25th of March 2014
Human trafficking, along with narcotic drugs trafficking, is one of the most widely spread global crimes in the world. The approximate annual profit from this illegal global trade is 32 billion US dollars (Haken 2011) and approximately 27 million people can be trafficking victims at any minute (Seelke 2013: 2). The illegal trafficking of human beings is done for various purposes which include: sexual exploitation, forced labour, forced prostitution, slavery, begging, adoption, removal of organs and other terrible forms of exploitation. However, the most popular intention for traffickers to commit this crime remains sexual exploitation, which corresponds to 58% of all human trafficking crimes (UNODC 2012). Although all purposes of illegal human exploitation are very interesting to research and explore in more detail, this essay will primarily focus on human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, since it occupies the dominant position amongst all human trafficking cases.
The illegal international trade of human beings is a terrible crime as it takes away the fundamental human right – freedom and, thus, is a violation if human rights. This issue remains on the top-of-the list of the agendas of international organisations, national governments as well as non-governmental organizations. Various measures had been taken in order to counter this global crime. First of all, several organizations assist the victims of trafficking, take action to counter this crime as well as do valuable research and suggest remedies to the problem. These organisations include: UNODC, IOM, UN.GIFT, OSCE and many others. Furthermore, several important international treaties and protocols were signed in an attempt to combat trafficking in persons: The UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children; The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime; The Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air and many others.
National governments as well as the international community constantly create new programs and update the old ones, provide necessary funding and create new criminal and immigration laws in order to combat this global crime. Unfortunately, the measures taken up-to-date did not bring up the desired results - human trafficking prospers and grows every day. The failure to achieve positive results can be attributed to several political and structural factors. As for the former, current legislation related to the trafficking of human beings mainly focuses on the ‘supply’ side of the crime. However, it is evident from several case studies that adopting legislation targeting ‘demand’ would be more beneficial in the fight against this global crime. Moreover, human trafficking legislation focuses on the punishment of the offenders rather than on the protection of victims, which is crucial in the battle against the trafficking of human beings. As for the structural factors, they include poverty, gender inequality, specific social norms and globalization.
This research essay will first look at the detailed definitions of the terms ‘human trafficking’ as well as ‘sex trafficking’. Understanding these definitions is crucially important in order to be able to view the full scope of the problem, actors that are involved in it, as well as actions that are recognized as this criminal offence. Next, this work will present the overview of trafficking of human beings: trends, flows and patterns. Furthermore, we will take a closer look on various measures national governments and the international community take in order to fight this global crime as well as we will assess their efficiency, accordingly. Moreover, this research essay will examine other factors, which allow this global crime to prosper. Next it will be argued that it is extremely troublesome...
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