The Global Impact of Human Trafficking

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Human trafficking is similar to a modern day slave trade; however, human trafficking is more problematic and encompasses more than just agricultural work. Sara Birkenthal, researcher and author of Human Trafficking: A Human Rights Abuse with Global Dimensions, defined human trafficking as “…the movement of persons within or across borders by any means (such as force or fraud) into forced labor, slavery, or servitude” (28). Humans can be trafficked for many different industries, such as commercial sex, construction work, domestic work, carpet weaving, agriculture and many other industries (Kara 1). Human trafficking is a worldwide problem, in which the victims are harmed the most, that needs to be taken seriously and needs to end. The Victim

More women and girls are trafficked than men and boys due to the international sex trafficking industry being a big contributor to the human trafficking industry. The victims of trafficking are harmed in many ways, although the biggest harm is the violation of their right to freedom. Victims of human trafficking endure a lot of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and mental abuse. Victims are tricked into becoming victims by a false job offer, a fake marriage proposal, or, the most common, kidnapping. The traffickers have to condition the victims using different tactics like starvation, physical harm, sexual abuse, forced drug use, and harm to victims family (Birkenthal 28). Victims of trafficking are moved around a lot. They start in the country of origin, which is where they were forced into trafficking, then they move through transit countries, and finally into the destination country (Kara 2). There are some cases in which the country of origin acts as all three, origin, transit, and destination. Victims have multiple stops on their journeys because they are resold and abused (Kara 2). Many victims are afraid to seek help because the trafficker may find out and punish them, as well as the fear of the government not doing anything to help the victims. The government recognized this and in the 1990s created the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 set up rules and guidelines to help protect the rights of the victim, to help the victim out of trafficking situations, and ways of punishing the trafficker (Wagner 1). The Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking has a few facts about the victims of human trafficking: •The majority of trafficking victims are between 18 and 24 years of age. •An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year. •95% of victims experienced physical or sexual violence during trafficking (based on data from selected European countries). •43% of victims are used for forced commercial sexual exploitation, of whom 98% are women and girls. •32% of victims are used for forced economic exploitation, of whom 56% are women and girls. •Many trafficking victims have at least middle-level education. (1) Worldwide Problem

Although there are no accurate statistics of where trafficking occurs the most or how it affects the economy, there are very educated estimates that everyone agrees upon. The estimated number of victims across the world is 2.5 million. Of this 2.5 million, the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking has broken down where the most trafficking occurs and an estimated amount for each: •1.4 million – 56% - are in Asia and the Pacific


250,000 – 10% - are in Latin America and the Caribbean
 •230,000 – 9.2% - are in the Middle East and Northern Africa •130,000 – 5.2% - are in sub-Saharan countries

270,000 – 10.8% - are in industrialized countries

200,000 – 8% - are in countries in transition. (1)
Jonathan Tran, author and researcher of the article Sold Into Slavery: The Scourge of Human Trafficking, states that there are many conditions that make trafficking more prevalent in certain areas; these conditions include “Economic inequality, war,...
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