HUMAN TRAFFICKING

People in today’s society probably have no idea what human trafficking even is, and if anyone would try to tell them that it is equivalent to modern day slavery and there are more slaves today than anytime in history, they would deny it saying that slavery ended a long time ago. However, that is not entirely true. Slavery still exists today just not in the same form that is widely known and with a different name called Human Trafficking. The word trafficking means trade in illegal items example drugs, stolen materials, etc. However, in recent times this has taken a different turn and now involves trafficking in persons probably due to its lucrative nature.

A comprehensive definition of human trafficking was given by the United Nations Convention Against transactional Organized Crime signed by 80 countries and the European Union in the year 2000. It defines Human Trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of human beings, by means of threat, or use of force or other forms of coercion or abduction, or benefits to get the consent of a person having control over another person, for a purpose of exploitation, sexual explosion, forced labor and services, slavery and other similar inhuman practices. According to the United Nations, trafficking is now the third largest source of money for organized crimes after arms and drugs. In fact, it is known as money spinner old industry.

Reasons for Human Trafficking:

The major reasons for human trafficking is to provide cheap labor, economic gains and sexual satisfaction. It is in the sense of this broad definition of Human Trafficking that it has come to fall under three constituent elements which are ACTS, MEANS and PURPOSE.

By ACTS(what is done): all who engage in recruitment, transportation, transfer or receipt of persons are human traffickers.

In MEANS(how it is done):the method of ACTS, which include threat, coercion, abduction, deception, and/or monetary inducement also constitutes human trafficking.

PURPOSE(Why it is done): equally talks about the reason for involving in human trafficking. It could be for commercial purpose, economic gain, sexual satisfaction, provision of cheap labor (which portrays human trafficking as a modern day slavery)etc in whatever guise in which the traffickers use in convincing their victims.

The victims of human trafficking are made to believe that they will be sent to schools, secure well paid jobs, run lucrative businesses overseas which will help improve their standard of living. The traffickers smartly convince the victims not knowing that they will be engaged in degrading domestic works or child labor, forced labor, sex trafficking, prostitution, debt bondaged,begging and servile marriage. Victims of trafficking can be of any age and gender.

Types of Human Trafficking:

Forced Child Labor: According to Trafficking Protocol of UN(2000), a child is a person below the age of 18. Therefore, Forced Child Labor is a task which is given to a child which of course is too hectic for him/her. It is also a task which the child is unwilling to want to do. Globally, about one in five victims of human trafficking are children. Children are also exploited for the purpose of forced begging, child pornography. Their smaller hands may also be used in tasks like sewing or untangling fishing wire. Forced Child Labor is practiced in Congo.

•Forced Marriage: Child or Early or Forced Marriage are a violation of Children’s rights. Despite being prohibited by International Law,it continues to rob millions of girls under 18 years around the world of their childhood. Early Marriage is a harmful practice that denies girls their right to make vital decisions about their sexual health and well-being. It forces them out of education and into a life of poor prospects, with an increased risk of violence,abuse, Illness or early death. Victims of this trafficking are people from broken homes, children that have fled away from homes, Northerners in Nigeria.

Forced Sexual Exploitation: According to Trafficking Protocol of UN(2000), 1% of men are victims and 99% of women are victims. For example: 80% of women trafficked to Italy come from Benin City in Edo State in Southern Nigeria and are mostly debt bondaged. Sex trafficking is human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation including sexual slavery, which is considered a modern day slavery. A victim is forced in one of a variety of ways into a situation of dependency on their trafficker(s) and then used by the trafficker(s) to perform sexual services to customers. Sex trafficking crimes can involve acquisition, transportation and exploitation; this includes Child Sex Tourism (CST), Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) or other kinds of commercial sexual exploitation of children and prostitution.

Forced Labor Exploitation: According to Trafficking Protocol of UN(2000), 60% of victims are men and 40% of victims are women. Forced labor is the type of enslavement applies across the world to produce many products in our global supply chains. The fishing, textile, construction, mineral and agriculture industries are particularly laced with forced laborers. The private economy, businesses and individuals seeking to create a profit, exploits 90% of the world’s forced laborers, meaning that the desire to produce a profit is the largest motivating force behind the institution of slavery. An example is when you are kept against your will at your workplace i.e it is time for work to end and they are still keeping you.

Illegal Organ Donation, Trafficking and Trade: It is an offence to remove anybody’s organ either lung, heart or kidney. It is illegal!!! This is practiced in Hokse,Nepal also known as “Kidney Village” because almost all of the people living there have sold their kidneys to organ traffickers.

Signs of Human Trafficking:

Human Trafficking Indicators includes: Living with employer,Poor Living conditions,Multiple people in cramped space,Inability to speak to individual alone, Answers appear to be scripted and rehearsed, Employer is holding identity documents, Signs of Physical Abuse and Appear submissive or scared.

Believe it!! Human Trafficking is everywhere. It’s important to note, though, that human trafficking can include, but does require, movement. You can be a victim of human trafficking in your hometown. At the heart of human trafficking is the traffickers’ goal of exploitation and enslavement. This is not something that occurs only in dark alleys in the far corners of the Earth though. It’s happening around the world everyday. Human trafficking is both a domestic and global crime, with victims trafficked within their own country, to neighboring countries and between continents. Human trafficking is a multifaceted illegal business that knows no borders and spares no race. Victims of human trafficking are hidden from views. You don’t recognize them in the back, kitchens, shops, gas stations and in hospitals. They are also tucked away in fields. “They don’t come out and ask for help. It’s a different kind of slavery than long ago,”says Dr. Lucy Steinitz, Catholic Relief Services Senior Technical Advisor for protection. They are not in shackles or on farms. These victims of human trafficking are coerced into harsh employment under horrible conditions, and they have no freedom to leave. They are beaten, violated and told they are worthless, that no one else wants them anymore”.

A report from the International Labor Organization(ILO) says forced labor generates $150 Billion in illegal profits per year. Two-thirds of that money came from commercial sexual exploitation, while the rest is from forced economic exploitation, including domestic work, agriculture, child labor and related activities. The United States Department estimates there are 24.9 million human trafficking victims worldwide. It is estimated that each year about one million people; mostly women and children are trafficked around the world. As many as 360,000 children in the United States are at risk each year of being sexually exploited. In the United States, it is most prevalent in Texas,Florida, New York and California.

Every continent in the world has been involved in human trafficking. Countries where human trafficking is the highest includes: India(with 14 million victims), China(with 3.2million), Pakistan(2.1million), Thailand, Bangladesh, Nepal, Uganda. The worst Human Trafficking Offenders are:

The majority of human trafficking in Africa takes place in Libya. Migrants attempting to reach Europe through Libya in order to escape the turmoil in their home country are especially vulnerable. Human Trafficking of Nigerian women to Italy began to occur in the 1980s because of the demand for low-skilled labor in agriculture and services. Nigeria has a history of having financial issues causing significant unemployment and poverty.

The seriousness of this act is because of its infringement on the fundamental human rights of individuals. Human trafficking is one of the contemporary social menace and problems in our society today.

Causes of Human Trafficking

A lot of factors both internationally and locally are responsible for human trafficking. Some of these causes include:

Abject Poverty: This is when a person did not eat yesterday, may not eat today and does not have hope of eating tomorrow. Therefore, when there is abject poverty in the land and in a bid to survive the people are ready to do anything, both as an agent and as victims of trafficking. Poverty is the greatest cankerworm that erodes the social fabrics of our society today.

Greed: Greed is the excessive desire to acquire money,material things, power and other possessions for the sake of acquiring them and more, to the detriments of others. Most people who fall victims to this social problem are those who have strong desire to amass wealth at all cost. The human greed for money and wealth has not in any way helped matters in the issue of human trafficking as it has continued to lure traffickers into this illegal but lucrative business, despite efforts by individuals, organizations and government to put a stop to this evil against humanity.

Low Self-Esteem: This is a situation where one has little or no confidence in one’s own worth. This often leaves one with the feelings of inferiority such that one would be ready to do any kind of job. A person facing inferiority complex would be easily persuaded into human trafficking.

Corruption: A country where the entire system is corrupt will find most of her citizens being involved in human trafficking business. That corruption is the key/main cause of human trafficking cannot be over emphasised because all the parties involved- the trafficker, the trafficked and all the business are corrupt.

Youth Unemployment: This is one of the main causes of human because many of the unemployed youth and adults are desperately looking for jobs and greener pasture in foreign land/countries. As they go for these non-existing jobs outside the country they easily fall victims of human trafficking.

Political,Social and Economic instability: When a country is politically,socially and economically unstable, it is a pure sign of poverty, unemployment, low standard of living, underdevelopment, all these will breed human trafficking. This is so, because the people will naturally seek to move out of the country for greener pasture and they may need assistance which the traffickers will readily offer in disguise.

Lack of access to education and information: Most victims of human trafficking are illiterates, unenlightened, ignorant and uninformed. This is why it is often said that you are empowered when you acquire education and information. Ignorance has landed a lot of people into being used as objects of trafficking.

Other causes of human traficking include: Gender/Racial Discrimination, Armed Conflict or War, Rise in Demand for Cheap Labor in Foreign Countries, Sophisticated Materials, Ineffective Anti-trafficking Legislation and Rise in Demand for Sex Workers.

How do traffickers get their victims? Human Traffickers target vulnerable individuals by preying on their personal situations. Humans Traffickers target and recruit their victims by appearing to offer help, or pretending to be a friend or potential romantic partner. They leverage their victims vulnerability and coerce them to meet in person.

An example of human trafficking takes place when a girl or some girls are persuaded to leave their home countries for another country with fake promises of helping them find quick job or domestic services, child adult care or as a waitress in a restaurant or as a dancer with the hope of a better life abroad. But on arrival, their passports, visas and return tickets are taken and seized from them. Sometimes the victims are moved from one house or city to another by the traffickers in order to confuse them so that they can hardly understand the true situation or their predicament. And this totally subdues them mentally, financially and physically to the whims and caprices of the person that brought them, that is the traffickers. The victims are meant to work longer hours but are paid less and the balance is given to the traffickers in charge. Some of the victims are forced into prostitution in order to feed themselves and pay the traffickers. Sometimes, some victims are forced into marriage against their will and are later sold off by their fake husbands. Some are also forced into begging and after the day’s begging certain amount is given to the trafficker or organizer. In order to ensure that their victims comply with their orders and instructions, the traffickers use means such as threat, physical violence, intimidation, harassment, starvation, oath taking, etc on their victims, who have no choice but to comply.

Effects and Consequences of human trafficking.

Human Trafficking has severe and wide range of consequences on its victims and the society at large. The effects could be physical, economical, social and psychological and even combination of one or two of them. Some of these consequences are:

Physical and Sexual Abuse: Most victims of human trafficking are sexually exploited, in that the people who have sex with them, pay them little or nothing and the bulk is paid to their boss or the traffickers. In some cases, they are raped, physically assaulted and made to engage in all sorts of inhuman activities.

Health Risk: Most times, trafficked persons are exposed to all sorts of illness and diseases as some of them contract and spread deadly sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS,etc. Human Trafficking results in organ harvesting. Organ harvesting refers to the scale or forceful removal of vital organs like heart, kidney, etc from the body of trafficked persons and this is very dangerous to one’s health. Such victims are prone to several health hazards.

Death: The risky and illegal nature of the business of human trafficking exposes both the traffickers and the trafficked to death. The victims often die of communicable and sexually transmitted diseases. Some die after a long period of inhuman treatment, some of them die as a result of trauma, some also die in detention in their trafficked country where they are seen as illegal migrants.

Loss of manpower by the countries of the victims: Most victims of human trafficking fall within workforce/working age force, and the country of origin of the trafficked suffer a huge loss of manpower or human resources.

Stigmatization:Victims of human trafficking often suffer from shame and guilt which seems to be following them about and which also affects their actions later on in the society. The victims of human trafficking are treated in such a way that they are stigmatised.

Other consequences of human trafficking include: Unwanted Pregnancy, Psychological trauma, Forced Abortion, Mental Problems, Alcohol and Drug Addiction, Prosecution/Deportation, Imprisonment and Confiscation of property, Problem of Reintegration and it tarnishes the image of the country.

Efforts of government in stopping trafficking in persons.

The menace of human trafficking is receiving global attention such that government of countries are poised to stop it. In Nigeria the efforts of government to stop this include:

•Enactment and Enforcement of laws that prohibit human trafficking like The Trafficking in Persons(Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act of 2003.

•Establishment of victims of Trafficking Trust Fund.

•Establishment of Government Agencies on human trafficking example National Agencies for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons(NAPTIP). NAPTIP is the only government agency that fights human trafficking.

•Introduction of e-passport.

•Government has provided specialized training for officials.

Non-Governmental Agencies that helps fight against Human Trafficking includes: Women Trafficking and Child Labor Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF),Women’s Consortum of Nigeria(WOCON),International Federation of Women Lawyers,Amnesty International, AntiSlavery International,Human Rights Watch,Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking(CAST),Alliance for Anti-Traffic(AAT),Polaris Project,Solid Project,Arizona League to End Regional Trafficking(ALERT), Made by Survivors,United Nations International Children Emmergency Funds(UNICEF),etc

Some of the International Countries and treaties on Human Trafficking are:

•Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948.

•The International Convention on Civil and Political Rights.

•The Convention on the Rights of the Child.

•International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 1 and 2 on the worst forms of child labor.

How to stop human trafficking

The three P’s, plus a little more. The United States government is at the forefront of efforts to address human trafficking. Its policy surrounds the three P’s: prevent trafficking, protect victims and prosecute traffickers. The number of convictions for human trafficking is increasing, but unfortunately not proportionately to the growing awareness and extent of the problem. There are several reasons for that. There is an absence of anti-trafficking legislation in some countries. Sometimes the legislation exist, but law enforcement officials and prosecutors may not know how to use it. In some instances, victims may not cooperate with the criminal justice system because they have been threatened by trafficker.

There are three ways you can help stop human trafficking:

1.Purchasing a Gift for Trafficking Survivors. After escape or rescue, trafficking survivors remain at great risk until they can re-establish their lives. Volunteering time and effort to an anti-trafficking organization is a great way to contribute to the fight against human trafficking. Holding a fundraiser and donating the money raised to one of the countless organizations that help to fight human trafficking not only gives money to the cause but also brings awareness to the issue.

2. Prevent Human Trafficking:The best response to human trafficking is to prevent people from being trafficked in the first place. This can be possible through:

Effective Implementation of the Laws on Human Trafficking: All over the world, people are on the move. Many have been forced to become migrants because of conflict, a changing climate and economic instability. Some of these migrants are vulnerable to human trafficking. “Trafficking in people in conflict situations is not a mere possibility but something that happens on a regular basis.This means anti-trafficking measures must be integrated into all humanitarian action and all policies regrading people Fleeing conflict”. The Trafficking in Persons Law Enforcement and Administration Act in Nigeria,as amended in 2015, criminalized labor and sex trafficking and prescribed minimum penalty of five years imprisonment and one million naira for both sex and labor trafficking;the minimum penalty for sex trafficking increased to seven years.

Advocate: Meeting with or reaching out to local,state and federal representatives informs them that their consistuents are passionate about fighting human trafficking and brings the issue to their attention. This increases the likelihood that they will do something about it.

Public Enlightenment: One of the effective ways of fighting against human trafficking is through the establishment or awareness campaign programmes. Seminars, Mass talk workshops, conferences enlightening the people on the evils,dangers and consequences of human trafficking.

Education: Most people/victims of this human trafficking are illiterates, drop outs, and miscreants in the society who do not have good foundation in education. Education can play a vital role in the prevention and fight against trafficking in person. Where a child is well educated, he is equipped with knowledge,skills,values, attitudes and information that will guide him in his choices and in solving his future problems.

3.Take Action: If you witness suspected human trafficking or other forms of exploitation, speak up. Be aware of the signs of human trafficking.

Monitor and Report: If you’re in Nigeria and believe someone may be a victim of human trafficking or is about to be smuggled, call the NAPTIP Hotline at 0703-000-0203 or report via NAPTIP App or contact Network of CSOs Against Trafficking and Labor (NACTAL) on www nactal.org.

Other preventive measures includes: Availability of Job Opportunity, Family Empowerment and Global Connection and Cooperation.

It’s time we pray about all these. Prayer goes a long way 🙏🏾. How will prayer solve this? I’m here to tell you that prayer solves everything…Every single thing!! We should all try and pray to God about this.

There is a great progress being made on a grander scale but by working towards these solutions and implementing them into everyday life, human trafficking can become a more manageable problem.

Human Trafficking is a crime against humanity, but as a human you can be the light.

I know together we can END HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

Sources: Wikipedia; MEYBIKS BASIC CIVIC EDUCATION FOR SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL 3; Topfaith International Secondary School Civic Education note for SS2; Rebekah Kates Lemke;Charlotte Kriftcher;CARNRGIE COUNCIL For Ethics in International Affairs.

12 thoughts on “HUMAN TRAFFICKING

  1. This is an amazing write-up with actual facts about Human trafficking in the world. It has an educative content for any age afterall, human trafficking is all-round. And it must stop. Beautiful 😘❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, after going through this blog post I have become more enlightened on human trafficking.

    There are so many things we don’t know and the fact that it’s all happening right under our noses is completely insane!

    This is so sad and depressing. And the fact that it can almost not be stopped is so heartbreaking💔. All the victims 💔.

    But no how no how, with our collective effort, human trafficking will be reduced to the bare minimum.

    Like

  3. This is a really nice write up.it’s really educative.have Learnt a lot that I didn’t know about human trafficking.i know human trafficking may not be stopped totally but helping fight it N educating people more also goes a long way To help reduce it. thanks for this great job👍👏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

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