The History of Cambodia: Exacerbating Human Trafficking
A tragic fact that plagues the world today is the practice of selling humans as chattel every day. Reduce, reuse, and recycle is not only just a motto for a greener environment, but also a concept that can be applied to selling human lives. The oppressors reduce the millions of victims that are enslaved into the human trafficking system to objects to sell. The victims are reused daily by their buyers and are recycled by society. It is a worldwide epidemic, but human trafficking is particularly horrifying in Cambodia. Situated between Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos in South-East Asia, the situation in Cambodia is often overlooked. The history of this small country tells an unstable and disconcerting story that has deeply affected how it functions today. The culture, economy, and societal norms have exacerbated and justified the act of selling people. The poor infrastructure in Cambodia’s culture, economy, and government can be seen as a great contributor to the presence of human trafficking. The Global Epidemic
In order to understand Cambodia’s issue and statistics with human trafficking, it is important to know the background of human trafficking on a global level. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime defines and discusses human trafficking in Article 3, paragraph (a): “Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.” Human trafficking is a problem that is being recognized as one of the greater injustices to human rights in this day and age. There are more women and children now being trafficked into slavery yearly than slaves that were transported to the New World at the greatest height of the transatlantic slave trade (Mam x). Sexual exploitation is not a new concept, but at the rate at which victims are being sold, it is far worse than anyone could have foreseen. Worldwide there are over 27 million men, women, and children enslaved in human trafficking of all forms (Bales 25). According to a UNICEF report, trafficking in humans “generates profits in excess of 32 billion dollars a year for those who, by force and deception, sell human lives into slavery and sexual bondage.” Of those 27 million enslaved, around 43% face oppression through sexual enslavement, with approximately 3 million of them being adolescents exploited in the commercial sex trade annually (UNICEF 2006). Sex trafficking is a lucrative business that runs on a market-based economy due to the basic principles of supply and demand. It proliferates, especially in third world countries, which have conditions to generate high profits and yield low risk exposures. In the third world countries, they face governmental corruption, such as Cambodia, and contain a weak police presence whose priorities are to protect and serve the demands of the wealthy (Mam 52). This leaves the poverty stricken citizens to fend for themselves and for crimes to run rampant in the streets. The heinous crime not only leaves a victim traumatized, but also increases global health risks, fuels growing networks of organized crimes, and can impede development in poverty stricken areas. The consequences of human trafficking are extensive by undermining the health, safety, and security of all nations it touches (TIP 2009). On a global and local scale, sex trafficking often goes unreported due to the lack of awareness...
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