Human and Sex Trafficking

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Thesis: Sexual trafficking is a vice that has infiltrated into our society causing untold pain and suffering.

I.  Introduction

a)      Definition of sexual trafficking

Sex trafficking refers to the act of recruiting, ferrying, transferring, hiding or receiving persons (within a country or across international borders) for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation.  It is achieved through fraud, deception, threats of or use of force, abuse of a position of vulnerability and many other forms of coercion. Minor sex trafficking takes place when citizens or lawful permanent resident minors (under age 18) are commercially sexually exploited through prostitution, pornography or erotic entertainment. Commercial sex act is the giving or receiving of anything of value such as money, drugs, shelter, food, clothes to any person in exchange for a sex act. 

Human trafficking on the other hand refers to the process of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for; services or labor by using force, coercion or fraud purposely to subject to involuntary peonage, servitude, slavery or debt bondage; act of commercial sex through coercion, force or fraud; any act of commercial sex to a minor, regardless of whether there was coercion or not (Territo, 2010).

b)     Introduction into the concept

Human trafficking is gaining popularity in the modern world with all most all groups independent of sex or age engaging in this practice. The most common form of human trafficking is the commercial sex working with is unlawful in many states. The commercial aspects of the sexual exploitations are critical to separating the crime of trafficking from sexual assault, molestation or rape. Sex trafficking is the third largest criminal industry in the world currently after drugs and arms trafficking. It is an estimated $32 billion industry with up to about 12 - 15 million men, women and children being trafficked for commercial sex or forced labor. 600,000 - 1 million children and women are ferried across borders each year for sexual servitude. This illegal trade has been prompted by the modern economic systems and economic liberalizations and free-trade that are characterized by unrestricted trade and globalization. Human trafficking has an adverse effect on the economy socially, politically, and economically. It deprives families their loved ones and hence psychological and lack of emotional attachments. However, a number of policies have been enacted and proposed in order to fight this unethical practice. Some of the policies include education and trafficking knowledge in persons among all members of the society are highly important in beating human traffickers, Introduction of legislations specifically aimed at criminalizing human trafficking, developing co-operations between different nations' law enforcement agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs), and the creation of awareness among the public (Territo, 2010).

II. Target population

It is an estimated $32 billion industry with up to about 12 - 15 million men, women and children being trafficked for commercial sex or forced labor. 600,000 - 1 million children and women are ferried across borders each year for sexual servitude. An estimated 3 – 6 million children, women are sexually at any given time.  The average age of a sex trafficked victim is 12-14 years old. The victims could be women or men, girls or boys but majority of these are women and young girls.

III. Main problems of the target population

a)      Poverty

Poverty is one key reason why human trafficking has become so rampart. Many of these women and children are living in deplorable conditions with little or no income at all. Traffickers are therefore eager to make good use of the victims’ state of poverty, innocence and hope of the vulnerable ( Jac-Kucharski, 2012).Victims feel enslaved and dehumanized in the sense that they are made to carry out production of cheap products or even provide certain services frequently. These victims stay in fear with many of them ending up being victims of violence. Their sweat, tears and blood are in the consumers’ hand s in the Western countries or rather the first world countries. Poverty is the greatest determinant of human trafficking. This means, when a country’s economy is poor, the rate of human trafficking is high. The same applies when the rate of unemployment is high and women have to result to sex trade to sustain their families. The political system of a country also affects the rate of human trafficking where counties which exercise democracy showed a lesser rate of human trafficking. This could be attributed to the rights and freedoms democracy accords to its citizens (Jac-Kucharski, 2012)

b)      Unemployment

Unemployment is another factor that causes human and sex trafficking so rampant in the society. Unemployment results in an increase in the level of poverty in the society.

c)      Lack of democracy

The political system of a country also affects the rate of human trafficking where counties which exercise democracy showed a lesser rate of human trafficking. This could be attributed to the rights and freedoms democracy accords to its citizens.

IV. Solutions proposed to these problems

a)      Government to create additional programs to deal with human trafficking

The government should implement programs that will target the poor population most affected by human trafficking. These programmes should include incentives for empowering the populations through loans, credits, and other financing that will enable them generate income.

b)      Legislatures against human trafficking should be implemented

Sex trafficking has proved to be a dominant problem in the American society. The justice system has gone to great lengths to punish those caught practicing the inhumane act however, this does not seem enough. Human slavery which is now known as human trafficking exists domestically and internationally. The act of buying and selling of humans notably children and women for a purpose of sexual exploitation is a growing disease in this country (Schauer, 2006). At an average, there are close to 27 million individuals caught practicing slavery globally with figures indicating that 600000- 800000 being trafficked globally while more than 17500 are trafficked in the United States annually. In every group of four victims, around three of them are women and half are small children. This means that the legal or justice departments in the country need to make necessary changes in order to help the authorities to deal with this problem (Schauer, 2006).

c)      Government should find ways of increasing job opportunities

This could be through the creation of youth programs that will help the youth put their entrepreneurial skills in practice. For example, in Africa in a country called  Kenya, the government introduced a women’s and youth fund to help the women and youth  in that country y to explore and venture into businesses rather than rely wholly on white collar jobs or former employment.

d)     Government should create awareness programs that will help people

Through creating awareness in the society, people will be more ready to tackle the issues that arise from it. Women are also more aware of their vulnerability and they take action towards protecting themselves. This awareness has thus helped to eliminate some avoidable risks, resulting in a decline in the rate of human trafficking.

V. Research Questions

a)      What is the connection between poverty and the high rate of sex trafficking

There is a high relationship between poverty and human sex trafficking. Poverty remains to be one of the factors that trigger sex trafficking as poor individuals take refuge in sex so as to make an extra dollar. More than often, the traffickers exploit the opportunity availed by the fact that most the victims are poor.  Traffickers are therefore eager to make good use of the victims’ state of poverty, innocence and hope of the vulnerable. This has made it easier to use poor victims who do not have means for subsistence so as to conduct illegal human trafficking. Thus, such victims stay in fear with many of them ending up being victims of violence since they do not have any means to protect themselves from the traffickers (Schauer, 2006).

b)     What is the input of the legislature towards combating sex trafficking

Human trafficking is illegal and those found guilty of the crime are usually sentenced to imprisonment. The respective governments have gone to great lengths towards ensuring that they implement strict rules that will ensure the citizens are protected.

In the United States, every state has its own set of laws addressing the issue of human trafficking.  The Federal law in the United States stipulates that, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, nor any place subject to their jurisdiction,” (U.S. Constitution Amendment XIII). This means, human trafficking is illegal on the United States and those caught should be given thorough punishment for their inhumanity.

c)      What is the role of education and awareness towards curbing human trafficking

Awareness and education still remain key to beating sex trafficking worldwide. Education and trafficking knowledge in persons among all members of the society are highly important in beating human traffickers. All the means at once disposal have to be put into use to help in raising awareness about the crime, its nature, causes and damage to victims, Governments, civil society, the press, private companies. All the various entities must come to work together towards promoting knowledge on the issue. Citizen reporting is one major area which should never be overlooked. The victims can often be the society's most marginalized members and it is therefore up to the neighbors and friends to look out for one another. Access to the relevant authorities is crucial here and the State should at all times ensure that they are easily reachable and that the key departments such as the police are themselves educated about sex trafficking, how to handle it and the victims should they come in to an encounter with such.

d)     What is the role of NGOs towards trafficking?

Quite a number of Non-governmental Organizations such as the International Justice Mission (IJM) deal with issues that relate to sex trafficking. IJM’s mission is that it is a human right agency to bring rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other violent oppression forms. Being a faith-based organization, IJM’s goal is to help restore to victims of oppression those various things that God intended for them: their lives, liberty, dignity and the fruits of their labor. The organization employs two methods of rescuing victims: brothel raids are conducted frequently in conjunction and cooperation with the local police, and buy bust operations in which undercover agencies feign to purchase sex services of underage girls. After the raid and rescue have been achieved, the women and girls are sent to rehabilitation programs run by NGOs (such as churches) or the government. These NGOs to a greater extent therefore will construct rehabilitation centers, obtain women and girls who may at one point or the other been victims of sexual trafficking. The former victims help to educate the rest on the risks posed by sexual offenders and prepare them psychologically in order to live a normal, healthy fulfilling life once again.

VI. Hypothesis

  • Lower GDP per capita in a state is associated with higher numbers of human trafficking victims.
  • Higher unemployment in a state is associated with higher numbers of human trafficking victims.
  • Higher economic disparity in a state is associated with higher numbers of human trafficking victims.
  • Higher levels of female equality (in economic activity, education and governmental participation) in a state are associated with lower numbers of human trafficking victims.
  • Higher levels of democracy in a state are associated with lower numbers of human trafficking victims.

An analysis of the findings reveals that the above hypotheses are true this means that sex trafficking has a positive relationship with lower GDP per capital, high unemployment, high economic disparity among individuals, high levels of female equality, and the levels of democracy. In situations where the individuals have low incomes, high unemployment, there is high levels of human sex trafficking while where there are opportunities for female equality and  high levels of democracy, there is a low rate of human sex trafficking.

Annotated Bibliography

Territo, L. (2010). International Sex Trafficking of Women & Children : Understanding the Global Epidemic. Flushing: Looseleaf  Law Publications.

The objective of this research was to investigate trafficking of women in the United Nations. The hypothesis is that, sex trafficking has reached epidemic proportions.

The main research question discussed is how best the government organizations can combat sex trafficking in the community. Other research questions applied are:

  1. What are the linkages or connections between the supply of women trafficked from abroad and those from within the country to curb the rising demand in the sex industry?
  2. What is the level of intelligence required to combat sex trafficking?
  3. Who are the regional differences in sex trafficking and sex industries in the America?
  4. What are the social consequences of sex trafficking?

The research design applied was systematic and it applied findings of at least thirty experts in the field. The data was mainly quantitative synthesis where all previous studies were analyzed.

Major findings

Families are tied together into the global economy through what is termed as informal and formal work, through the way they relate with the other states and through the way they produce and consume. In addition, ever increasing communication and technological advancements allow individuals and families to access others in a manner that is unprecedented. Such relationships are followed by fresh conceptualizations of lifestyles that are appropriate, ideologies, ideologies and identities even out of those who may never have the ability to access them. Despite having generally acknowledged the social and complexities key inherent in globalization, most examinations remain top- down and focused only on the global economy, corporate strategies, and also the political streams. The limited perspective on global issues has led to having implications for having knowledge and understanding of social life.

Samarasinghe, V. (2007) Strategising Prevention: A Critical Review of Local Initiatives to Prevent Female Sex Trafficking. London : Routledge.

The key words used in the article include gender and diversity, social sector, civil society, rights and methods.

The objective of the article is to analyze the fundamental role of NGOs towards preventing and eradication human trafficking. The hypothesis of the article on the other hand is that that; NGO’s are not doing enough to solve the dilemma of sex trafficking.

Some of the research questions addressed in the article are:

  1. What is the role of NGOs towards stopping sex trafficking in the United nations
  2. What are some of the prevention practices that ought to be implemented to curb this crises

Major findings

Over the years, NGOs have launched several programs to help deal with the problem of sexual trafficking. Painfully, sex trafficking is emerging to be a global crime that shames the whole world. Billions of money is being made by sacrificing millions of human individuals. This is happening by cashing out our boys and girls and thereby cases of millions of victims of human trafficking are being heard today. Girls and boys who ought to be schooling are lured into becoming soldiers, sold for sex or doing some sort of hard labor. Girls and women are being trafficked for prostitution, forced domestic chores, exploitation or marriage. Men who are said to be trapped by debts slave away in plantations, mines, or even sweatshops. The question one would ask them is how that happens in 21st century. This is why NGOs have intervened to try and not only create awareness regarding the issue, but also to help try empowering women to fight this ugly trade that is dehumanizing them. They have also applied community networking and capacity building training to help these affected communities.

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