Human Trafficking

The heartrending stories told by survivors of human trafficking depict a world that is brutal, cold and devoid of any humanity. Human trafficking, a crime that became common in the 21st Century exposes the victims to serious violations of various human rights. The increase in the rate of human trafficking is felt in almost every country in the world. It is safe, therefore, to say that human trafficking is not a problem faced only by war-torn and failed states, it is a problem in almost every country in the world. Various legislative measures both domestic and international have been put in place in a bid to curb this heinous crime but none have been entirely successful.

Human trafficking is fueled by the forces of demand. The increase in the cases of human trafficking, therefore, means that, despite the cruelty of this act, there is an enormous demand for trafficked human beings. Various reasons give rise to the need for human trafficking. First, is the demand for cheap labor. Victims of human trafficking lack any bargaining power. They are often forced to work in poor and dangerous conditions and are exposed to equally poor living conditions. Without the hope for help and without the means to save themselves from their situations, these people are forced to live in the conditions that they find themselves in. Most victims in this category, therefore, work in labor-intensive industries for little or not pay.

The second reason is the demand for commercial sex workers. The traditional victims for this category of human trafficking victims were women and girls. Currently, however, there has been an increase in the number of boys who fall victims to human trafficking for purposes of commercial sex work. Despite the gender, victims of human trafficking in this category face torture and sexual assault among other human rights violations. They live in poor environments and are often locked up when they are not being assaulted.

Thirdly, human trafficking is done for organ donation. In this instance, persons are kidnapped and moved from one country to another from where their organs are removed without their consent. These people are never given the medical attention that they need after the organ donation and are left stranded in foreign countries.

Human trafficking is an international crime that does not just involve one country. Most countries act as the source from where the victims of human trafficking are lured or kidnapped. Other countries act as transit rules. Countries in this category act as conduits for the traffickers while they travel from one country to the other. The final category of countries is the destination country. These are the countries where the demand is extremely great.

It has been proven that human trafficking is largely gendered. Most people who find themselves victims of human traffickers are women and children. They are targeted due to weaknesses and vulnerabilities imposed on them not as a result of their own physical makeup but as a result of societal inequalities. Persons who fall prey to human trafficking are often from poor economic

backgrounds. These people are vulnerable to promises of jobs and a better life in foreign countries.

While much has been done in an attempt to stop human trafficking, this crime has particularly proven difficult to stop. As has been stated, human trafficking is an international crime. The people involved are well connected in the countries in which they operate and know exactly how to evade law enforcement. The fact that those who escape from the traffickers are often tracked down and killed makes it harder for law enforcement to unveil the human trafficking rings. Those who successfully escape live a life of fear and prefer to stay hidden.

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