Human trafficking is considered a trade, where the trafficker illegally exploiting a person in terms of labor and activities that they voluntarily cannot agree to engage in, the major one being sex exploitation, where the victims is forced into such activities. Human trafficking involves making a person believe that harm will come to them failure to perform as required, and since they are helpless and defenseless as majority of the victims are taken to different places where they are not familiar with and threats are used by the traffickers. Recently, it has been recognized as a third most popular crime after drug and arm trafficking. Many international bodies have risen to the task of fighting against it, and many laws have put across provisions to combat this rapidly growing crime.
“The United States of America is principally a transit and destination country for trafficking in persons. It is estimated that 14,500 to 17,500 people, primarily women and children, are trafficked to the U.S. annually” (Human Trafficking Resource Centre, 2007). For this reasons, the United States government has found it necessary to fight against it since it violates human rights, and further more, it is humiliating to the victims, who are not only the trafficked persons, but also their families who suffer their loss in the community. The act of 2000 that protects the victims of trafficking provides benefits to the victims in severe cases, and offers to protect them by putting across penalties to the criminals that are involved in trafficking of people. The act seeks to combat the trafficking of persons, which according to the act; it is a form of slavery, the majority of the victims being women. The act aims to provide a severe penalty to the traffickers, which would ensure protection to the victims as well as potential victims.
According to the act, the three major purposes for human trafficking are forced labor, debt bondage, and forced prostitution. On the forced labor purpose, men are the majority victims, where they are forced into hard tasks such as construction, agriculture and other manual labor that are quite tedious, and the victims feel they cannot manage to handle. Forced labor entails forcing a person to work for another, and most usually, the benefits are very few or hardly none, and the victims are only provided with basic needs only and are at the mercy of the traffickers. The victims are forced into this kinds of labor through physical torture, threats and starvation, which lenders them helpless and defenseless, hence lacking an alternative except giving in to the demands of the traffickers. Debt bondage could include forced labor and forced prostitution since in its meaning, it is the taking of a person, and forcing them to do what one wants to compensate for a debt. The debtor is forced to offer personal services to the person he owes, and the services may not be well calculated to determine how long or what kind of services are needed to liquidate the debt, hence the victim is used for any services. Forced prostitution, being the major among the three, entails trafficking young women into new places and just as forced labor, the young women, including those not of legal age, are threatened and abused sexually incase they refuse. The trafficker takes them to brothels where the benefits earned by these women are given to the trafficker, and she only receives basic need.
“Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery. Victims are young children, teenagers, men and women. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion to compel them to engage in commercial sex or involuntary labor. What’s more, any child who has engaged in commercial sex is a victim of human trafficking. Approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims are trafficked across international borders annually according to the U.S. government. More than half of these victims worldwide are children, according to the U.S. Department of State,” (Administration for Children & Families, 2010). The severe forms of human trafficking that are defined in the act of 2000 are two, which include, Sex Trafficking. It has been defined as, “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act , in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person forced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years,” (Administration for Children & Families, 2010). The other severe form of human trafficking is labor trafficking, which has been defined as involving the same method as in the sex one, the only difference being subjection to involuntary services and labor, which could be for debt bondage, and slavery.
In order to succeed in trafficking, three methods are used to lender the victims helpless. Majority of the victims trafficked in the united states are from countries that are developing and mostly are non English speakers, an fact that is useful to the traffickers in ensuring that their victims cannot communicate easily or interact easily with other, and hence, expressing what they go through is quite hard. The methods used in trafficking include force, fraud, and coercion. According to Administration for Children & Families (2010), force involves rape the young women, physically beating them and confining them, which aims at intimidating them to gain control at the early stages, when they are initiating them to do what they want, and it is referred to as seasoning. After this kind of mistreatment, the victims are forced to comply with the demands asked of them without questioning. Fraud is the other method that involves promises of good packages such as jobs in other countries, and considering that majority are from poor background and desperate for jobs, most of this young women and men are enthusiastic about such promises, only to realize it was a scheme to lure them into agreeing to be trafficked. Upon arrival at the promised destinations of the jobs, they are taken to other places where everything they thought changes and it is revealed to them what their true purpose was (Administration for Children & Families, 2010).
Coercion is the third means used by the traffickers to ensure that the victims do as instructed. This method involves using threats to make a person believe that harm will come to them or their families back at home. The traffickers use such schemes to make their victims believe that lack of compliance will lead to serious consequences and any form of tying to seek legal attention is threatened (Administration for Children & Families, 2010). Majority of these victims are often made to believe that they are paying for the debts incurred, mostly transport and maintenance, and the only way to pay for them is through the services demanded of them. Since most are from poor countries and may not be well educated, they do not know whether such schemes are illegal, and may not seek legal attention. However, it is important to note that human trafficking is different from human smuggling as the later, only involves transporting a victim to a destination that they are not legally allowed to enter, for a fee. Upon arrival at the destination agreed, the smuggler, the one transporting the victim, parts ways with the person he is transporting, and the person pursues his or her own interests without force from anybody (Administration for Children & Families, 2010).
“Human trafficking is today’s global slave trade,” said Minister Cotler. “It constitutes a pervasive and persistent criminal violation of the most fundamental of human rights: the right to life, liberty and security of the person. These new Criminal Code offences send a clear message: we strongly denounce and criminalize human trafficking; we will provide increased protection to those most vulnerable to this heinous crime; and we are firmly resolved to bring the perpetrators to justice” (Department of Justice, 2005). There are three crimes or offences associated with trafficking, as the department of justice of Canada identifies. The first identified offence is the recruitment of people, transporting them, harboring of controlling their movements or for a purpose of exploiting them. The department puts across a sentence of life imprisonment in case it involved kidnapping, sexual and physical harassment or assault that could be severe or fatal to the victim, and in other cases that are not severe, the penalty is 14 years of imprisonment (Department of Justice, 2005). Receiving financial or material benefits in order to facilitate trafficking of a person is punishable by a sentence of 10 years, if the particular person is proved aware that such benefits would lead to the trafficking (Department of Justice, 2005).
If a person conceals or destroys documents of a victim to facilitate trafficking, such as identification or passports to prevent a victim from movement, it is considered a crime punishable with a maximum sentence of five years in prison (Department of Justice, 2005). When such offenses are committed, the victim is left under mercy of the trafficker, and considering that slavery involves holding a person without their will, and forcing, them to do jobs for you, human trafficking is equally, a form of slavery. The victims are controlled by the traffickers, and their freedom is withheld from them, so that they do what the trafficker commands. Every human being has a right to freedom in the current world, and denying this to a person is a violation of human rights, and transporting people from their homes to other destinations where they are engaged in forced labor and prostitution resembles the transatlantic slave trade in the 18th century.
“It is the purpose of Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries to be a faith-based organization dedicated to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and making disciples. It is our desire to reach individuals involved and/or associated with the adult entertainment and/or sex industry. Our goal is to reach and rescue them, teach and demonstrate to them how to embrace the destiny that God has planned for them and then train and send them back out as harvesters to proclaim the Good News and help other in their transition,” (Beauty from Ashes, 2011). In order to combat human trafficking effectively, it is important to determine the causes, as well as what drives them. The major drivers of human trafficking are poverty levels in third world countries, where majority victims come from. Often, they are promised good jobs and better life in developed countries, and these acts to encourage them to agree in leaving their nations. Lack of proper education and awareness among people is another driver, since the victims at most time are not aware of their legal rights.
In the purpose of Beauty from Ashes, it is suggested that meeting and assisting with practical needs to this victims and their families is very important, as well as offering education to them (2011). Knowledge is power, is a phrase that has been largely used in many occasions, but making it true has not been realized in all parts of the world. Poverty may not be eradicated easily, but awareness can be achieved greatly, to not only potential victims, but also their families and community. This victims could be identified, especially those in sex industry, and they would play an important role in helping combat this crime. In giving biblical guidance to the victims, as the beauty from Ashes does, and helping them with needs, aims at commercial sex worker, in some extent, it helps combat human trafficking and increase awareness, which is the most important in combating this crime.
“An estimated 27 million people are slaves today, more than during 400 years of the transatlantic slave trade. The sale of human beings is the third largest illicit trade following drugs and weapons, but is growing faster than both of these are. An estimated 50% of the victims are children and 80% are women.” (Freedom Summit, 2011). Slavery in the modern world is growing at a rapid rate, and what is worse is that very few people are aware of how it presents itself. Unlike in the transatlantic trade in the 18th century, where the slaves were captured and transported on water to America for labor, the current slavery involves deceit to get the victims, who unknowingly are taken to foreign countries for forced labor and commercial sex. The current slavery is indirect unlike the ancient one where it was allowed and practiced. However, the treatment does not differ in any way, except the purpose.
Slavery today is more for sex exploitation purposes, where majority of the victims are young girls and women. Moreover, it is quite surprising to note that today’s slavery has affected more victims than those of the transatlantic slave trade of 400 years. This is evidence that it is growing faster and has outdone the ancient slavery, and it is hard to deal with considering the advancement of the world today. The Freedom Summits aims to combat this crime by educating people on tools used to fight this human trafficking. The organization aims to combat this with hotline phone numbers, where one can call in case of any kind of human trafficking noted anywhere. This would be useful to ensure that perpetrators are caught and brought to justice.
It is evident that slavery is growing rapidly in the current word, managing to outdo the transatlantic trade, which is very popular, yet, very few people are aware that it exists since many believe that slavery is the capturing of a person and controlling their life like an object. The reason is that it is done discretely, and it is around us all the time, since we do not pay attention to people that we find-doing chores in our neighbor’s houses. The truth is that this people could be under forced labor. Ignorance among people in underdeveloped countries have led to most victims coming from this countries, and increased globalization makes it possible to traffic person without notice as most of them enter the country as guest workers, with legitimate identification, which are ceased by the traffickers upon arrival. Increased awareness through internet and media services is very important, to inform potential victims how this trafficking works, and how to avoid it under all circumstances. It is also clear that initiative has taken place and people are now realizing it exists, with law providers enacting acts that combat this crime; it is a sign that the war against human trafficking is engaged.
Administration for Children &Families. “Human Trafficking.” acf.hhs.gov, 10 Aug. 2010. Web. 27 April. 2011.
Beauty from Ashes. “Purpose & Activities as per 501(c) 3 Approvals.” beautyfromashes.org, 2011. Web. 27 April. 2011.
Department of Justice. Legislation against Human Trafficking Passes through Parliament, 25 Nov. 2005. Web. 27 April. 2011.
Freedom Summit. “Building the Bay Area Response to Human Trafficking.” freedom-summit.org, 21 January 2011. Web. 27 April. 2011.
Human Trafficking Resource Centre. “2007 US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report.” humantrafficking.org, May 2007. Web. 27 April 2011.