Human Trafficking

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22 November 2012
Final Paper
Human Trafficking
Human Trafficking is one of the biggest forms of hidden organized crime in the world. It is a world we hardly ever hear about. Human trafficking is the fastest increasing criminal industry in today’s world, coming second only to illegal drug-trade. This type of slaver has been traced back to the ancient Mesopotamian and Mediterranean civilization and has continued to grow. But what is human trafficking? “Commonly referred to as "modern-day slavery" it is the illegal trade of human beings for forced labor or for exploitation. Exploitation referring to the using others for prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, and the removal of organs for the medical black market, and brings an annual revenue of around $30 billion worldwide.”(Polaris Project). Woman and young children living in poverty are the ones who usually fall in the trap of the traffickers. Due to poverty many woman are not educated and are not employed, thus leaving them with no choice but to sell their bodies to provide for their families. “An approximate figure of 17,500 foreigners are trafficked each year in the United States alone, the number of United States citizens trafficked within the United States is even higher.”(Polaris Project). Human trafficking is near-guaranteed death due to the severe threat of HIV and AIDS that people become infected with. Governments around the world are now just beginning to address this problem and have realized just how strong this type of slavery has become.

Human Trafficking is one of the oldest crime worlds around. Forms of human trafficking can be traced back to places like ancient Mesopotamia, and Egypt. Egyptians used to ransack villages and kidnap anyone who opposed them. Inevitably those captured would end up in forced labor. This is the process in which the pyramids were built. Some say that the slave trade, in which Africans were captured by slave traders and shipped across the Atlantic to the Americas, was the first modern form of human trafficking. Others argue that the forced labor of children during the 1700s was the real beginning of what is now known as human trafficking. Orphaned children as young as 8 or 9 were forced to work in factories Human trafficking for sexual purposes was first legally recognized by the term 'white slavery'. According to Kristina Kangaspunta ,the Executive Officer of the Applied Research Program of the UNICRI branch of the United Nations, “white slavery' is obtaining of a white woman or girl- by the use of force, drugs, or by dishonesty- for sex which is unwanted by the woman or girl.”(Kangaspunta). As the world moved into the 19th century, governments began to combat the growing threat of human trafficking. The British were the first to make a law against slavery in 1807, when they passed a law that made the Transatlantic Slave Trade illegal. “In 1820, the United States followed Great Britain's example by making the slave trade a crime that was punishable by death. In 1899 and 1902, international conferences to talk about white slavery were organized in Paris, France. Then in 1904, an international agreement against the 'white slave trade' was created, with a focus on migrant women and children.”(Gaspenalli). In 1910, 13 countries signed the International Convention for the Suppression of White Slave Trade to make this form of trafficking illegal. This International Convention led to the creation of national committees to work against the trafficking of white women. However, the first World War halted these efforts, and it wasn't until 1921 that the fight against trafficking continued. “In June of 1921, a the League of Nations held an international conference in Geneva, in which the term 'white slavery' was changed to 'traffic of women and children'. This was done to make sure that the trafficking in all countries was dealt with, the victims of races other than those termed 'white'...
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