Human trafficking has been around for the same amount of time as inequality among people; so basically, all of human history. People are bought and sold, and treated and traded like objects. This has always been part of our society, however dominate. Slavery, prostitution, illegal aliens – all of these things have roots in human trafficking. Since ancient Egypt, when thousands of Hebrews were forced build the pyramids, to present day Italy where hundreds of women are forced to submit their bodies every day. We are thankfully becoming less and less tolerant of this cruel practice in the modern world. Yet, because our tendency to look the other way, to pretend to not know the truth, hundreds upon thousands of people are still being trafficked every year, some right under our nose here in America. We’ve created anti-trafficking laws, passports, citizenship papers, as well as heightened border patrols and increased airport security. There are those who would have you believe that this is enough – it isn’t.
Many people see the fact that human trafficking is slightly declining as a sure sign of success. But like so many other things in the world, our nation’s economy, the availability of jobs, and the price of gas; human trafficking like all these things has fluctuation. Traffickers will find ways around our barriers, loopholes in the system, what have you – unless we stop this for good. Moreover, it is incorrect to say for sure that this problem is declining. How does one even come to that conclusion? Fewer traffickers are being caught so it’s obviously getting better – I’m not buying it. With human trafficking being what it is, underground, unspoken, unnoticed – we can never be sure of all of the statistics. And another frightening thought to explain this suggested decline: Perhaps have traffickers have just developed new smuggling methods and new ways of bypassing security. That would mean that more people are being trafficked then we currently estimate and that the problem may actually be increasing instead of decreasing.
As stated earlier, prostitution, both legal and illegal forms, has very close ties to human trafficking. This can be seen mainly in several countries of Europe. While prostitution may not be legal across the whole continent, the countries in which it is have shown a distinctly higher rate of trafficked women. As author and activist Christine Stark states on Justice Talking, a National Public Radio station, “…What we have found is that legalization has caused an increase in the trafficking into the area where the legalization exists.
The state then becomes the pimp.” Obviously, places where prostitution in legalized is going to have a higher demand for prostitutes, thus increasing the illegal trafficking of women there. Though it may sound like a radical idea in some parts of the world, the apparent solution here would be to ban prostitution everywhere, which would be much more of a possibility if people understood its effects. The U.S. Department of State in 2007 June issue of the “Trafficking in Humans Report” stated, “…prostitution is inherently harmful and dehumanizing and fuels trafficking in persons.” With any luck, people will start to accept this as a fact that it is rather than the opinion some see it to be.
Another product of human trafficking is illegal immigration, or people living in countries unlawfully. Illegal immigration has a number of negative effects on a nation’s economy as well as its society. These illegal immigrants or aliens as they have come to be known, have quite a few disputes surrounding them. First is the argument of whether or not it is correct to use the term “illegal alien.” Though still an ongoing dispute, the side for it seems to have a lot more accreditation. Assessed January 18, 2007 on illegalaliens.us, “Calling an illegal alien an undocumented immigrant is like calling a burglar an uninvited house guest.”
There’s also the threat of terrorism and terrorist attacks that comes with having undocumented people in a nation. And let’s not forget the public work force’s valid scare, the fact that illegal immigrants steal jobs from those people who reside in that country legally. All these things point back to human trafficking and the damage it causes wherever it goes. The U.S. itself has 11 million undocumented people living in its borders. That’s 11 million people we don’t have any records of, no information about, no accounts of any kind for. We need to put a stop to illegal immigration here and now, or it’s only going to get worse.
What have we learned thus far? Prostitution is morally wrong and fuels the trafficking of women everywhere. Illegal immigration is a huge detriment to a nation’s economy and society. Human trafficking is like a slow moving hurricane, bringing terrible destruction wherever it goes. If something is not about this problem soon, we cannot hope to improve as a nation. If something is not done about this problem now, we cannot hope to improve as people.
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Topic: Human Trafficing: Are We Doing Enough?
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