Human trafficking is modern day slavery. This involves the use of force and coercion to get victims with the intention of getting compulsory labor or facilitating travel with the malicious intent of exploiting the victims. Human trafficking is a crime and generates billions of dollars a year. The victims of human trafficking always find it hard to speak out because of fear of the traffickers or law enforcement and language barriers (NCA). The purpose of this letter to the United States of Mission Lawmaker is to offer suggestions, create awareness, as well as to offer solutions in which human trafficking can be controlled.
Traffickers prey on victims regardless of race, color, national origin, disability, religion or age. They consider every person a target to promote their business. As a result, they find it easier to prey on individuals who have suffered some sort of misfortune or those who seem like easy targets (Office for Victims of Crime).
Some of the causes of human trafficking are psychological problems, emotional vulnerability, economic hardships, lack of a proper and rigid social safety system, national disasters, and political instability. Such factors offer an environment for the human trafficking to boom (The Blue Campaign).
There are various types of human trafficking ranging from sexual trafficking, forced labor, domestic bondage, organ harvesting, illegal adoption, forced marriages, and child related crimes (West 8). In this view, it is obvious that the human trafficking offers a range of areas where the victims can fall (Grennan 20).
This proposal aims at bringing to light various causes of human trafficking, reasons why they help promote the business and signs that help determine whether trafficking is taking place (Imaobong and Usoroh). It also aims at analysis the effects of human trafficking to both the victims and the perpetrators of the crime. Finally, the paper aims at giving a solution to the problem of human trafficking and how it can be prevented.
Human trafficking as per the United Nations is the enrolling, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of human beings through ways that are intended to cause harm or benefit the perpetrator at the victim’s expense. Human smuggling a term closely related to human trafficking involves the transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of human beings on their own consent. This may involve individuals paying large sums of money to get across borders for various reasons. The two are closely related because smuggling offers the opportunity for trafficking to take place (NIJ).
This act is a threat to all governments and to the safety of human beings as it involves violating the human rights of the victims. This also leads to aspects like breaking down of communities and families, growth and expansion of organized crime groups. Some people take this as an advantage to exploit the victims and get labor and services at a cheap price (Grillot 6).
Human trafficking is caused by several factors. These make it hard to keep track of the activity and provides the necessary conditions to prey on victims. Since human trafficking involves the use of force and coercion, these causes provide the ideal conditions for the traffickers to employ the said tactics in order to get victims.
The psychological and emotional vulnerability of the victims is a cause. People who have undergone some form of misfortune such war and abuse tend to be desperate. They make easy targets because they are in need of starting a better life. The aspect of getting job opportunities and making money for the poor is also a key factor in human trafficking. People will always prey on such people with offers they cannot resist but their real aim is to traffick them (Blue Campaign).
Individuals who undergo through economic stress and plight often form the best target of traffickers. This is because they are easily convinced that they would be provided with better living conditions, food, and also something to get them an income. Such individuals rarely take the time to analyze the situation. They quickly fall into the trap of traffickers. In cases where the individuals are taken by force, they often perserve the conditions since they are often given small amounts of money to send back home (Office for Victims of Crime).
The inability for the society to protect individuals contributes to the growth of human trafficking. Individuals who are often rejected by the society are rarely cared for and their disappearance never raises questions. Also, the fact that they are considered lowlife in nature, it is rare for their disappearances to raise alarms. As a result, they form some of the best targets by traffickers (Polaris).
Areas prone to natural disasters are also great places where human trafficking booms. Whenever there is a natural disaster such as flooding, earthquakes or hurricanes families are often separated. Due to this separation, traffickers prey on the individuals and move them to different locations. Such individuals are sometimes considered dead or lost In the long run.
The political instability in various countries is a key cause of human trafficking. Individuals are always desperate to leave areas that are politically unstable to better areas hence they often end up crossing paths with traffickers (Blue Campaign). They use this to their advantage in that they promise safe passage to better areas with the hope of being given a place to stay or a job. These factors often work hand in hand to provide thriving conditions for the booming of the trade (Burke).
As an individual, it is up to you to be able to recognize the signs of human trafficking in the society as this crime can affect anyone of us. We might even fall prey to this crime if we live in a limbo without regard to the activities around us. It is easier to notice if trafficking is taking place if the individual is living and working from a central place. Such individuals do not have the freedom to move around or do as they please. They are often told what to do. They also receive minimal payments or get paid in tips. Such money they do not utilize it (FBI).
Individuals who have poor mental health often are victims of trafficking. Such individuals are always nervous, live in fear and always seclude themselves. They also show aspects such as anxiousness and tend to avoid eye contact when communicating with people. It is paramount to properly analyze the mental health of the individuals as some may portray such characteristics from childhood (West 11). Therefore, it is important to also consider all other signs.
When the physical health of someone is questionable, then it raises alarms to the possibility of trafficking. This is because human traffickers care less about the health of the individuals as they only consider them as disposable objects. Malnutrition, physical injuries due to restraint or battery or even torture should be observed on individuals.
Inability to have authority over aspects of their lives is also a sign to consider. Individuals who tend to stay at one place for long without leaving, having very minimal earthly things such as property and clothes, having individuals have a say about their lifestyle or opinions are often victims. Such individual also tend to lack formal documents that can be used to verify their identity (DoSomething.org). Other signs of human trafficking include inconsistencies in their storyline about themselves or where they are from, insufficient knowledge about their surroundings and never has a proper control of time among others.
Human trafficking being a crime it has effects on both the victims and perpetrators. The victims are often affected negatively while the perpetrators tend to benefit from the trade. Regardless of this, trafficking still has effects that alter the way the society works. The effects may be physical, social or psychological in nature.
Victims of trafficking tend to be exhausted due to excessive work. Their traffickers care less about their need to rest thus they overwork them and make them do heavy work at the expense of their health. They also have minimal resting hours since the traffickers aim is to gain profit from their exploitation, they hence work for longer hours (Human Trafficking Search).
The notion of inflicting physical injury on the victims is always high especially if the victims tend to be uncooperative. This may be done through torture on the extreme, beating, restraining the victims for long hours among others. Such injuries tend to affect the health of the victim and in the long run, may result in death.
A common feature of victims of human trafficking is impaired cognitive processes. This is because of the long periods of not having the will to choose or make decisions for themselves. This is because whenever the tend to resist any action said they are tortured or beaten. In a bid to be compliant, victims tend to use their cognitive processes at very minimal times affecting them in the long run ( DoSomething.org).
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common characteristic among the victims of human trafficking. Such is displayed through fear and trauma experienced during the period of trafficking. This may result in thoughts of suicide or inflict physical harm on oneself (Human Trafficking Search).
Another effect of human trafficking is isolation. Victims tend to isolate themselves from the rest of the society because they are ashamed of the experiences they went through. They are also afraid of speaking out because of the notion that they will be judged or laughed at by other people in the society.
Despite human trafficking being a booming illegal business that brings billions of dollars, its effect on the general economy of any nation is detrimental. This is because the workforce needed to provide the labor is illegally expatriated to another area. People of different professions needed to build the economy of a nation are also used to do nothing related to their profession. As a result, the economic growth of the country stagnates or drops (Polaris).
In this view, human trafficking is a crime that needs to be addressed with utmost vigilance. This is to ensure that human rights are protected and observed. The dignity of individuals also ahs to be preserved. Therefore, it is paramount to stop this trade and properly set measure that will ensure the individuals who try to take part in this business are punished.
Security agencies must be more vigilant on the security around border and entry points to their countries. This is because traffickers use the negligence of effective security checks at the borders and entry points like ports and harbors to transport victims. The security agencies must also put in place strategies ti ensure that neither of their officials is lured into the business with the notion of getting payment.
Human rights organizations must also have a keen watch in areas that are affected by natural disasters and political instability. This will enable them to protect the victims of such traumatic events from falling victims to this trade. They should also try as much as possible to champion for better living standards in such areas so that the people do not feel the urge to be lured into the traps of traffickers (Magliari 120).
The governments should also set strict laws to ensure that perpetrators of human trafficking face the most severe penalties for engaging in the trade. As such the prospective perpetrators will be scared of and find better economic activities to be involved in (Belles 47). governments should also do their best to improve the living standards of the people by ensuring economic growth in their countries.
As individuals, it is our responsibility to take note of what is happening around us. If we suspect human trafficking is taking place, we should not shy off to report such incidents (Shelley 40). We should help the authorities to stop this trade. Also, we have to care about our neighbors even if we do not know them. This will enable us to know whether anyone is missing from the society.
Human trafficking is a crime that has the most adverse effects on any human being. We have to be vigilant on noticing the signs and reporting them immediately. We should also take great care to reduce the causes that provide thriving conditions for the crime. Human rights are an essential thing in any person’s life. We have to ensure that we respect such rights and stop the crime of human trafficking.
Belles, Nita. In Our Backyard. 1st ed. Baker Books, 2011. Print.
Blue Campaign (2016); What is Human Trafficking? Homeland Security. Retrieved from: https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/what-human-trafficking
Burke, Mary. Human Trafficking. 1st ed. New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.
DoSomething.org (2016); 11 Facts about Human Trafficking. Retrieved from: https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-human-trafficking
FBI (2016); Human Trafficking/Involuntary Servitude. Retrieved from: https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/civil-rights/human-trafficking
Grennan, Conor. Little Princes. 1st ed. New York: William Morrow, 2011. Print.
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Human Trafficking Search (2016); Human Trafficking. Retrieved from: http://www.humantraffickingsearch.net/
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Imaobong, D A and C Usoroh. "Human Trafficking-Dimensions, Causes, Consequences And Intervention Strategies". International Journal of Development and Policy Studies 2.1 (2007): n. pag. Web.
Magliari, Michael F. "The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking And Slavery In America Today". Labor History 54.1 (2013): 120-122. Web.
National Institute of Justice (September 2016); Human Trafficking. Office of Justice Programs. Retrieved from: http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/human-trafficking/pages/welcome.aspx
Office for Victims of Crime (2016); Human Trafficking: What is Human Trafficking? Office of Justice Programs. Retrieved from: https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/humantrafficking/
Polaris (2016); Human Trafficking. Retrieved from: https://polarisproject.org/human-trafficking
Shelley, Louise I. Human Trafficking. 1st ed. Cambridge [UK]: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Print.
West, Amanda. "Child Trafficking and Child Welfare". Journal of Human Trafficking (2016): 1-11. Web.
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