Human trafficking is one of the worst forms of violence against women. Also referred to as “Modern Day slavery,” it continues to be one of the fastest increasing criminal industries in the world. Human trafficking is a social problem that is inherently is a form of poverty. Because they are impoverished many women are uneducated and unemployed, having limited resources to survive economic hardship. As a result, they become easy targets of exploitation to traffickers. Human trafficking of women inherently fuels the issue of violence and dominance of women cross culturally.
“In 2005 human trafficking had a global annual profit of 31.6 billion dollars ranking in as the second most profitable industry in the world.” Women are no longer looked at as human beings; rather they are forms of income for traffickers. Men find helpless, innocent, and impressionable women searching for a better life and financial stability; the traffickers gain their trust through lies, coercion, and manipulation. The poor economic conditions that exist make it a great source of trafficked women illegally across the borders to countries such as China, Malaysia, Bangladesh, India, Thailand, and South Korea. Indenture servitude, cheap labor, prostitution, and sexual exploitation are forms of enslavement women are faced with.
Victims are abducted from their homes and either forced into prostitution or sold to brothels by traffickers. Prostitution is justified by these women as a way to earn an income and feed their families. Girls as young as fourteen have been exploited and forced to become sex slaves in the red light district of China. These women are property of their captors, controlled, imprisoned, abused, and terrorized solely having to depend on the perpetrators with no communication to the outside world. The traffickers use intimidation, fear, lies, and threats to control the women and keep them in the industry.
Domestic servitude, forced labor, and sex trafficking have devastating consequences for women and children. There can be long-lasting psychological and physical trauma from the years of abuse that were inflicted on the victim. Drug addiction, forced abortions, unwanted pregnancy, malnutrition, social ostracism, disease including AIDS /HIV are all issues trafficked women have to endure throughout their captive lives. Death is often a reality that comes for the victims of trafficking. This along with fear, places the victim in a prison within themselves.
Human trafficking is a form of violence against women and remains a global problem. These victims are being denied rights and freedoms and unlawfully exploited. The economic instability and human rights abuses add further fuel to the ongoing social problem of violence against women. The mistreatment and violence against these women is a universal social problem that will continue to exist unless more people become informed on the issue, and more programs developed to help women who do not have the resources and capabilities to obtain help.
The issue of Human Trafficking has been a prevalent controversial topic that has affected every country throughout the world in some way or another. The challenge for all countries, rich and poor, is to target the criminals who exploit desperate people and to protect and assist victims of trafficking and smuggled migrants, many of whom endure unimaginable hardships in their bid for a better life. The victims are of all ages, social classes, and both sexes. Slavery still exists today, half of them are children, three out of four women, they all have a voice and need to be heard, not forgotten and cast aside.
Act+ Means+ Purpose= Human trafficking
Act=recruitment, transport, transfer, harboring, receipt of persons
Means= threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, giving payments or benefits
Purpose=exploitation including: prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery or similar practice, removal of organs,etc.