Good Example Of Human Trafficking Around The World Essay
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Human trafficking, especially the trafficking of migrants and refugees, has escalated to endemic proportions internationally. Approximately two million people are trafficked annually, coerced into prostitution, sexual subjugation, bonded sweatshop labor, domestic servitude, and other conditions akin to slavery. The etiology of an estimated one-third of global human trafficking takes place in Southeast Asia, and extant literature suggests that the average age of individuals forced into human trafficking continues to fall. A highly lucrative enterprise that accrues an estimated five to seven billion dollars annually to the United States, human trafficking ranks as the third largest source of organized crime around the world behind firearms and narcotics (Banerjee, as cited in Beeks, 190). Indeed, President Barack Obama proclaimed January 2015 to be the official National Slavery and Human Trafficking, as anti-trafficking legislation, known as the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) was first drafted and imposed in the United States in 2000. Moreover, the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, also known as the Palermo Protocol, was implemented and embraced by one hundred and sixty six states (“Fragile States, Vulnerable People”). Human trafficking has transformed from being a misunderstood and secondary issue into a global priority, as it poses not only a grave violation of human rights but also a threat to global and national security. Although countries around the globe have passed anti-trafficking laws, set up mechanisms to help victims recover, publically protested human trafficking in order to raise public awareness about this latent yet prevalent crime, more aggressive efforts must be taken as a result of its connection with terrorism. The United States must take charge of this global campaign against human trafficking by ensuring that all cooperating countries implementing existing while also eliminating conditions that render areas vulnerable to human trafficking.
The United States as the only remaining world super power must tackle the issue of human trafficking as one of its main priorities not only because of the nexus between terrorism and human trafficking but also because it has the resources the ameliorate conditions under which such activities can take place. Human trafficking wracks all countries around the world, but traffickers specifically target more vulnerable nations torn asunder by conflict, natural disasters, and collapsed national institutions and infrastructure. Indeed, Pope Francis recently asserted that causes of slavery around the globe include “armed conflicts, violence, criminal activity, and terrorism” (Pope Francis, as cited in “Fragile States”). Human traffickers often kidnap innocent people to sell them, sexually exploit them, coerce them into work, or force them to become soldiers for a cause they may not believe in. Terrorist groups and institutes have tie and again professed that they engage in slavery practices, primarily as sex traffickers. Sex traffickers have taken credit for issuing the visas used by the 9/11 hijackers. Moreover, both ISIS and Boko Haram, two of the most dangerous and publicized terrorist groups, have publically proclaimed their seemingly perverse interpretation of Islam justifies the practice of slavery for the purpose of sex. In December 2014, ISIS even drafted and publicized a list of rules regarding how captured, non-Muslim slaves both old and young could be treated. While their main purpose was sex, they could also be beaten and traded. President George Bush deployed religious rhetoric in order to procure support for anti-human trafficking legislation, underscoring the “moral impropriety” of the practice because it propagated a sexual ideology that eschewed nonmarital sex (Zimmerman 77). This nexus between terrorism and human trafficking is alarming, so the United States must adopt a holistic approach to foreign policy in order to eradicate this dangerous and nefarious industry.
President Barack Obama has reoriented America’s stance on human trafficking away from the moral dimension towards a discourse on human rights that calls for a reformulation of American foreign policy (Zimmerman 77). To confront this increasingly dangerous practice of human trafficking as a manifestation of the globalization of terror and an affront to human rights, the United States must reduce vulnerable conditions around the world in order to ensure that governments are strong enough to resist underground human trafficking networks. State weakness and instability foments an environment in which human trafficking can thrive. Thus, providing aid to countries in strife by helping displaced peoples and/or refugees and providing humanitarian assistance to areas vulnerable to human trafficking will contribute to this fight against the nefarious practice. Indeed, the Philippines was wracked by the 2013 typhoon that hit Haiyan and rendered various segments of the populace vulnerable to human traffickers. However, the rapid response by the Philippine government thwarted these nefarious activities, revealing that if countries recognize and prepare for disasters or civil disruptions, they can ensure that human traffickers do not exploit adverse conditions.
Thailand serves as poignant case study in understanding the perils of human trafficking around the world. Thailand has recently witnessed high numbers of trafficked children and women from rural villages into cities and towns such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as from neighboring countries such as Cambodia Burma and Laos (Banerjee, as cited in Beeks,191). In 2011, the U.S. Department of States Global Trafficking in Persons Report put Thailand on the “Tier 2 Watch List,” stressing the continual challenges posed by human trafficking in Thailand for coerced labor or prostitution. In 2014, the U.S. further downgraded Thailand to Tier Three, a move that the secretary of Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sihasak Phuangketheow publicly lamented. Since 2008, the U.S. State Department has admonished Thailand’s government for not taking enough action to address human trafficking. Thailand has been a source, point of transit, and destination for various forms of trafficking that targets subaltern communities and denizens of neighboring countries (Brown and Coorlim). Thailand’s lucrative deep-sea fishing industry (DSFI) has made Thailand one of the world’s primary exporters of sea products, contributing over four billion dollars a year to Thailand’s economy (“Human Trafficking”). What fuels this lucrative industry, however, is a ghastly specter of human rights violations vis-à-vis human trafficking. Initiatives in Thailand reveals that globalization has emerged as a burgeoning force that directly affects migration patterns and shifting demographics, threatening the safety of women and children that non-government government organizations in collusion with public authorities must address.
In 2012, international broadcast and print media reports regarding the plight of DSFI human trafficking victims has proliferated due to the high volume of anecdotal evidence regarding the horrors of human trafficking experiences in the DSFI and sex trade. Such reports have grabbed the attention of the United States as well as other western countries that frequently import products from Thailand. Such pressure from the international community will pressure the Thai government to implement further initiatives to effectively dismantle DSFI human trafficking and assume leadership in combating gross human rights abuses that transgress its national borders. Unfortunately, the floods in 2011 combined with trade competition from other Southeastern countries have hampered the Thai economy. Nonetheless, it is evident that the Thai government must partner with the global community as well as with civil organization societies in order to take assertive and effective action (“Human Trafficking”). Because Thailand has been downgraded to Tier Three on the ranking scale, the withdrawal of non-humanitarian assistance from the U.S. looms on the horizon, although most humanitarian advocates believe the U.S. will not impose any harsh sanctions in order to preserve its own national security as well as economic ties. The Thai government eschews their downgrade, pointing to the rising number of convictions in 2013 in relation to the previous years as well as police inspections in workplaces that law enforcement suspected of their active involvement in coerced labor or commercial sex trade (Brown and Coorlim). Nonetheless, the United States and the international community play a critical role in eradicating abysmal human violations and must act in collusion with the Thai government to eradicate such heinous practices that subject vulnerable people to slavery conditions through labor or sex for monetary gain.
Human trafficking for the purpose of coerced labor and/or commercial sex activities has emerged as one of the fastest burgeoning forms of international crime in 2015. The United Nations has approximated that about four million women, children, and men become victims of these nefarious activities annually. Thailand serves as a poignant case study of how human trafficking occurs and under what contingencies and circumstances facilitates these activities. Although human trafficking is idiosyncratic due to local, there remains nonetheless a global nature to the problem of human trafficking. As the only remaining superpower, the United States must take charge in the fight to eradicate such heinous practices. Indeed, the so-called war on terror is directly related to the existence of human trafficking. By stabilizing and supporting impoverish areas while implementing and overseeing anti-human trafficking mechanisms, the United States can help jumpstart the global towards ending human trafficking in 2015.
Beeks, Karen. Trafficking and the Global Sex Industry. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006. Print.
Bradbury, John G. “Human Trafficking and Government Contractor Liability: Is Far 22.17 a Step in the Right Direction?” Public Contract Law Journal 37.4(2008): 907-921. Print.
Brown, S., & Coorlim, L. (2014, June 23). Tackling Thailand's Human Trafficking Problem. Cnn.com. Retrieved November 8, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/20/world/asia/thailand-trafficking-report/
“Fragile States, Vulnerable People: The Human Trafficking Dimension." U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State, 13 Jan. 2015. Web. 17 Jan. 2015. <http://www.state.gov/j/remarks/235934.htm>.
Human Rights Watch | Defending Human Rights Worldwide. (2014). Retrieved November 8, 2014, from http://www.hrw.org/
HumanTrafficking.org | Thailand. (2012). Humantrafficking.org. Retrieved November 7, 2014, from http://www.humantrafficking.org/countries/thailand
Phongpaichit, P. “Trafficking in People in Thailand.” Transnational Organized Crime, 3.4(1997). 74-104.
Snajdr, Edward. “Beneath the Master Narrative: Human Trafficking, Myths of Sexual Slavery, and Ethnographic Realities.” Dialectical Anthropology 37.2(2013): 229-256. Print.
Zimmerman, Yvonne C. “From Bush to Obama: Rethinking Sex and Religion in the United States’ Initiative to Combat Human Trafficking.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 26.1(2010): 79-99. Print.
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