Sociology 433: G.S.C.
23 April 2013
Dealing with the Dealing of Humans: a Precious Commodity
When one thinks of the numerous industries that have grown to international and global proportions, it is not difficult to name some of the more lucrative and resilient industries operating around the world. Automobiles are everywhere; gasoline is used to fuel a terrifying majority of operations within virtually any country. The aforementioned, however, are all commodities which serve to satisfy the needs and desires of human beings all over the globe. If the focus were to be adjusted to those needs and desires - things like food, shelter, water, entertainment, medical care, and education quickly come to mind. Even those needs and desires which are intangible like emotional support, love, encouragement, protection, someone to vent to, or even the opportunity for an individual to express themselves, are precious commodities that are often taken for granted by many human beings at some point or another.
There is, however, population of human beings in the world, who - through a variety of tragic, inhumane, and grossly illegal circumstances - find themselves deprived of all of these things. They are denied respect. They are punished for being victims. They are beaten, starved, raped, mutilated, and sometimes completely dehumanized and robbed of their very human essence. In the worst of circumstances, all that is left behind is the shell of a human being, or one that is so badly damaged that they are not truly able to live the life they pray to have back. In the best of circumstances, that human being bears the crippling burden of memories so traumatic, that they may still not ever be able truly have life as they once had.
These twenty-seven million individuals that are being spoken of, are the men, women, and children who are abducted, coerced, tricked, threatened, and forced into the ever-black, evil world of human trafficking and sex-trade. Having become a simple commodity, the highest paying deviant can pay an exorbitant fee and shamelessly force a young boy or girl (who, on average are 11-13 and 12-14 years old, respectively, when they are incorporated into trafficking) to submit to and/or perform heinous sexual acts. Aside from trafficking of a sexual nature, there is the trafficking of people for labor. Typically, adults will be recruited in much higher proportion for this purpose than will children. Likewise, there is a higher proportion of men accounted for in labor than sexual trafficking.
Although the sex trade exists and occurs in many places around the world, there are certain characteristics and features, which if are descriptive of a certain country or region, necessarily increases the likelihood of human trafficking - as well as the temptation and willingness of paying consumers to seek said services and opportunities out. These features are neither exclusive to particular countries, nor entirely non-existent in others. Rather, the degree to which a particular country or region can be characterized by these conditions, can inversely or directly dictate the role and volume of trafficking it engages in (Map 1, pg. 11). It is a cycle that began countless years ago, and has since evolved into the second-largest form of criminal enterprise in the world - with the illegal drug-trade being number one. One could argue that it is still worse than the drug trade, given its indescribable infractions against human rights.
Just as with so many other things, money plays arguably the most important role in the development of trafficking networks, as well as the participation in them. The amount of money tied up in the human trafficking industry totals just shy of thirty-four billion dollars. About sixteen billion of which, is associated with industrial countries. That statistic certainly conflicts with the theory of poverty being entirely correlative with the grip that human trafficking...
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