Human Trafficking

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Sinceeighteen century, there has been an ongoing debate about thedefinition of human trafficking. Some people define it is the act oftrading human beings for the purpose of forced labor, sexual slavery,or commercial sexual exploitation. The United Nations Office on Drugsand Crime points out that trafficking is the act of recruiting,transporting and transferring a person by threatening or using forcefor the purpose of making some money (Bureau of Democracy, HumanRights, and Labor, n.d). There are three component elements of humantrafficking, that is, the act, the means, and the purpose. The act isan action taken in a trafficking process. This includes thetransportation, recruitment, harboring, transfer and the receipt ofthe person. The means describes how trafficking is done. Some of themeans of human trafficking includes the use of fraud, force, abuse ofpower, abduction, coercion, giving payment to the person in controlof the victim, among others. The purpose constituent elaborates thepurpose of human trafficking (Alvarez and Alessi, 2009). Most humantraffickers conduct human trade for the purpose of exploitation. They exploit the victim sexually and force them to slavery and forcedlabor. In most countries, human trafficking is a serious crime thatis punishable by law. Human trafficking violates human rights. Everyday, children, women, and sometimes men fall into the hands of humantraffickers, either in their own countries or abroad. Unluckily,human trafficking is a major issue in almost all countries in theworld hence, there is no safe country. This paper discusses thehistory of human trafficking, its moral and the social consideration,its impacts on individuals and the global community, and on the U.Sforeign policies and laws. In addition, the paper offers the possiblesolutions from a criminal justice point of view.

Legaland moral consideration

Humantrafficking is a global phenomenon. Most governments refer it apolitical priority, and they devote many resources to the issue.International organizations have launched a multilateral response toreflects on the issues of human trafficking. In most countries, humantrafficking is illegal and considers it as an immoral action(DeStefano, 2007). Most societies and religion are also against it.The state governments prohibit human trafficking within their borderseither by legislation process or other prevention processes. Forinstance, Florida state government prohibits sex trafficking,domestic violence, and forced labor. In addition, it providesmandatory law enforcement trainings to all criminal justice officers.Texas also has introduced legislation policies to combat humantrafficking. Likewise, Texas state government has also compulsory forall criminal justice officers to receive training on humantrafficking.

Historyof human trafficking

Humantrafficking has been in existence across the world for the pastthousand years. Ever since the ancient Romans and Greeks times up todate, human beings have always been subjected to forms ofexploitation such as sexual and physical exploitation. There arevarying opinion in regard to the origin of human trafficking. Mosthistorians believe that Africa is the first location for humantrafficking (Dina, 2009). Slave traders would capture African womenand men, and ship them across the Atlantic Ocean and later sell themto the American. The years between 1400s and 1600s marks thebeginning of human trading in Africa. The Europeans and Portuguesewould buy slaves in Africa and transport them to their countrieswhere they would use them as slaves. As the European expanded theirplantation, there was much need of slaves. Later in 1952, the Britishalso joined the slave trade in Africa. By the end of year 1600, mostcountries were already practicing human trafficking. They most commoncountries included the North America, Spain, Holland, Sweden, France,and Denmark. During this time, human trafficking for sexual purposeswas legal and was referred as white slavery. Due to traumatizingexperiences to the victims, the British government made a law againstit in 1807 (Greenhaven, 2009). It also declared Transatlantic SlaveTrade illegal. Later in 1820, the United States also declared humantrafficking as a criminal offence whose punishment is death. In 1902,the United States organized an international conference to discuss onthe white slave trade. Seven years later, thirteen nations signed aninternational agreement against any form of human slavery.

Impactsof On Global Community and Individuals

Thereare many consequences of human trafficking, both short term and longterm consequences. Victims face violence threats from many sourcesincluding brothel owners, traffickers, customers, and local lawenforcement officials. Additionally, the victims are likely to faceemotional stress as they suffer from social alienation from theirhome and families. Globally, there are millions of men, women, andchildren confined in human trafficking industry. The Gallagher(2012), reports that human trafficking is the most fast growingbusiness that leads to crime. Indeed, it rated as the third criminalenterprise in the entire world. Below are some of the humantrafficking consequences.

Firstly,the victim suffers from short-term emotional problems (Gallagher,2012). Human traffickers use extreme power to get slaves. In themeantime, they expose the victim to emotional stress by inducingthreats, physical and emotional violence, and fear. Based on theresearch conducted by students of Harvard University, humantrafficking occurs in three phases: initiation, indoctrination, andrecruitment. During these phases, the traffickers use persuasiontechniques to recruit slaves. They create a hostile environmentwhereby the victims become a total dependent of the trafficker. Inthis situation, the traffickers take advantage to manipulate victimsinto the trafficking industry. As a result, the victim can sufferfrom Stockholm syndrome. Stockholm syndrome is a form ofpsychological coercion that results from sexual trafficking andforced prostitution (Simeunovic-Patic, 2008). Most women enter intosex trafficking at a very tender age, and they end up being sexuallyabused. In the long-term emotional impact, victims experience complextrauma after continuous trauma for some time. This results fromsexual abuse, forced prostitution, rape, domestic violence, amongother types of torture. The complex trauma manifests other issuessuch as depression, self-hatred, anxiety, use of drugs, dissolution,medical and somatic concern, as well as despair. According topsychological researchers, complex trauma leads to Post-Traumaticstress disorder that is complex to diagnosis. The research alsoshows that victims of human trafficking have low immune system.

Further,women who undergo human trafficking and sexual abuse tend to losetheir identities and dignity (Obokata, 2006). This eventually leadsto an arena of desperation whereby they are faced with inhumaneliving conditions. In addition, they undergo emotional, physical andoccupational hazards. This leads to disorganization of their familiesbecause they lose importance of togetherness. Furthermore, theyengage and adopt prostitution as a way of living due to theirconstant subjection into sexual slavery by the traffickers. They tendto forget about their human rights and suffer from emotional attacksthat influence their way of thinking negatively. In addition, theycannot be able to make efficient and effective decisions about theirgoals in life. Victims also face violation of their fundamentalrights and freedoms, for example, right to life, freedom of movement,freedom of expression, among others. These instances are evidence bythe fact that victims are subjected to severe beatings, long workinghours and poor living conditions. This severe treatment tends toerode good morals of the victims and their relationship with otherpeople deteriorates. Later in life when victims have families, theytend to lack parental love to their children, which affects the waythey bring them up.

Furthermore,the victims are exposed to the risk of contracting various diseasesas a result of sexual abuse, for example, HIV/AIDS, UTI and otherinfectious diseases (Obokata, 2006). Other health issues faced aremalnourishment, infertility, pregnancy. To cope with the situation,they engage in drug and substance abuse. This helps them to escapetheir desperate conditions, but negatively affects their health.Moreover, this trickle down to the whole community because they haveto cater for the victim basic needs.

Impactsof Human Policies on the US Foreign Policies and Law

Promotingdemocracy, freedom, and human rights are the central goal of U.Sforeign policies. However, human trafficking has also affected theU.S foreign policies and law (Territo, 2010). For instance, the U.Sgovernment had incorporated some policies to counter the issue oftrafficking, as well it effects on women through federal and statepolicies. However, the government primarily focuses on thepersecution of traffickers instead of protecting the victim’s humanrights. The US government has introduced several concrete steps tominimize human trafficking within its bounders. The US foreignpolicy includes the following aspects in combating human trafficking.Firstly, the policy recognizes that slavery and human trafficking areinternational threats (Territo, 2010). Indeed, the US governmentformulated these foreign policies to minimize cases of the foreigncitizens in their countries to be sold as slaves. Since UnitedStates is economically stable, the foreign policy on humantrafficking supports and maintains human rights of victims. In orderto fight human traffic effectively, the US government ensures all thepolicies are properly incorporated in a good and integrated frameworkthat combat human trafficking. In addition, the US government hasimplemented foreign, federal and international policy to address theissue of human trafficking. For instance, the policy enhances itscapacity to offer victims of human trafficking protection andsupport. However, the policy should also prosecute traffickers. Basedon the US department of Justice and Statistics, for one year, the USTrafficking Victims Protection Act protects more than five thousandvictims. In addition, it prevents more than one thousand victims tobe deported.

Solutionto the Issues

Humantrafficking has existed for centuries and in most countries. Now, theissue is the solutions of human trafficking. To be a slave or to besold as a slave is one of the terrible experiences. No one can bewilling to become a slave. In most case, human traffickers recruittheir slaves through fraudulent advertisements whereby they givefalse promises (Picarelli and Johnson, 2008). For instance, theypromise to give jobs of air hostesses, work in industries, ordomestic work. The traffickers take advantages of desperate andjobless people. Sadly, most of the victims are usually recruited byfamily members. The first solution of human trafficking is to educatepossible victims about the issue. People should learn the sign ofhuman trafficking whether in their own country or a foreign country.As an individual, one has to be more vigilant and learn the signs. Torecognize a human trafficker is not easy, but with familiarity withthe signs helps a lot.

Further,the government should illegalize the human trafficking business. Itshould impose strict penalties for the convicted traffickers. In thisway, few people will engage in the business. Correspondingly, fewpeople will fall victim of this crime activities. The governmentshould also hire more officers to investigate on the trade. Theofficers should have a clear picture on how and where business isconducted. This information will help them to minimize case oftrafficking. The government should closely monitor the humansmuggling reports. To completely eradicate human trafficking, thegovernment need closely study the trend of the business for the pastfew years. Hence, it should come up with various strategies to combattrafficking. However, this process requires much logistic planningand finances. Hence, the government should provide sufficient fundsto the research organization research on the details of humantrafficking.

AFactual Description of the Issue

Onthe criminal justice point of view, human traffickers should beheavily punished. According to Territo (2010), punishing humantraffickers is one way of minimizing the human trade. First, thereshould be a law against human trafficking since it is a criminaloffence. In fact, some case of human trafficking especially for theyoung children is a child abuse crime. The law should punish anyparent or legal guardian who traffic their children. According toObokata (2006), most parents sell their children as slaves in orderto make some money. For that reason, these parents and guardiansshould be punishable by law for committing a crime. Secondly, theminor arrested in human trafficking business should be referred tochild welfare agencies. This will ensure that the victim receivessupport rather than being criminally charged.

Further,the use of law enforcement records can also be very useful ineradicating human trafficking. For instance, in the US, the federallaw enforcement, the local, county and state agencies carry out theenforcement of the law (Bales and Bales, 2010). They collect,analysis, and give report information of crimes, the crime offendersand victims using standardized protocols. This information recognizesand reports cases of trafficking that exist in a nation. A recentsurvey by one of the local agencies in the US, found that there aremore than one thousands cases of human trafficking. Therefore, thisinformation alerts a nation that the human trafficking trade is stillin existence, hence the need to eradicate it.

ThePresent Status of This Issue

Currently,most human trafficking takes place in the urban centers but can alsotake place in small cities. Commonly, children and women are thevictims of this trade. Recently, there is increased evidence of humantrafficking in most countries. According to the EFC report, more thanone million people worldwide were trafficked as slaves in 2011. Therecord also shows that more than ten million people are eithercoerced into sexual exploitation or forced labor.

Criminaljustice professionals are probing underlying offenses to investigateevidence of human trafficking (Kara, 2009). Criminal justiceprofessional identify human trafficking by identifying the underlyingoffences and linking the information to the human trade.Unfortunately, to successfully identify incidences of humantrafficking remain a complicated process. It is difficult to gatherevidence and in some cases, a victim fails to cooperate. Hence,criminal justice professionals need to be patient and persistent inidentifying and investigating the issue of trafficking. Differentprofessionals have different role in criminal justice system. Thesystem consists of first responders and investigators, prosecutors,judicial and courtroom officials, probation and parole officers.There are three major ways in which a law enforcement officer may getin contact with a case of human trafficking. First, the officers comeacross human traffickers during their day to day activities andpatrol duties. Secondly, the officer may be contacted by anindividuals and organizations regarding a potential case. Lastly, theofficer may come in contact with human trafficking case during apreliminary investigation. On the other hand, prosecutors come withcontact with human traffickers after reviewing criminal case andafter questioning witness and victims. Likewise, the prosecutor mayalso use an interview to identify the victim and human traffickers.Hence, prosecutors should put more consideration on the underlyingoffences that are part of human trafficking scheme. All protectorsneed to be aware of the element of force, coercion and force to helpthem identify human trafficking victims in a quicker way (Kara,2009). The main role of prosecutors is to prosecute the crimeoffenders. Hence, they should mainly concentrate to discoveroffenders than victims. Conversely, judges and other courtroomofficials encounter with victims of human trafficking during a courtprocessing. Some victims are charged in court with crimes such asprostitution, visa violation, and sexual offences. Lastly, probationand parole officers normally work with post-conviction officers, andmay come across the cases of human trafficking.

Depictionof Both Sides of the Issue

Governmentsshould take the initiative to educate local agencies and servicesproviders. Relevant staffs at the local agencies and governmentagencies should be trained on human trafficking to create awarenessof the issue. The training should be comprehensive on both labor andsex trafficking. In addition to the training, the government shouldalso educate these agencies on the screening tools and ways to detecthuman traffickers. With the more knowledge from the compressivetraining and knowledge of screening tools, the government and localagencies official, they can easily identify cases of humantrafficking. Additionally, they can track data of victims and lateroffer social and other support effectively. For instance, in US, theDepartment of homeland Security investigates human trafficking,arrest traffickers and in the meantime protects victims. For oneyear, the department initiates hundreds of investigations using avictim-centered approach. They also arrest and prosecute hundreds ofhuman traffickers. In 2010, the Department of homeland Security (DHS)started a blue campaign with an aim to increase its effectiveness incombating human trafficking (Lawrence 2010). They use variousstrategies such as creating awareness on the issue, offering trainingand victim assistance, and law enforcement investigation. Thedepartment collaborates with the domestic and foreign governments,non-governmental organizations, private sectors, and law enforcementto offer protection to the victims and prevent them from beingtrafficked.

Analysisof the Issues

Thelaw making bodies opt to come up with strategies of identifying andstabilizing human trafficking victims, as well as, investigating andprosecuting human traffickers. The lawmakers should usevictim-centered approach when dealing with cases of human trafficking(Morehouse, 2009). Through this approaches, it is possible for thevictims to receive information and services necessary forrehabilitation. The common needs for the victims include security,food, shelter, clothing and medical care. Among them, security is themost sensitive. Every rescued victim of human trade creates loss tothe trafficker, who is likely to attempt to regain control over thevictim to gain his or her monetary back. Therefore, the criminaljustice professional and other local agencies must relocate thevictims to a more safe location far from traffickers. Although it isimpossible to offer total security, criminal justice professionalshould develop safe location to offer basic services to the victims.

Inmost nations, trafficking convictions are normally based on thevictim testimony. For a successful protection, the court shouldinquire a lot of information from the victim than from the offender.Indeed, prosecutor’s success rates are highly correlated with theamount of knowledge offered by the victim by court proceeding. Often,traffickers threaten the disadvantaged people in the society tocomply with their demands. They force them to commit moral crime suchprostitution out of their will. Hence, it is likely that the offendedperson will give more accurate information than the offender.Furthermore, the victims of human trafficking have the right to beinformed and be involved in their own cases. According to the federaland Texas law, the criminal justice system should incorporate victimsof crime in all court proceedings. Obokata (2006) urges thatinvolvement of the victim in the process helps them to recover bothmental and physical anguish, as well as emotional anguish created bythe human trafficker.


Thereare several advantages of incorporating the above in the criminaljustice system. First, it becomes easier for the criminal justiceofficials to easily recognize human traffickers. Additionally, it ismuch easier for them to responding quickly to the victims. Governmentagencies and local agencies with much information about humantrafficking give better services to human trafficking victims intheir allocated areas. They also find it easy to use the mosteffective approach, such as a proactive approach and victim-centeredapproach, to deal with human trafficking. For instance, a criminaljustice officer who uses victim-centered approach in his or her dailyroutine, he or she is more likely to spot and identify an individualinvolved in human trafficking. They understand the realities of humantrafficking and apply them in their daily activities, and hence servethe society more effectively. They also have increased thelikelihood of recognizing victims and initiating investigations toallocate traffickers. However, these guidelines serve as referencepoints. Moreover, in the real life, human traffickers continue withthe human trade and using their violent tactics to attain slaves.They conduct their business secretly avoiding the hand of criminaljustice professional, and in return they are increasing theirpersonal profits. This makes it difficult for the criminal justiceofficers to identify victims and offenders of human trafficking withease. Hence, it is always advisable for the criminal justice officer,government agencies, and other local agencies dealing with humantrafficking to keep updating themselves on the strategies of reducinghuman trafficking. These officers and agencies play the most criticalpart in the security of people, hence they should always bewell-informed at all time.


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