Ethical Implications for Human Trafficking in the United States Human trafficking is a type of modern-day slavery in which millions of people, regardless of gender or age, around the world are forced into. Human trafficking is the trade of human beings for the purpose of forced labor, sexual exploitation or illegal profits and usually involves the use of violence, fraud, or coercion to recruit, hide, and transport people illegally (Act Now).
According to the United Nations is both a definition of human trafficking is “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. ” (UNICEF) The traffickers use different types of strategies to exploit the “slaves”. There are two types of slavery: those who are forced to work for money and those who are kidnapped and forced to work for food (“Human Trafficking”).
Trafficking primary involves exploitation which comes in many forms such as forcing victims into prostitution, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude, compelling victims to commit sexual acts for the purpose of creating pornography and misleading victims into debt bondage (Do Something). Of the 27 million slaves around the world, 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation (Do Something). Many of the people who are victims of human trafficking are people who voluntarily enter the business but under false pretenses.
These people leave their homes in order to change their quality of life but many of the times they are lied to about the conditions of the work they are intended to do. Due to monetary problems or joblessness, people try to find better opportunities out of the country. Poverty is a huge contributor to human trafficking as well. Mostly in third world countries and sometimes in second world counties, family members will sell females and children for cash.
Females can cost around US$100-2,500 depending on the country, the age of the female and if she has had a child or not (PBS). Then they must work off the debt they accumulate, which includes costs of food, shelter, and other expenses with interest which can take years to settle. Homeless children or children who come from broken families are more susceptible to the sex industry to survive economically. These innocent victims put their trust on “manager” or the “middle man” who promise them a higher paying job in a better area.
Many women leave their homes in order to find better opportunities for a high paying job for their family but when they arrive to the new city, they are forced into an exploitative job. They way human traffickers secure the “slaves” is by making them dependant on them by taking their passport away, making them into drug addicts and with emotional and physical abuse. Although 110 countries have signed and approved the document, implanting the policies and law proves most difficult. The challenge lies in targeting all the criminals who target innocent and vulnerable people who organize the human trafficking ring.
In March 2007, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) formally launched a Global Initiative to fight Human Trafficking meaning they will help draft laws and help implement policies against human trafficking. The biggest international milestone to date has been the adoption of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women, and Children (Act Now). The reason why it is so difficult to eradicate human trafficking is due to economical reasons.
In economic terms, by increasing the amount of product in the most cost effect manner, the cheaper the product which is favorable for all consumers. However, putting it in simpler worlds, to provide lower prices for consumers, human traffickers reduce the cost of production by providing cheap labor to the factories. In order to find a better opportunity for their life, many people are being trafficked voluntarily. This means that they sign an “indentured servitude” agreement in which they are smuggled from one country into another.
Even though this is illegal and exploitative, it allows people to move to a place that might have more resources to sustain them, which could balance the burden of human population. Because human trafficking allows some companies to produce goods and services at a lower cost, the other companies that compete legally will have to innovate and improve their businesses to stay competitive. Meaning human trafficking encourages the development of more efficient and innovative technology by providing cheap labor.
Human trafficking dehumanizes the victims and rewards the perpetrators. With 50% of all slaves are under the age of 18 years, two thirds of them suffer from physical abuse from their handlers and it affects them in the long run (Do Something). They are more likely to develop metal health problems, engage in substance abuse, engage in prostitution and either commit, or be a victim of violent crimes (Do Something). We may think that things like this could never occur where we live but Orlando is the perfect example of how human trafficking in everywhere.
According to Giselle Fernandez of the Coalition Against Human Trafficking, Florida is the number two destination for human trafficking due to the theme parks. Many of the girls work at the hotels, become prostitutes or end up in pornography. In order to prevent such a heinous crime, females must be educated so they are less susceptible to false hopes. Increasing police pay in certain destination areas so they are less likely to be bribed by traffickers. Only with efforts from the government, private companies, and especially communities will we be able to eradicate human trafficking.
Courtney from Study Moose
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