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in Somalia where a girl was abducted and smuggled to the UK in 2013 for an organ
Shelley (2010), examines most systems of human trafficking in a global perspective.
The author reveals the events in trafficking trade and the condition of the traffickers
themselves. It utilizes the past and relative viewpoint to prove that there exist many models of
human trafficking and variations in different regions of the world. She continues to contend
that human trafficking will continue to grow in this century due to economic and
demographic disparities in the world, the rise of civil wars and transformation in global
climate. She, therefore, concludes that there is a need for a coordinated effort among all
stakeholders, so as to fight this problem. Shelley suggests that the civil society, government,
business community and the general public should take a center point in preventing human
trafficking as a new form of modern-day slavery.
Human trafficking dates back in the 1980's. However, it caught the attention of the
publics in the 1990's. This act was a joint program of numerous conferences and international
meetings. In 2000, the International definition of human trafficking was created to help the
world differentiate between human trafficking and other illegal migrations. The global
definition came up with the signing of UN protocol to prevent and punish human traffickers.
Nevertheless, human trafficking is defined differently by the legislation of different nations.
The global definition, which was established in 2000 by UN, defines human trafficking as
recruitment, receipt, transportation, harboring and transfer of persons against their will by use
of force and threats.
An ongoing controversy is a debate regarding whether prostitution is an engine of
human trafficking or it is purely a product of poverty. Legalizing prostitution in many
developed countries was a major blow to efforts that aim at eradicating human trafficking. By
making prostitution legal, it is hard to separate the genuine prostitutes from those who are
forced into it. Many clients have inadvertently received the services of a victim of human
trafficking thinking that they were genuine commercial sex workers. Legalizing prostitution
has also attracted many commercial sex workers from undeveloped countries to actualize
their dreams in developed country economies. These commercial sex workers from emerging
countries will be willing to do anything to reach the developed countries, including
Legalizing prostitution has also made the industry more lucrative for unscrupulous
business people. The taxes and stringent controls have forced the industry to charge clients
extra, sometimes exploiting them. The meager earnings that are advanced to commercial sex
workers from the humongous profits motivate pimps threefold. In a bid to maximize profits
and cut on overhead costs, some pimps resort to trafficking poor girls from third world
countries. They calculate that the girls will double their profits because they might never have
to pay them because their illegal status in a foreign country will make them slaves.
According to McCarthy (2014), those who are opposed to this claim that human
trafficking would still be in place even if prostitution were criminalized. Even if prostitution
were illegal, people would still find means of doing it without the knowledge of the
authorities. In most developing countries where prostitution is illegal, the vice is more
rampant that in the developing countries where it is legal. This vice is especially rampant in
developing economies where the commercial sex workers have to do it for survival. Besides,
not all the victims of human trafficking end up as sex slaves; some usually become domestic
slaves working at no pay. Others end up working in casinos, restaurants, and massage parlors.
Criminalizing prostitution will not diminish demand for these victims of human trafficking in
other sectors of the economy. The cause of human trafficking is poverty, greedy
businesspeople and lack of information. Placing more controls for business owners who
employ immigrants, teaching young people the benefit of getting the right papers before
moving to a foreign country, and placing measures in place to eradicate poverty, might be the
only solution to human trafficking.
Both prostitution and poverty are key contributing factors to human. One factor
compliments the other. While poverty makes young people throw caution to the wind in the
pursuit of greener pastures in foreign countries, prostitution forms a bigger recruiting ground
for the victims of human trafficking. This essay focuses on other factors that have led to
human trafficking such as globalization. It also discusses into depth forms of human
trafficking and their effects on humankind and the probable solution to this rapidly growing
Globalization has been a major contributor to the increasing rate of human trafficking
compared to other points in history. Globalization has led to the development of free trade,
free flow capital and enhanced the ability to draw cheap labor from any foreign market within
the world. It has resulted in the interaction of people and exchange of cultural values and
norms including the wrong values. It, therefore, implies that human trafficking and the
modern-day slavery are not only outcomes of globalization but also part of globalization
process itself due to the interaction of economic activities from various regions of the world.
Slavery in the past was an accepted way of life as people were laborers in farms and domestic
workers in the home. With globalization, labor became cheap and freely disposable which
resulted into greed and misuse of human rights. Globalization came with moral degradation
due to the exchange of cultural beliefs and moral values. Prostitution and sex trafficking
became the order of the day (Bales 2005). It has led to child trafficking for the purpose of
sexual use. Today children as young as three years are being kidnapped only to be procured
in other countries for sexual use. Human trafficking comes with its effects on people both
physiological and psychological. It can be regarded as the one of the most traumatizing
experience of the survivors of human trafficking.
Human trafficking has various effects on the victims including psychological trauma,
physical violence, and emotional instability that affects their social life. They include loss of
innocence for children and the youth at a very early age in life. It also leads to high financial
cost, slavery, emotional scars, increases in gang activities, administrative burden and
degradation of morals and cultures in communities. In sexual trafficking, victims face threats
and physical violence from customers, employers, and law enforcement officers. The society
alienates them, which leads to exclusion and stigmatization. The victims demonstrate
behavioral change and may begin abusing drugs and alcohol. These are both short and long-
term effects. They may also contract diseases such as stress, depression, HIV/AIDS, and
Human trafficking was started as a sexual sacrifice of the temple; by ancient Babylon
and Mesopotamia. At the time, this trade was creating a market for sacred prostitutes.
However, today some arguments state that that criminalizing sex industry will lead to
rampant prostitution. To end human trafficking, various institutions in the society have to
work together. They include individuals, community leaders, law enforcement officers and
lawmakers. They should enforce existing laws against human trafficking, amend and come up
with new and better laws. They should also assist survivors and victims' by providing them
with counseling for them to cope with life. Creation of awareness on the issue and human
rights is also important. Governments should also eliminate the situations that lead to human
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McCarthy, L. A. (2014). Human trafficking and the new slavery. Annual Review of Law and
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Nations Trafficking Protocol 2000. Hum Rights Rev, 9(3), 299-316.Berkeley: University of
Hendry, S. (2010). Surviving human trafficking. London: New Holland.
Kloer, A. (2011). 5 things to know about human trafficking. Retrieved May 21, 2016, from
Sanghera, J. (2005). Unpacking the trafficking discourse. Trafficking and prostitution
reconsidered: New perspectives on migration, sex work, and human rights. New York:
Shelley, L. (2010). Human trafficking: A global perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University
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- Selina Kolls (Author), 2016, Human Trafficking. An overview, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/337848