A Global Multi-billion Dollar Criminal Industry
Human trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar transnational illegal enterprise that permits the buying and selling of humans for sex, labor, or both. The aim of this research project is to analyze the many intricacies of the trafficking and exploitation of immigrants before, during, and after migration and to come up with possible solutions. After analyzing both data and personal accounts of those victimized by this sick trade, I will uncover some of the many factors that contribute to the susceptibility of immigrants to this exploitation. Human trafficking is dynamic in that it is constantly changing in response to different social, economic, and political conditions. There is not a single country that is not affected by human trafficking, whether it be as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. Having such a global role in this black market, the people of the United States have a responsibility to be aware of this prevalent issue and to take action. Instead of putting these severe problems ‘out of sight and out of mind’, we must seek solutions to limit the number of persons victimized and help others get their life back.
Aside from being a global humanitarian crisis, human trafficking should also be a concern for everyone because it leads to public health issues, violence, and crime. I will explore the different options in terms of prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation. Victims of this tragic trade deserve access to appropriate counseling and psychological assistance. Many immigrants are lured into these traps with a promise of a better job, better opportunities, and an escape form their country of origin. Then they are often times confronted with violence, rape, drug abuse, and an instilled fear of deportation. With the current administration’s view on immigration, this fear is heightened, preventing them ever wanting to come forward to the authorities about their situation. They are also faced with the possibility of getting arrested for drugs or prostitution and are thrown into the legal system this way, sometimes leading to deportation. In conclusion, this research essay will dissect the complexities of human trafficking and exploitation often experienced by immigrants in an attempt to spark an important discussion about this issue and how we can work towards a solution. Part 1: https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as, the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. ( https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html). This exploitation can include sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. Human trafficking could be considered to some as the ultimate violation of human rights. Countless numbers of men, women, and children are forced into a life of depravity. There are three elements to human trafficking: the act (what is done), the means (how it is done), and the purpose (why it is done). The act, or what is done, can include the recruitment, transport, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons. The means, or how it is done, can be the threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim. The purpose, or why it is done, is for the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labor, or slavery. Additionally, the Trafficking in Persons Protocol requires the criminalization of any attempts to participate, organize, or direct trafficking offences.
People who are seeking better lives are more vulnerable to fall into the hands of migrant smugglers and human traffickers. According to UNODC, victims of trafficking ae often fooled by people they trust the most such as friends and relatives. It is also common for women to recruit other women. UNODC partners with NGO’s to distribute information and contact current and potential victims of trafficking. There is also trafficking prevention campaigns. It is important to raise awareness for policy-makers. Unreliable global data makes it hard for governments and NGO’s to fight this in a more efficient manner. The UNODC is also making a training manual for reference to law enforcement Protection “ It is of the utmost importance that police, and other law enforcement have an established set of rules ad procedures to protect the victims. These victims should be able to maintain their privacy and testify against their abusers without fear of repercussions. Often times, people are unaware that people could be victims. This is why law enforcers and healthcare providers need to know how to properly identify and help trafficking victims It is important to have partnerships and connectedness in order to have the biggest affect. The Corporate Apprenticeship program in which the UNODC and the Department of Social Welfare and Development work together in which victims gain on-the-job training in factory work, hospitality, and other business in order to prevent further revictimization.
This training can fight the odds of them being thrown into exploitative situation. Reintegration into society. Prosecuting human traffickers is very pertinent in the stopping of this trad. Successful convictions depend on the police and others involved to make the right decisions. Strengthening the criminal justice system. They must possess the knowledge to combat trafficking. Unfortunately, the legal system sometimes fails to protect the identity of witnesses from the defendants. Anti-human trafficking legislation. The complexity of the sex trafficking trade.
Part 2: Intersection human trafficking and migration http://blogs.harvard.edu/billofhealth/2018/06/27/the-intersection-of-human-trafficking-and-immigration/ – Stephen Wood In the United States there an estimated 57,000 people are involved in human trafficking, victimizing over 50 million people. Woman account for about 80 percent of individuals involved in sex-trafficking, with some estimates stating that a quarter of these cases involve minor children. The average age for females at the time of entry into sex-trafficking is thought to be between 17“19 years old (Wood).
These victims include men, women, and children from not only the United States, but from primarily from Mexico, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean. With the current status with immigration in the United States, these victims are faced with the threat of being deported back to their home country. Many victims are lured into these trafficking schemes with the promise of better pain, legitimate jobs. Others are kidnapped or entrapped and forced into a slavery riddled with violence and torture. Victims brought into the United States illegally are at a higher risk that others. They are terrified, alone, and often times without their passport or identification because it was confiscated by their traffickers. They are stripped of their identity and dignity.https://endslaveryandtrafficking.org/separating-immigrant-families-increases-vulnerabilities-to-human-trafficking/
In May of 2018 the Trump Administration issued a possible plan to hold unaccompanied minors and children who have been separated from their families Part 3: Migration, sexual exploitation, and Women’s health “ Adobe Although difficult to accurately quantify because of the underground nature of trafficking networks and practices, it is conservatively estimated that between 600,000 and 800,000 people are annually trafficked across international borders, with 80% of these being women and girls (U.S. Department of State, 2005). An estimated 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States across international borders annually, the majority of them from Asia, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe (O’Neill Richard, 1999; Raymond, Hughes, & Gomez, 2001). Multiple factors including war, displacement, economic and social inequalities, and demand for sex work contribute to trafficking of women and girls (Long, 2004; Raymond et al., 2001; Watts & Zimmerman, 2002), with gender-based abuse and violence primary components of women’s vulnerability to traffickers (United States Agency for International Development, 2003)
The health consequences of sex trafficking effect victims’ psychological and physical health and well-being. The violence that accompanies trafficking can have detrimental effects on them. cross-national study of sex-trafficked victims in Europe demonstrates multiple examples of abuse, including direct physical and sexual assault, psychological abuse, forced or coerced use of drugs and alcohol, restrictions on movement and social isolation, economic exploitation and debt bondage, legal insecurity (including undocumented status), abusive working and living conditions, and a range of risks associated with being a migrant and/or marginalized (Zimmerman et al., 2003). Sexual assault, in particular, appears to be universal for victims of sex trafficking, with all participants of this European study reporting some form of rape (e.g., forced oral or anal sex, gang rape, forced unprotected sex) in the context of being 488 Violence Against Women trafficked (Zimmerman et al., 2003). Substance abuse and mental health are common health concerns among sex trafficked women and girls. There is a big issue with sex in exchange for drugs. However, in studies with victims of sex trafficking and sex workers, many women report that them substance use began or escalated subsequent to their involvement with sex work, sometimes as a way of coping with and numbing themselves to the violence experienced (El-Bassel et al., 2001; Farley et al., 2001; Raymond et al., 2001; Romero-Daza et al., 2003; Silbert & Pines, 1982).
In addition to substance abuse concerns, high rates of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety and suicidal ideation and attempts have also been documented among sex-trafficked women (Zimmerman et al., 2003) and women involved in sex work (Cwikel, Ilan, & Chudakov, 2003; El-Bassel et al., 1997; Farley et al., 2001). Challenges for a healthcare system. ? Articles Identifying Domestic and International Sex-Trafficking Victims During Human Service Provision “ Adobe Human service providers are likely to identify victims of trafficking through programs regarding domestic violence, welfare, health care, homeless shelters, etc. while delivering their services. In this research, 20 documents were reviewed with the primary goal of identifying and producing recommendations for different organizations/industries that can come into contact with sex trafficking victims. Screening strategies and questions to help identify the victims. preliminary set of screening strategies and questions that can be used to identify sex-trafficking victims in the context of human services. The trafficking indicators discussed in this review can also inform future trafficking research. Trafficking indicators “ potential victims are being controlled. Victim interaction strategies “ Questioning victims while alone, tell them about confidentiality policies, and how the information will be used.
Immediate response strategies. “ Calling the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline Child-specific information “ Legally, service providers must report to CPS Screening questions concerning safety, employment, living environment, travel and immigration, and child-and-youth specific question. In need of systemic policy changes and funding of programs that help those who have escaped this trade. ? Adobe – Immigrant children and youth: Psychological challenges. Bursztyn, Alberto M., (Ed); Korn-Bursztyn, Carol, (Ed); pp. 133-145; Santa Barbara, CA, US: Praeger/ABC-CLIO; 2015. xvi, 216 pp. Another vulnerable population is that of unaccompanied migrant youth. http://www.globalsistersreport.org/news/migration-trafficking/haitian-dominican-border-shelter-protects-children-vulnerable-human
Violent coercion may include physical maltreatment including starvation, forced drug use, and rape, while nonviolent coercion refers to debt bondage, isolation, and psychological manipulation. According to an anonymous U.S. border patrol officer (confidential communication to the first author) who has worked on multiple child smuggling cases, unaccompanied minors are often raped and abandoned by their smugglers to find their way alone. These children are often found stumbling about in the desert, near roads, often sexually violated. The act of smuggling is largely traumatic for migrant children even when their stories do not include kidnapping and rape, as they are concealed in small compartments in vehicles in order to make the journey (Camisa, 2010). The psychological trauma of smuggling, together with the traumatic losses that migration entails, are amplified by the physical and sexual abuse unaccompanied minors often face.
In turn, this prior exposure to trauma increases their vulnerability to become recruited into the sex trafficking industry. Trauma exposure “ Youth stuck in the sex trafficking lifestyle have had a history of abuse, both physical and sexual. According to the American Psychiatric Association (2013), trauma is defined as an emotional response to a disturbing event, which over time can lead to symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is pertinent in cases where children have been repeatedly abused. PTSD has a lot of less than desirable aftermath. Those affected experience mood changes and impaired social functioning. Prior exposure to trauma, combined with vulnerabilities of prior abuse and the need to feel loved and accepted, can motivate vulnerable youths to run away from home. Homelessness – Homelessness has multiple causes; it may result from placement, running away, escape, or abandonment by family. Running away increases the likelihood of introduction into prostitution for young migrant youth. LGBT youths are often forced to live on the street after experience rejection after coming out to family. They go on to search for the stability and support. Additionally, they report that 58.7% of LGBT homeless youths have been sexually victimized compared with 33.4% of heterosexual homeless youths. Further, immigration status increases the risks that LGBT youths face. The 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report asserts that not only do LGBT immigrants face the same vulnerabilities that local LGBT individuals face, including homelessness, fear of exposure of sexual orientation, but they also face the traumatic sequelae of the migration experience, often further complicated by undocumented status (U.S. Department of Justice, 2014). The report further estimates that LGBT homeless youths comprise 20% to 40% of the homeless youth population.