A Global Crime: Sex-Trafficking

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“Sex-Trafficking” is a very complex and layered phenomenon. Critically evaluate some possible explanations for it's continued prevalence and seeming invincibility to regulation and control.


Organised crime has been and still an extremely talked about subject which attracts official and public attention. In response to the problem and to tackle those who commit such crime on individuals , businesses and states , certain policies have been put into place and are still highly discussed by governments and law enforcement agencies. However, the complex reality of this issue does not make it easy to resolve the problem. In the last few years the matter of human trafficking for the sex industry in particular has been receiving extensive coverage in the press and has often been presented as women being the “innocent victims of predatory crooks” . In consequence, the recent hight profile given by the media to cases of sex-trade seems to be reflected in the national and international response to this problem from governmental and non-governmental organisations. Nevertheless, such matters are far more intricate than what is represented by the media, particularly in the case of sex-trafficking which I am going to focus on. So many organisations and political agenda since 1990s have focused in a series of recommendations, guidelines and fundings in order to help victims of sex trafficking ( Jo Goodey,2003, p 157). Such measures are definitely a step forward and encouraging but are they enough to tackle and stop this horrifying problem? There is still an estimated two million women and children who are held in sexual servitude throughout the world, and in between 800,000 and 900,000 are trafficked across international boarders for the purposes of sexual exploitation each year ( Andrea Di Nicola, 2005, p 194 ) .Even if it should be stressed that such figures are still an estimate , as sex- trafficking is a hidden phenomena , the numbers speak for themselves. Policies put into place as well as research and media attention related to sex-trafficking does not seem to have resolved the problem as it stills happening and has been increasing for different reasons which will be explained later on. First I will be defining the problem of sex-trafficking and will look at different accounts of sex-trade in Britain and Europe, as well as examining what sort of policy responses have been suggested, put into place or beginning to emerge. In the second part of this essay, I will look at how effective these policies are and whether they tackle the real issues of the problem.

The problem of sex- trafficking, accounts and policies:

Trafficking women and children for sexual purposes seems to have gained in prominence as well as it has extended its scope over the last few years. It is now as lucrative in the black market as smuggling drugs. It is today representing a major problem in our society as it has become an international enterprise perpetrated by organised criminal groups, similar to that of smuggling illegal immigrants. Even if smuggling and trafficking have similar traits, as both entitle the illegal movement of people for profit, either within or across national boarders; there is a fundamental difference between the two activities. It is important to distinguish smuggling from trafficking in order to establish more accurate database on trafficking flows, trends and volume. Both of these illegal activities have been for a long time confused and still are. It is only recently that the UN provided an international common definition of the phenomenon. The major difference is that in many cases illegal immigrants smuggled out of their country to another, end up being free as soon as they repay their smugglers. On the other hand, trafficked people are held in slave-like conditions and are deceived and forced into prostitution , other forms of sexual exploitation or forced labour. Such slavery and...
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