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Human Trafficking : Slavery in the 21st Century

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Human Trafficking : Slavery in the 21st Century

Many women and young girls dream of having a good lifestyle. They are willing to travel across the ocean to other countries that would offer them better opportunities. One of their main goals is to be able to provide for themselves and their loved ones financially. Nonetheless, in their lifetime they could never imagine that their dreams would be broken by a horrible act called human trafficking. Every Year, these hopeless victims are either lured, sold, or forced against their will into the black-market called human trade known as human trafficking.

Human trafficking is known worldwide and is the commercial trade of Human beings. The dilemma is that human beings are being exposed to forced labor, sex, and psychological and physical abuse. Human trafficking deprives people of their human rights and freedom; it is also a global health risk due to infectious diseases like AIDS and cervical cancer (Cross). This kind of exploitation should not be happening. It is appealing and morally unacceptable that this still exist in our society.

Each year, roughly 600,000 to 800,000 women and children are trafficked across international borders; about 80% of them are women and young girls, and up to 50% are children (Herro) According to International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates, there are 20 million people enslaved in bonded labor around the world. It is recognized that out of 192 countries worldwide, 143 are involved in human trafficking. Asia being the region that has the most trafficked persons; Africa is second and followed by Europe (Getu).

Human trafficking has become one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world. According to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, it is the third largest criminal industry, with revenues totaling $9.5 billion annually. Surprisingly enough, this is expected to exceed the other two criminal industries, which are narcotics and firearms (Harvard Law Review). According to a 2009 Washington Times article, the Taliban buys children as young as seven years old to act as suicide bombers. Prices vary of these "freedom fighters" range on how quickly the bomber is needed and how close the child is expected to get to the target. The price for child suicide bombers is between seven thousand to fourteen thousand U.S. dollars. Using a child for a suicide bomber is the "grim reality of the Taliban Frankenstein" that now threatens to "overwhelm the Pakistani state," said Bruce Riedel, a Brookings Institution scholar who chaired a review of Pakistani- Afghanistan strategy for President Obama. (The Washington Times). The criminals are making an astounding amount of money out of these victims' suffering.

What fuels the high demand of human trafficking? There are a few causes, poverty, cheap labor, and sexual exploitation. In some countries where trafficking occurs more than 50-60% of the population live on a dollar a day (Black). That is barely enough to provide for themselves, let alone for their family. These women cannot find a decent paying job because they lack in education, skills and are mostly discriminated. They have no other means or choices but to face and accept the only option that is given to them, which is to get any low paying job that they could find to support themselves and their family. Many women travel far distances in hopes of finding any paying job. They desperately take any job offered without knowing the consequences and involvement.

Moreover, cheaper labor and sexual exploitation have increased the high demand. Many victims make as little as a dollar a day and work as much as 12-15 hours a day. In Addition, the uncontrollable expansion of the sex and pornography industries as well as sex tourist, pornography producers, brothel owners, sex customers, and employers of all types looking for pleasures have created increased for women and young girls. In addition, areas where there are armed conflicts and civil wars, men and young boys have been forced to become soldiers. Due to the large numbers of armed conflicts in central Africa, as well as conflict situations, military bases and mining industries have also created a market for the services of trafficked persons mainly for sexual purposes. Armed conflicts also undermine the capacity of law enforcement and other authorities to combat the problem (Getu).

Who are they wicked operators in the Human Trafficking world? The criminal enterprise through a family of networks of organized crime. Their operation is set up in three stages: recruiting, transporting and enforcing. The first stage is recruiting in which they travel to the most poverty harmed countries like China, Philippines, Russia, and many other places to find their victims. Many of these hopeless women and young girls are from rural areas because the recruiters know that they are the most vulnerable and desperate. The wicked operators lure these women and young girls with false advertisements and promises of non existing jobs as housekeepers, sales clerks, nannies, and other similar positions. They sometimes use manipulative approaches to deceive their victims. In one occurrence, a network agency had placed an ad for contract labor to work for $125 per month for a three year contract. The agency promises of overtime, medical expenses, and free board. Instead, the workers were forced to pay excessive advanced fees, had their passports confiscated, were confined to horrible conditions with no food or water, and were tortured (Cross).

The second stage is to transport the victims to their destination. Unlike illegal Mexican immigrants who enter the United States crossing over the border by foot or car, many of these victims are transported by boat or plane. The organized crime families have their people working on both sides of the international borders. In addition, they have government officials and law enforcements personnel working for them as well. Instead of protecting the innocents, the government officials and law enforcements personnel looked the other way; accepted bribes and aid the criminals. They helped the criminals in obtaining fake passports. Using the fake passports, the transporters arrange for these women and young girls to reach their destination, where they are forced into cheap labor or are sexually exploited. They make certain that they can move these women and young girls from one transit point to another, and help them to enter the country without any problems.

The final stage is enforcement. Upon arrival in the new country, the criminal enforcers make certain that their victims are obedient. If they do not obey, there will be severe consequences such as beatings, starvation, deportation, sexual assaults, and or even death. In one case, Evelyn Clumbow was once a slave, but not in some



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