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fatigue. Europe is not the only region where such findings have been discovered; other
regions have revealed similar results. A case in point is the Republic of Moldova, where
persistent, prevalent, and comorbid psychological effects were discovered in females in post-
trafficking services; the results were revealed by physician-administered diagnostic
interviews conducted in the region (2012, p. 3). Sex trafficking is not the only type of
trafficking that has been associated with health issues, labor trafficking has also been
associated with the same.
The link between labor trafficking and health has been highlighted in numerous
studies. Victims of trafficking, who are usually moved in many forms of labor, are vulnerable
to various occupational health risks, which, in most cases, vary by sector (WHO, 2012, p. 3).
The risks these individuals are usually exposed to include poor sanitation and ventilation,
repetitive motion activities, extended work hours, inadequate training in the use of high-risk
equipment, lack of protective gear, heat/cold extremes, bacterial contaminants, and chemical
hazards. As a consequence, exposure to such dangers results in dehydration, repetitive motor
syndromes, exhaustion, stress, heat stroke, frostbite, hypothermia, respiratory disorders,
accidental injuries, and skin infections (2012). Closely linked to the before-mentioned
assertion is economic exploitation. Since the victims of trafficking have little or no say over
their earnings or what is charged by traffickers for any of the supplies or services they
receive, they may suffer from the psychological effects of debt bondage (2012). Health issues
have also been proven to extend to child trafficking.
Similar to labor trafficking, studies have also revealed that child trafficking is
intricately connected to health concerns for the victims (Rafferty, 2008). To ensure that their
victims lose their physical and psychological defenses, traffickers use methods such as
isolation; psychological, physical, and sexual violence; deployment in foreign regions;
dependence on alcohol and drugs; monitoring work-related activities through the use of
weapons; and rationing water and food supply (2008, p. 14). Although comprehensive
research on the impact of trafficking on children is insufficient, numerous reports reveal that
the emotional and physical trauma associated with fear and abuse present substantial risks to
the psychological, physical, social-emotional, and spiritual development of these children.
Case studies have revealed that due to persistent social, sexual, and psychological abuse,
victims become emotionally and physically damaged (2008). Also, children who are
trafficked are deprived of their educational and advancement opportunities. Consequently,
they suffer developmental delays, cognitive and language difficulties, deficits in memory and
verbal skills, grade retention, and poor academic performance (2008). Debt bondage,
although subtly, also affects the wellbeing of the victims involved.
Debt bondage is a relatively subtle type of human trafficking; thus, the health effects
associated with it are also not very easily recognizable (SVAW, 2016). Viewed from the
context of moving women, debt bondage arises where traffickers coerce women into
prostitution in a bid to force them to pay their `debt,' which is usually incurred in the process
of recruitment, transportation, or even accommodation. In cases where women are in a
foreign country illegally and cannot speak the local language, traffickers usually use violence
against them, retain their travel documents, or even threaten to harm their families if they do
not agree to the conditions of the traffickers. To ensure their victims remain under their
control, traffickers may continue charging women accommodation fees but fail to apply the
money earned to the services being used by the victim (2016). The subtle nature of debt
bondage makes it difficult to notice; thus, authorities cannot combat the ills associated with
the vice. Since traffickers use methods such obligating their victims to repay the debt that has
been accrued, manipulation of illegal migration, or threats of violence, trafficking is usually
masked since the victims are never forcibly retained or kidnapped (2004).
In conclusion, human trafficking can be perceived as the process through which
persons are placed or maintained in a particular position for economic gain. Trafficking, as
opposed to popular perception, can occur both within the boundaries of a nation or across the
borders of various nations. Also, trafficking affects all people, children, men, and women.
Therefore, its impact is global. However, in spite of its wide-reaching impacts, trafficking of
humans only gained recognition internationally, as a crime, recently. It was not until the late
1990s that nations began developing legislations to regulate its effects. The before-mentioned
considered, human trafficking and health have a very close connection. All forms of
trafficking, according to numerous studies, have revealed the health effects of the persons
affected by human trafficking. These effects range from psychological, physical, mental, and
even developmental in the younger victims. Thus, to eliminate the burden of this vice, nations
should come together and fight to ensure all persons live in a manner that is humane and just.
Rafferty, Y. (2008). The Impact of Trafficking on Children: Psychological and Social Policy
Perspectives. Child Dev Perspectives, 2(1), 13-18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1750-
This journal article delves into the circumstances that children are exposed to during
trafficking. It discusses the psychological, social, and physical health impacts of
trafficking on children. It also discusses how traffickers corrupt the psychological and
physical defense mechanisms in children. The reader gains a comprehensive
understanding of the negative impacts of trafficking on children.
SVAW,. (2016). Debt Bondage and Trafficking in Women. Stop Violence Against Women.
Retrieved 25 May 2016, from
This article offers in-depth insights into dent bondage. Debt bondage is a relatively
subtle form of human trafficking. Thus, understanding its health impacts can be
somewhat perplexing. A clear juxtaposition of the meaning of dent bondage vis-a-vis
its impacts is offered in this article, helping the reader gain insights into the perils of
UNITED NATIONS,. (2014). Human Rights and Human Trafficking, 2. Retrieved from
This journal article offers an in-depth analysis of human trafficking. It offers a general
definition of human trafficking, and then proceeds to offer a definition that is accepted
in the international space. The article also discusses why human trafficking violates
WHO,. (2012). Understanding and addressing violence against women: Human Trafficking,
1-8. Retrieved from
This article provides an overview of why human trafficking is a global phenomenon,
and why it has gathered significant attention in the past years. It also reveals the
health effects of human trafficking on women and how trafficking affects the various
sectors of the economy. Finally, the paper reveals how human trafficking can be
approached, with the intention of curbing its negative effects.
6 of 6 pages
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- Selina Kolls (Author), 2016, Human Trafficking. How does it affect health and the economy and why is it a global phenomenon?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/337851