Do you know that over 20 million people are being robbed of their freedom and dignity as of right now? Well, they are being abducted, coerced and deceived by traffickers. As a result; victims have been trafficked for used as forced labor, sex trafficking, debt bondage, forced marriage and the removal of their organs. The Exploiting of human being’s dates to Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire and during the medieval period (Aronowitz, 2017). Human trafficking has become modern day slavery for the purpose of exploitation. Human trafficking can be considered forced labor, removal of organs, sexual exploitation, slavery, and prostitution. Over the years, human trafficking has expanded its resources and took places in different areas, where it has become the largest criminal business in the world. Majority of human trafficking victims are minors and are taken against their will. Human Trafficking has become the 21st-century modern day slavery and continues to evolve in 127 countries. In the year of 2000; Congress passed a Trafficking Victims Protection Act to fight against trafficking. However, more solutions and policies must be implemented to stop Human Trafficking because it is still occurring. Human Trafficking abuses human rights, affects victims in numerous ways and is caused by social inequality. Victims are trafficked into a life that is difficult to escape.
The largest and most known form of human trafficking is sexual exploitation. Also, it’s the most profitable source of human trafficking and it’s a global problem. From a report of 2014, there was an estimated profit of 99 billion dollars (Human Trafficking by the Numbers, 2017). Sexual exploitation is acts in which abuse, force, and coercion are used for the purpose of commercial sex. One of the main reasons why its one of largest forms of trafficking is because of the many types of tactics used to lure women. These types of tactics include: social media, drugging at bars, using family members, and exploiting vulnerabilities. Although, it’s considered a global issue, there are still ways to prevent being a victim of it. These include: education, recognizing signs, awareness, and reporting suspicious activity (Gaines, 2012).
The slavery of human beings existed as early as 4000 BCE in Mesopotamia; slaves participated in agriculture, domestic and trade labor. As time went on; slavery became more brutal and exploitative because of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade existed throughout the early modern-day period; slaves were bought and sold including children. Over time the violation of victims escalated; when the White Slave Trade developed. In the 1900’s women and children were transported; traded into prostitution and forced to work in brothels (Aronowitz, 2017).
The trafficking of human beings expanded over time and now this industry makes over $150 billion per year; where it has become, by far, the third largest global crime industy . According to The United Nations, “2.5 million people from 127 countries are being trafficked around the world” (Petrilliggieri, 2013). Many are trafficked across borders and even within their own countries. Victims are deceived, forced or even abducted into a life of exploitation. The traffickers lured victims by false advertisements, fraud job opportunities and a promised life. Recruiters spot vulnerable people who are looking for a better way to survive due to lack of employment opportunities, or resources. They also look for people who are naïve and looking for love because they may lack that attention from their family. This strategy is very powerful; because they know people are constantly searching for something new. Social Media is another way predators disguise themselves. For example, victims are target on Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat or Instagram. This can happen to anyone because social media is a big part of people’s lives. Social media is obviously designed to connect people however; it’s easier for recruiters to connect with their next victim.
There are many forms of Human Trafficking besides labor and sex trafficking. The three other forms include forced armed combat, forced marriage and the removal of organs. The trafficking of children is very popular. In the year of 2014; “The United Nations Children’s Fund reported that at least 6,000 children were recruited by armed groups in the Central African Republic” (Aronowitz, 2017). Children are constantly being robbed of their childhood and purity due to human trafficking. Many children are also sold into forced marriage; which is a crime but not highly recognized. The US Department of State reported that 234 girls were kidnapped in Chibok, Nigeria in April 2014. The girls were sold for twelve dollars to be used as wives (Aronowitz, 2017).
Human Rights are being abused as we face the 21st-century modern day slavery. In 1948 the United Nations Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Human Rights law states that all human beings are born free, equal in dignity and rights. Everyone has a right to be free from slavery or servitude. The human rights law covers basic civil and rights such as a right to education and to receive fair pay. If these principles are so well developed; why are human rights abused and ignored all over the world. According to the American Bar Association; Haddadin and Klímová-Alexander states that “the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council have repeatedly affirmed that trafficking violates and impairs fundamental human rights, as have many of the international human rights mechanisms” (Vol. 52 No. 1). Human Trafficking not only destroys human rights, but victims are affected by it internally and externally.
The impact of Human Trafficking affects victims in many ways. Many victims are forced to work in dangerous working conditions, days without eating, forced to have sex and completely stripped of their dignity. Despite their age, religion, nationality, marital status, or gender, victims have a substantial risk of sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies, physical, mental and health problems. The International Organization for Migration “reports that victims do escape have been so brutalized that they experience lifelong physiological trauma, and according to psychologists, only 30 percent fully recover to live a normal life” (Aronowitz, 2017). Victims can experience a delayed progress at school or failure to complete a degree due to the years they have been trafficked. There are many obstacles victims faced. Victims will also have a challenging time maintaining employment because of the psychological and physical effects of trafficking.
The root cause of Human Trafficking is surely poverty. Based on poverty statistics and facts; “over three billion live on less than $2.50 a day and 22,000 children die each day due to poverty’’ according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Shah, 2013). Limited economic resources can elevate the risk of Human Trafficking. Throughout my research, I read a story on Huff Post News about a Cambodian woman name Mona; who was promised a better life in China instead trafficked into a bride market. Mona was 15 years old at the time when a woman in her mid-30’s approached her offering an opportunity in China. Because her family was very poor and in debt; she accepted the opportunity. Mona became pregnant when she was forced to have sex with a man in China who paid $10,300 for her. Eventually, as time went by she escaped and now is reunited with her family (Maza, 2017). Based on this story, poverty is the root cause due to economic opportunities in many areas and in some countries poverty can push parents to sell their children to traffickers. Their inability to feed, educate or even provide the basic needs of their family can be a strong motivating factor for people to seek employment with a promised future. It is no surprise to know what people will do for money today.
Eradicating Human Trafficking must happen and there are great solutions for this problem. Economic empowerment can address poverty, lack of economic resources and lack of employment opportunities. Because people should have equal access to medical care, education, pay and everything else. Livelihood programs will alleviate poverty because they provide economic support for example water, food, shelter, clothing, education, and training (Petrilliggieri, 2013). Housing programs should also be required in every state for victims.
In conclusion, human trafficking comes in many forms and in all types is considered illegal activity. Over the most recent decades, there has been an increase in activity because of high profits that are obtainable. Of all the types of trafficking, sexual trafficking is still the most profitable and most dangerous to minors and women. There are still ways to prevent being a victim of trafficking, and the main way is to be better aware and educated. Implementing more programs will reduce Human Trafficking in many ways. These solutions will allow victims to live a stable life and alleviate poverty. Victims will no longer look or feel vulnerable towards traffickers due to poverty. Economic opportunities will increase and help prevent Human Trafficking. The survivors of Trafficking will be able to complete school, walk in their healing process and lastly; they will have the support and guidance to live a life of prosperity and success. Human Trafficking is caused by social inequality and because of this fast-growing industry; human rights are abused, and victims are affected. Victims of Human Trafficking deserve their freedom and should not be obligated to do anything that goes against their rights. It’s time to put an end to Human Trafficking because every life matters and they need our help to make a difference.