The History of Human Trafficking

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The History of Human Trafficking

How did it begin?

There are several arguments about when human trafficking could have started. 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 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. Human trafficking for sexual purposes was first legally recognized by the term 'white slavery'.According to Kristiina 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). Kangapunta, has also argued that international governments began to discuss 'white slavery' after the Transatlantic slave trade was made illegal.

The Fight Against Sex 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. 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'...
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