Human Trafficking

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With the help of great advancements in communication and modes of transportation within the last several decades, many lucrative businesses have come and gone. These recent developments have not only facilitated legitimate transnational business and boosted the global economy, but it has also helped illegitimate business and the black market. Additionally, these great advancements have also lowered the costs of transportation and communication. Many say that these are all effects of globalization, but I believe that there has to be other underlying reasons for this. Globalization as the reason would be a very easy way to dismiss the issue. Moreover, just as legitimate business is regulated, illegitimate should be overseen as well in order to mitigate its effects and eradicate if at all possible. Specifically, I will be focusing on human trafficking originating in Asia and what key international economic organizations and nongovernmental organizations are doing to identify and stop this problem.

Although there is no consensus on the definition of human trafficking, it is typically considered to be a modern day form of slavery, involving victims who are typically forces, defrauded, or coerced into sexual or labor exploitation (Howard). This consideration is still in place regardless of the fact that many of those that are trafficked refuse to be seen, treated, and considred as victims (Aradau p. 104). Human trafficking is among the fastest growing criminal activities occurring worldwide and within individual countries as it is the third largest underground economy in the world. Globally, at least 600,000 to 800,000 people, mostly women and children, are trafficked each year across borders (Howard). Moreover, humans that are trafficked are seen as a renewable source, they can be sold and resold over and over again. Also, there is an endless supply of humans that can be exploited (Haynes p. 223). In addition to the abuses that the victims of human trafficking face, they must deal with the fact the victim is in many cases far from their originating country and are often unfamiliar with the culture and language of the host country.

Although The Trafficking in Persons Report is mainly a function of United States law (the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000), it gives a good understanding of where many countries stand within the issue of human trafficking. This report states, “civil unrest, internal armed conflict, and natural disasters destabilize and displace populations, and in turn, increase their vulnerability to exploitation and abuse. In some countries, social and cultural practices contribute to trafficking.” (p. 52). The data provided is given by the Trafficking Office under the United States Department of State. Countries are ranked Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. Countries that are within Tier 1 are believed to be fully complying with minimum standards that have been set forth within United States law. Those in Tier 2, are believed to be “making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with the standards.” Those that are in Tier 3 are believed to not be complying with the minimum standards set forth within the American law (p. 60). To have a better idea of what the meaning of the Tiers is, these are the “minimum standards” (p. 60). 1) The government should prohibit trafficking and punish acts of trafficking. 2) The government should prescribe punishment, commensurate with that for grave crimes, such as forcible sexual assault, for the knowing commission of trafficking in some of its most reprehensible forms (trafficking for sexual purposes, trafficking involving rape or kidnapping, or trafficking that causes a death). 3) Fir the knowing commission of any act of trafficking, the government should prescribe punishment that is sufficiently stringent to deter, and that adequately reflects the offense’s heinous nature. 4) The Government should make serious and sustained efforts to...
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