14 April 2014
What Is Human Trafficking?
Who does not want a better life? There are those who in countries like Cambodia, India or Thailand that are so desperate for a better life that they fall for the lies they are sold by those who wish to exploit them. Every year, every day, every hour, every minute a man, woman or child is being trafficked and the majority of Earth's population is unaware of what is transpiring. Most would tell you the idea of human trafficking was something made up for a movie, most likely one with Liam Neeson in the testosterone driven, butt-kicking lead. However, human trafficking, especially sex trafficking, is a harsh reality that we face today. Since many here in the United States do not realize that human trafficking takes place, it is safe to assume that they do not truly know what defines it. The glamorized, Hollywood version depicts young girls being kidnapped and auctioned off to the highest bidder or being sold to a brothel where they see man after man in a drugged stupor. While this does take place, it is only a partial truth. According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC),
…the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines
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 labor or
services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of
organs. Another common misconception is that trafficking only takes place in countries that are war torn, or considered to be Third World. Again, this is only a partial truth. Almost the entire world plays a part in trafficking, with countries as either a place of origin, transit or destination ("What Is Human Trafficking?"). While occurrences are commonplace in countries like Cambodia, Thailand and India, the tragedies of abduction and trickery are also occurring in our own backyards. In the United States alone, there are about 293,000 children who run the risk of being exploited, most commonly for sexual purposes, according to the FBI in 2011 (Saar). Who would have ever thought that such contempt for human dignity could take place in a country that claims freedom for every person? According to the UNODC, there are three major steps to the process of trafficking. These steps are: 1. The Act-the method in which victims are recruited, transported, transferred or received. 2. The Means-how a victim is controlled through threat, force, abduction or deception. 3. The Purpose-the reason they are being held captive, which could include forced labor, sexual exploitation and even the removal of organs ("What Is Human Trafficking?"). Through these steps, human trafficking has become the fastest growing criminal industry with 27 million in bondage around the globe ("The Facts"). If these steps are so easy to identify, why are so many falling prey to these predators? While it is common to think that teenage girls and those in their early 20s would be the easiest targets for pimps and traffickers because they are more likely to travel or live alone, more often than not, victims tend to be young girls, ages 12-14 (Saar). In countries such as Cambodia, girls as young as six years old are sold to brothels by their families. Younger girls are of a higher commodity to brothels due to the high probability of still maintaining virginity, as clients will "sometimes pay hundreds of dollars to rape a virgin" (Kristof). In India, the...
Cited: "The Facts." The A21 Campaign. A21 Campaign, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. .
Kristof, Nicholas D. "The Face of Modern Slavery." New York Times 16 Nov. 2011: n. pag. The New York Times. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. .
Marston, Sallie A., Paul L. Knox, and Diana M. Liverman. World Regions in Global Context: Peoples, Places and Environments. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. Print.
Saar, Malika Saada. "There Is No Such Thing as a Child Prostitute." Washington Post 17 Feb. 2014: n. pag. The Washington Post. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. .
"What Is Human Trafficking?" UNODC. UNODC, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. .
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