were taken directly to the massage parlors and forced to work long hours as well as perform sexual acts in exchange for money. Another recent case was of a 22 year old Mexican woman who was kidnapped by two men, threatened with harm to her family and then taken from state to state to be sold as a prostitute where she was forced to perform sexually up to seven times per day. It is hard to build the cases where these places get busted or in trouble as there are few who are willing to testify against them.

Many are in fear for family that is another country or even in the area as the criminals know these facts about the victims and they are a constant source of threat for them (Johnson and Rodiguez 1-3). Some human trafficking involves child labor and the overall misuse of children to perform duties or tasks that are inappropriate for them. In his article entitled “Child Labor in the World Economy,” Glenn Perusek (a professor of political science at Albion College) talks about the horrible work conditions that are forced upon child laborers in various countries.

The children “are given little food or poor quality” and are forced to work long hared hours doing various tasks in the fishing industry in Indonesia. There was a study conducted of these children and the problems that are associated with them. There is a lack of clean water so many have skin problems and irritations, there was also a problem with other things that were available so many of them continue to have problems with illness and injury as there are no formal first aid treatments.

Also they are forced to perform on platforms in the middle of the water and there is no escape for them as there are no boats and since they do not know how to swim they are often afraid of drowning in the conditions. These children are recruited as they are easier to manage and “less likely to complain about wages. ” A lot of the other problems with child labor are that these children are not given a chance at other things in life, like education and therefore there are problems with higher illiteracy rates and other issues.

Some of the problems with stopping child labor in these countries are that the child laborers are protected as they attend church and are well respected and well known citizens. These types of labor also lead to long term poverty (Perusek). There are many government agencies and other types of programs that in place now to help stop and/or slow the human trafficking industry but as long as there is a demand for these types of services, it will be hard to be able to slow them or end them. In many cases the victims will not testify and therefore the crimes are that much harder to prosecute.

“At the federal level, the Trafficking Protection Act was written in 2000, and enhanced in 2003. ” Potentially those who are convicted of human trafficking could be sentenced to a life imprisonment (Kennedy 4). The FBI states that their goal is to “stop human trafficking—not only because of the personal psychological toll it takes on society, but also because it facilitates the illegal movement of immigrants across borders and provides a steady source of income for organized crime groups and even terrorists” (“Human Trafficking” 1).

Another great organization is the Emancipation Network. They fight “slavery by empowering survivors and people at high risk to rebuild their lives” (“Empowerment and Hope…” 1). UNICEF is addressing issues on a world wide level. Some of the issues that they are fighting against are those that are against the well being of adolescent girls. They are pushing that certain things be available for all girls no matter where they live. There is a belief that it is important to invest “in the educating adolescent girls.

” This is especially important in countries where there is no ability to be managed and where there are no possible ways to improve in the overall conditions of the country for the adolescent girls. A second way is to promote “an end to violence against girls in all settings—in the home, in school, and in the immediate community. ” This means that there should be a respect for women in general and those who are abusive to women or girls in any way need to have the laws upheld and there needs to be education on healthier relationships that do not include these types of abusive behaviors.

Lastly there is an encouragement to build “partnerships with the private sector and government to ensure that girls have opportunities to make a successful transition from school to work. ” Thus meaning that girls are encouraged to be able to finish and complete school first. Some of the crimes against these girls include genital mutilation, prostitution, and many other crimes against the young girls in question. These things will all help that women are more secure and not such big targets in these types of crimes (McDonald 1-3). Not only is law enforcement looking to stop human trafficking but so are many human rights and activist groups.

One organization is www. humantrafficking. org. Their goal is to be able to put information out there to the public on what human trafficking is, how it continues to thrive and what can be done to stop it. There are many things that will need to occur in order for there to be a decrease in the number of people who are trafficked for sex slavery as well. There are many who are calling for an “abolitionist movement” against sex slavery (Perlmutter 2). Bibliography “Chapter XII: Sex Slavery. ” <http://www. bharatvani. org/books/mssmi/ch12. htm> “Empowerment and Hope for Survivors of Trafficking and Slavery. ” The Emancipation Network.

<http://www. madebysurvivors. com/content/bring-abolition-movement-your-community> ”Human Trafficking. ” Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2009. <http://www. fbi. gov/hq/cid/civilrights/slavery. htm> Johnson, Alex and Rodriguez, Cesar. “Sex Slavery: Living the American Nightmare. ” MSNBC. December 22, 2008. <http://www. msnbc. msn. com/id/28161210/print/1/displaymode/1098/> Kennedy, Kim. “The Realities of Human Trafficking: In the End, It’s the Customers who Keep Teen Sex Rings a Viable Source of Profit. ” CBS News. September 12, 2007. <http://www. cbsnews. com/stories/2007/09/11/earlyshow/main3250963. shtml> McDonald, Kerida.

“Securing Rights of Adolescent Girls is Critical for Achieving Development Goals. ” UNICEF. April 8, 2009. <http://www. unicef. org/media/media_49232. html> Perlmutter, David. ”Sex Slavery: International Steps are Needed to Curb What has Become a Global Scourge. ” Gazette. Montreal, July 10, 2001. Perusek, Glenn. “Child Labor in the World Economy. ” New Politics, Vol. 9, No. 4, winter 2004. State of Washington. Human Trafficking Modern Day Slavery. “The Report of the Washington State Task Force Against Trafficking of Persons. ” June 2004. Wikipedia. Human Trafficking. 2009. <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Human_trafficking>