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Essay on Human Trafficking

The trafficking of human beings is a considerable social problem and it is one that is prevalent right now. Of all the significant human rights violations of modern times, this is a crime that comes under different names e.g. “trafficking in people,” human trafficking,” and “white slavery,” to list but some of the widely-used terms. Furthermore, the problem of human trafficking is happening on a global scale and it affects countless people in virtually all countries of the world, and deprives them of the dignity to which they have a right. As crimes go, trafficking in people is among the most revolting and misleading, making sacrifices of and exploiting men, women and children on a daily basis. While sexual exploitation is the best known type of human trafficking, individuals are also trafficked for enforced labor purposes and as donors for the illegal transplant of body organs.   

The phenomenon of human trafficking is a global one. It largely affects countries suffering the stress that comes after conflict and those undergoing economic change or transition, which are the countries of legal jurisdiction for processing criminal actions against those engaged in such activities. The problem also has a knock-on effect for the more economically developed countries where the people are destined for or while they are in transit. Often it is people living in difficult conditions, looking for opportunities to improve their life in countries that are richer and better developed. However, there is an increasing demand in both the legal and illegal employment sectors of these richer and more developed countries for low-paid or cheap labor.        

People are likened to commodities by those who traffic them, as commodities to be exploited, commodities that bring profit. Most of the convicted people traffickers in Europe are men, although a large number of women get involved in this crime area as well since some gangs believe women are effective at luring victims, especially in terms of building trust in the early stages. Additionally, working as operators or recruiters is a good way for women who would otherwise be trafficked themselves to avoid the trap.   

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In most cases, this vile crime begins with the traffickers offering potential victims lucrative employment prospects abroad. Too often, a victim only realizes that the agreement is false after arriving in the destination country when his or her passport is confiscated. Mental and physical abuse often follows and employers make people return money they claim was spent on tickets, visas and other paperwork. The dependent state of the victim is next escalated to encompass various schemes related to “made-up” debts, where employers such as brothel owners take more of the victim’s money to be spent on acquisitions, illegal accommodation and food. This way, the person finds themselves in a pre-planned bondage of debt, which keeps increasing. Then there are all manner of fines and resale fees as a person is passed from one owner to another. There are many methods traffickers use to control and intimidate their victims. These include violence of the physical variety, threats of harm to family and loved ones, and imprisonment as well as other methods of financial and psychological control. Human traffickers extract a dreadful price from their victims – psychological and physical trauma, lost relationships, illness, disease (such as AIDS), substance addiction and more.   

Human trafficking is a term that has evolved over many centuries and has changed as the eras changed, namely as society developed and moral standards underwent various revisions. The purchase and sale of people is not a phenomenon that is new to mankind. Indeed, the problem’s ethno-national origins are deep and historical. At various stages of mankind’s development, the trafficking of humans has been viewed with quite a liberal attitude. At some later point, humans realized that the continued use of a person in this way was impossible not least because it was discriminatory and degraded human dignity. Hence, there has been a recurring struggle with this scandalous practice that continues today.