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Human Trafficking

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Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking

Many women and young girls dream of having a better life. They are willing to travel across the ocean to other countries that would offer them better opportunities. One of their main goals is be able to provide for themselves and their families financially. However, in their lifetime they could never imagine that their dreams would be shattered by a horrendous act called human trafficking. Every year, these unfortunate victims are either lured, sold, or forced against their will into a black-market of human trade known as human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a global phenomenon and is the criminal commercial trade of human beings. This act exploits human beings in involuntary acts such as forced labor, prostitution, and psychological and physical abuse. Human trafficking deprives people of their human rights and freedom; it is also a global health risk due to infectious diseases like AIDS and cervical cancer. (U.S. Department of State, 2006) This kind of exploitation should not be happening. It is appalling and morally unacceptable that this still exists in our society.

Each year, roughly 600,000 to 800,000 women and children are trafficked across international borders; about 80% of them are women and young girls, and up to 50% are children (Herro, 2006) According to International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates, there are 20 millions people enslaved in bonded labor around the world. It is recognized that out of 192 countries worldwide, 143 are involved in human trafficking. Asia being the region that has the most trafficked persons; Africa is second and followed by Europe. (Getu, 2006)

Human trafficking has become one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world. According to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, it is the third largest criminal industry, with revenues totaling $9.5 billion annually. Surprisingly enough, this is expected to exceed the other two criminal industries, which are narcotics and firearms. (Harvard Law Review, 2006) The criminals are making an astounding amount of money out of these victims' suffering.

What caused the high demand of human trafficking? There are a few major contributing factors, including: poverty, cheap labor, and sexual exploitation. In some countries where trafficking occurs more than 50-60% of the population live on a dollar a day. (Getu, 2006) That is barely enough to provide for themselves, let alone for their family. These women cannot find a decent-paying job because they have no skills, they lack education, they are discriminated against, and they have very few resources. They have no other means or choices but to face and accept the only option that is given to them: to get any low paying job that they could find to support themselves and their family. Many women travel far distances in hopes of finding any paying job. They desperately take any job offered without knowing what it entails.

Furthermore, cheaper labor and sexual exploitation have increased the high demand. Many of the victims make as little as a dollar a day and work as much as 12-15 hours a day. In addition, the uncontrollable expansion of the sex and pornography industries: sex tourist, pornography producers, brothel owners, sex customers, and employers of all types looking for pleasures have created increased for women and young girls. (Getu, 2006)

Who are the criminals and how do they operate? The criminal enterprise operates through a family of networks of organized crime. Their operation is set up in three stages: recruiting, transporting and enforcing. The first stage is recruiting in which they travel to the most poverty-stricken places like China, Philippines, Russia, and many other countries to find their victims. Many of these women and young girls are from rural areas because the recruiters know that they are the most vulnerable and desperate.

The criminals lure these women and young girls with false advertisements and promises of non-existing jobs as housekeepers, sales clerks, nannies, and other similar positions. They sometimes use manipulative approaches to dupe their victims. In one occurrence, a network agency had placed an ad for contract labor to work for $125 per month for a three-year contract, with promises of overtime, medical expenses, and free board. Instead, the workers were forced to pay excessive advanced fees, had their passports confiscated, were confined to horrible conditions with no food or water, and were tortured. (U.S. Department of State, 2006)

The second stage is to transport the victims to their destination. Unlike illegal Mexican immigrants who enter the United States crossing over the border by foot or car, many of these victims are transported by boat or plane. The organized crime families have their people working on both sides of the international borders. In addition, they have government

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