Table of Contents
The Tragedy Human Trafficking: Is it possible to combat human trafficking?
Human Trafficking as a Big Business
Is It Possible to end human trafficking?
Taking the Initiative
UN Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT)
Responses to Combat Human Trafficking
Enhancement of the Expertise and the Ability
Emmanuel David Togba
|Post Conflict Security Development Specialist|
Skilled in Counter Terrorism, International Organised Crimes & Global Security
The Tragedy Human Trafficking: Is it possible to combat human trafficking?
Human trafficking is a worst kind of crime that is committed against humanity and shames us all. While there are issues with imprinting an exact deffinition on Human Trafficking, there is reliable definition enshrined in International Law for the purpose of dealing with human trafficking issues around the World. As per UN protocol, trafficking in persons would entail the recruitment, transportation, transfer, and harbouring or receipt of person with the help of threats or force of one kind or another. As it stands, this definition is used across the world to determine incidents of trafficking. However, there remain a confusion in identifying trafficking cases from others siminar crimes like smuggling of persons.
According to 2016 trifficking Global statistics, there were about 25 million labour trafficking victims in the world, 3.8 million of whom were forced into the sex trade. In Africa for instance, 3.4 million people had been trafficked into forced labour by 2016 end. Researchers argue that these figures exclude forced marriage which accounts for about 5.8 female especially youths in venerable communities. The number is expected to swell to over 50 million globally by the end of 2018. Africa still face serious problem amongst which victim identification and the prosecution of offenders remain extremely limited. In 2017, only 24,138 trafficking victims were identified, and 454 traffickers convicted.
Trafficking of persons is becoming a growing threat against the human population.It is undoubtedly the booming international trade at the cost of the millions of lives, especially of children, that are robbed of their dignity and freedom (Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS 2016). According to a September 2017 report from the International Labor Organization (ILO), an estimated 24.9 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery. Of these, 16 million (64%) were exploited for labor, 4.8 million (19%) were sexually exploited, and 4.1 million (17%) were exploited in state-imposed forced labor. Forced labor takes place in many different industries. Of the 16 million trafficking victims exploited for labor, 7.5 million (47%) forced labor victims work in construction, manufacturing, mining, or hospitality, 3.8 million (24%) forced labor victims are domestic workers, 1.7 million (11%) forced labor victims work in agriculture . In total, 71% of trafficking victims around the world are women and girls and 29% are men and boys. 15.4 million victims (75%) are aged 18 or older, with the number of children under the age of 18 estimated at 5.5 million (25%). The Asia-pacific region accounts for the largest number of forced laborers— 15.4 million (62% of the global total). While Africa has 5.7 million (23%) followed by Europe and Central Asia with 2.2 million (9%). The Americas account for 1.2 million (5%) and the Arab States account for 1% of all victims. Internal trafficking also recorded as human trafficking does not always involve travel to the destination of exploitation. It is recorded that 2.2 million (14%) of victims of forced labor moved either internally or internationally, while 3.5 million (74%) of victims of sexual exploitation were living outside their country of residence.
Not everyone of us has been affected of this problem, but this occurs on a daily basis all over the world. Those who are involved in the export of humans are no doubt the worst kinds of criminals who do it to satisfy the consumer demands (Fong, et al. 2010).
It is so unfortunate that there happens to be the consumers of this heinous crime. The outcomes of crimes are obvious from every perspective position, but the worst kind of the impact is felt at the heart and soul. The fact that every human being has a right to life, liberty, and freedom to expression, thus it is vital that human values that we all cherish are not violated.
It is incumbent on the state to safeguard the human values and ensure that those values are respected and not violated by the outlawed criminals (Lord 2011). The impact on the overall society happen to be pretty much negative and one wonders if it is possible to curtail human trafficking, if it is not possible to completely stop it and wipe it of the earth (Lord 2011).
At the heart of the issue of human trafficking involves the kidnapping of both male and female young children, besides kidnapping of the young adults (Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) 2016). By and large, the traffickers use various kinds of tactics to execute the crimes, ranging from using drugs to deception when it comes to trapping the prey. Moreover, it is not only the traffickers who are guilty of the inhuman crimes, but families of the victims bear same amount of the blame as they themselves allow their young kids to be taken by them in return of cash (Lord 2011).
Furthermore, the reasons of the human trafficking are manifold, as the victims are exploited in all kinds of condemnable ways (Okech et al. 2012). It is reported that some of the young kids who are kidnapped are drugged to fight as soldiers, men chained in a bonded labour in mines and farms. The young girls are exploited as sex slaves, which happens to be some kind of the trade of sex slaves that is so popular in the underworld of the human trafficking (Alvarez & Alessi 2012).
The crime of the human trafficking can be condemned on grounds of morality, legality, and spirituality (Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) 2016). The victims invariably are forcefully asked to perform those activities that they would otherwise not do under their own volition. It is nothing but the perverse exploitation and commercialization of other human beings, in the sense that they are used as tissue paper and thrown away after the use (Batsyukova 2007). However, it is difficult to gauge the extent of the crime, which is truly unknown at this point in time. This is a credible issue that needs due attention from the concerned institutions because of the reasons that are worth considering (Mcclain et al. 2011). There are lots of reasons as to why until now very little seems to be done to address this issue. It is believed that there are some loopholes and at the same time the absence of the enforcing and penalizing authorities to control human trafficking. Given the criminal nature of the crime, it is perceived that there are not much stronger legislations, soft kinds of ignorance and neglect on the part of the authorities in controlling the crime. In current times, one wonders if we have been able to grasp the depth of the issue. As it is presumed that authorities have reached the tip of the ice berg, and to what extent is it sub-merged still remains an issue that needs to be sorted out.
Human Trafficking as a Big Business
In 2014, the International Labor organization asserted that Human trafficking earns profits of roughly $150 billion a year for traffickers to which commercial sexual exploitation account for $99 billion, while manufacturing, mining and utilities account for $34 billion. Agriculture, including forestry and fishing came next with $9billion follow by $8 billion dollars saved annually by private households that employ domestic workers under conditions of forced labor.
While only 19% of victims are trafficked for sex, sexual exploitation earns 66% of the global profits yearly from human trafficking. The average annual profits generated by each woman in forced sexual servitude ($100,000) is estimated to be six times more than the average profits generated by each trafficking victim worldwide ($21,800) (Organization for Security and Co‑operation in Europe -OSCE 2015).
OSCE studies show that sexual exploitation can yield a return on investment ranging from 100% to 1,000%, while an enslaved laborer can produce more than 50% profit even in less profitable markets (e.g. agricultural labor in India).
In the Netherlands, investigators were able to calculate the profit generated by two sex traffickers from a number of victims. One trafficker earned $18,148 per month from four victims (for a total of $127,036) while the second trafficker earned $295,786 in the 14 months that three women were sexually exploited according to the OSCE.
While sexual exploitation generates profits, forced labor saves costs. In one case, Chinese kitchen workers were paid $808 for a 78-hour work week in Germany. According to German law, a cook was entitled to earn $2,558 for a 39-hour work week according to the OSCE.
While the world inspired to fight this deadly crime, the number of prosecutions of human traffickers is alarmingly low, something some scholars and practitioners attribute to the strength and business nature of trafficking networks. According to the 2017 State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, there were only 14,894 prosecutions and 9,071 convictions for trafficking globally in 2016. 1,251 prosecutions, 1,119 convictions and the identification of 18,296 victims occurred in Africa, 2,137 prosecutions, 1,953 convictions and the identification of 9,989 victims occurred in East Asia & the Pacific , 2,703 prosecutions, 1,673 convictions, and the identification of 11,416 victims occurred in Europe . 996 prosecutions, 1,187 convictions, and the identification of 3,292 victims occurred in the Near East . 6,297 prosecutions, 2,193 convictions, and the identification of 14,706 victims occurred in South & Central Asia. 1,513 prosecutions, 946 convictions, and the identification of 8,821 victims occurred in the Western Hemisphere . Shockingly, of the estimated 16 million forced labor victims worldwide, only 1,038 cases of forced labor were prosecuted globally in 2016, according to the US Department of State. In 2016, the Department of Justice convicted a total of 439 human traffickers, up from 297 in 2015 and 184 in 2014.
From the look of things , it is explicitly clear from the evidences that the issue of the human trafficking is global and affecting venerable communities now more than any time in the history of the world. It is global now, so it is apparently clear that the fallouts from the impact of these problems have global connotation (Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) 2016). There is no doubt that human trafficking is believed to affect us all – to people who belong to different background. Thus, it does not matter where ever we live, whether the country of the origin, transition or in country where the actual crime is reported to occur (Mcclain et al. 2011). Furthermore, it is explicitly obvious that the prevention of the crime needs comprehensive approach at the national and international level. At the same time, it is morally binding on all of us to be conscious of the negative influence on the society, and be watchful of the surroundings (Garcia et al. 2012).