Human Trafficking exists because some people still do not believe that it is happening. It might be hard to believe, but some people still believe that human trafficking is just an exaggeration and believe that the victims of human trafficking are all volunteers—that somehow they chose to be in the position that they are in. Human Trafficking is modern-day slavery and puts value on a human, but not in a way that any human deserves. Humans are valued only as products to be sold in the market.
Around 1400-1600 marked the beginning of European slave trading in Africa with the Portuguese being the first to transport African slaves. Moving forward 1904 the “International Agreement for the Suppression of ‘White Slave Traffic’” was signed and established. While 1927 The League of Nations was founded following WWI and the Suppression of White Slave Traffic was modified to include everyone and prevent discrimination. 1932 WWII: Japanese established “comfort stations” that housed women who were forced into sexual slavery. 1956 The League of Nations was founded following WWI and The Suppression of White Slave Traffic was modified to include everyone and prevent discrimination. 1995 The UN held the 4th World Conference addressing the trafficking of women, this defined “trafficking” as it is understood today. Moving into the 2000’s 2002 on Feb.14: the Polaris Project was founded by two seniors from Brown University. They found out about a brother near their college and they made it their goal to eliminate slavery. 2008 Migrants were illegally smuggled into Thailand in a seafood container because they were hoping to find work in Thailand bringing a new spotlight onto the issue and shocking the world. In 2009 the largest-ever human trafficking ring was busted in Taipei, Taiwan. The bust was a coordination between the NIA and the US Dept. of Homeland Security. 2011 President Obama declared Human Trafficking Awareness Month to be January while Jan.11 was named National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
In modern day the source countries are: Thailand, China, Nigeria, Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldova, and the Ukraine while the destination countries are: Thailand, Japan, Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and the U.S. They are often put into these situations by mean of: abduction, sold by parents or others close to them, and trickery through: Offers of work, promise of marriage and the possibility of better educational opportunities. These awful events promote societal breakdown by removing persons from their families and communities, fuels organized crime groups, presents a burden on the public health systems, erodes government authority, encourages corruption, and threatens the security of vulnerable population.
Globalization wise all this translated to a culture of sex, drugs, and a breakdown of societal norms. Politically, it translates to corruption, international relations, and border conflicts. Legally, it means imperfect policies and economically, this translates into money.
Besides the obvious, effects of human trafficking are more numerous. It promotes societal breakdown by removing people from their families and communities. It fuels organized crime groups—ones that also participate in drug trafficking, money laundering, and weapons trafficking. It afflicts public health systems. It decreases the authority of the government, boosts corruption, and is a threat to the security of populations that are already vulnerable for other reasons. In the context of globalization, because of the “Westernized” culture, sex and drugs are seen as societal norms. To many, sex and drugs have become part of being in the ‘cool’ society. This culture cultivates the need for human trafficking in the eyes of those sick people who decide to take advantage of this. Those who take advantage of the culture’s needs are in it for the money. Money runs the world for many people and money can make people do desperate things. Politically, the money that can be gained boosts corruption in the political system. International relations that are too “good” can be a possible reason for loose border controls. Border controls may be strong in some ways, but in other ways, especially when money is involved, it becomes very weak. Legally, with corrupt politicians or just corrupt powerful people, the policies are bound to always be hindered. The policies could possibly be imperfect because of the other types of globalization.
Solutions already in place.INTERPOL has conducted many raids and have gained a lot of intelligence regarding trafficking rings all over the world. FBI has conducted many raids as well, but their jurisdiction is the U.S. only. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) is the leading policy in the United States and has helped with the situation a little bit. The UNODC Response (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) is to do three main thing and those are to prevent trafficking in persons, protect the victims of human trafficking, and prosecute the trafficking offenders. It is definitely a good idea, but quite difficult to execute. The solution that is most prevalent is to be aware and take action. We, as fellow humans, need to help each other out. Being aware of this situation and helping prevent it is huge. Knowing more about it allows us to see the signs and be able to report something to the authorities who can persecute, to find ways to prevent this atrocity in our own communities, to protect and understand those who have been victims of this atrocious crime. This is one of the biggest crimes against humanity, so why not do something?