Human Trafficking National Security Implications the Objective Research Paper

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Human Trafficking National Security Implications

The objective of this study is to conduct an analysis of how policy on human trafficking emerged relating to U.S. national security policy-making processes and politics. Included in this study will be information on America's cultural and political predispositions, organizational culture, bureaucratic politics and decision-making, civil-military relations, the dynamics between Congress, the public and the executive branch, as well as the interaction or influence of international organizations and actors.

It is reported in the Widener Law Review in the work of Rizer and Glaser (nd) that President Bush signed National Security Directive 22 "which specifically linked human trafficking to terrorism and public health. In addition, Congress weighed in on the issue with the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which established the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center to study the related issues of human trafficking, alien smuggling, and criminal support of underground terrorist travel. Furthermore, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 developed an interagency task force with a mandate to study the "interrelationship between trafficking in persons and terrorism." (p.70) In addition, it is reported that President Obama has additionally "taken a hard stance against trafficking, stating at one point during his campaign that combating trafficking will be a top priority in his administration." (Rizer and Glaser, nd, p.70)


One of the most rapidly growing criminal activities worldwide is that of human trafficking. This crime is reported to be "similar to human smuggling, but there are distinct differences between these two crimes." (Rizer and Glaser, nd, p.71) Human smuggling is reported to be defined 'as the facilitation, transportation, attempted transportation or illegal entry of a person across an international border, in violation of one or more countries laws, either clandestinely or through deception such as the use of fraudulent documents." (Rizer and Glaser, nd, p.71)

Human trafficking is defined as being such that "targets the trafficked person as an object of criminal exploitation." (Rizer and Glaser, nd, p.71) In order to constitute trafficking the act "…must contain an element of coercion, fraud or force, unless the victim is under eighteen and is involved in commercial sex acts." (Rizer and Glaser, nd, p.71) Human trafficking is reported to result in "between seven and ten billion dollars a year, falling only weapon and drug trafficking." (Rizer and Glaser, nd, p.71) The estimates for 2000 relate that 700,000 individuals were trafficked annually which included approximately 560,000 women and children into the U.S. (Rizer and Glaser, nd, paraphrased)

Rizer and Glaser (nd) report, "In 2000, the Congress responded to the pressure, and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) was enacted into law. The purpose of the TVPA is to find and protect those who have fallen victim to trafficking, and punish those who engage in the crime. In order to keep the law current, Congress updated and reauthorized the TVPA in 2003 and again in 2005." (p.71) In 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice is stated to have released a report analyzing the failure and success in regards to human trafficking. The report states, "while the United States has accomplished much in combating trafficking, there are areas for improvement." (Rizer and Glasser, nd, p.73) In May 2008, the Department of Justice released a report that focused on the efforts of the government to combat trafficking in humans during 2007 and stated eight recommendations on how efforts in combating human trafficking could be improved upon.

I. Formation of Policy in the U.S. On Human Trafficking

The first step in understanding the policy formation on human trafficking in the United States is to understand what 'national security' means. According to Judge James E. Baker, United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, defining national security "is more than an academic exercise. Terminology matters. It matters to policy, to process, to the law, and to the application of legal values to all three. Core definitions of national security inform how policymakers and lawyers interpret the application of specific statutory definitions tied to national security." (Rizer and Glaser, nd, p.74)

Joseph Romm states that national security relates to the following types of events: (1) those that threaten critically and over a relatively brief period resulting in degradation of the lives of an inhabitant of a state; and (2) those that significantly threaten to narrow the range of policy choices available to the state government. (Rizer and Glaser, nd, p.75) Human trafficking is reported to be such that indicates a "decaying society, and decaying societies [are noted to] give birth to corrupt governments." (Rizer and Glaser, nd, p.75) The worst violators of human trafficking are stated to include those of Cuba, Iran, and North Korea. (Rizer and Glaser, nd, paraphrased)

Sex trafficking is reported to play a central role in the spread of AIDS and other STDs. It was reported in 2005 by the United Nations Joint Program on HIV / AIDS that across "Asia, the epidemics are propelled by combinations of injecting drug use and commercial sex." (Rizer and Glaser, nd, p.91) It is reported that more than one-half of children who are rescued from brothels in Southeast Asia are infected with HIV. IN a Harvard University School of Public Health study findings shows that "38% of women who were trafficked from Nepal to India were infected with HIV." (Rizer and Glaser, nd, p.91)

Stopping trafficking according to Rizer and Glaser requires an understanding about where human trafficking "comes from. Responders must understand the reason people become victims, which usually occurs because of a combination of extreme poverty and the unstable country's inability to protect its citizens." (nd, p.92) Since the events of September 11, 2011, human trafficking, like every other issue has been viewed from the perspective of national security and "many crime that were considered only harmful to the target group of people are now being seen as crimes that impact entire nations…" (Rizer and Glaser, nd, p.94)

According to the 2012 Trafficking in Persons report published by the U.S. Department of Justice, severe forms of trafficking in persons are defined as follows:

(1) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or (2) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. (2012, p.8)

Additionally stated in the 2012 Trafficking in Persons report is: "Human trafficking appears in many guises. It might take the form of compelled commercial sexual exploitation, the prostitution of minors, debt bondage, or forced labor. The United States government, and increasingly, the international community, view "trafficking in persons" as the term through which all forms of modern slavery are criminalized." (U.S. Department of Justice, 2012, p.9)

The U.S. Department of Justice report states that government response "must necessarily be rooted in that country's anti-trafficking law." (p.13) An effective anti-trafficking statue is reported to make provision of a "clear definition of who constitutes a trafficking victim and sets forth the legal status and recourse to which victims are entitled." (U.S. Department of Justice, 2012, p.13) It is reported to be unfortunate that many times the victims of trafficking are arrested, incarcerated or deported and that these actions "undermine the goals of a victim-centered response and constrain law enforcement efforts to bring traffickers to justice." (U.S. Department of Justice, 2012, p.14)

Many times victims of human trafficking fail to understand that what they have experienced is a criminal act therefore it is "essential that governments give trafficking victims a reasonable length of time to recover from the immediate trauma; individuals cannot be expected to self-identify or decide to cooperate with law enforcement in only a few short days, especially because they will typically be in crisis for some time after their release." (U.S. Department of Justice, 2012, p.17) It is related that the '3P' is an approach "to combating human trafficking [that] promotes collaboration among stakeholders across government, private-sector and civil society." (U.S. Department of Justice, 2012, p.18) in the work entitled "Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress"

Human Trafficking Policy Matter

The work of Siskin and Wyler (2010) reports in the work entitled "Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress" that there is a "broad consensus…shared by Congress and the policy community on the need for decisive action to curb human trafficking. However, there are some fundamental questions related to how broadly human trafficking should be defined." (p.36) Policy questions include the question of where sanctions are a useful tool. State specifically is "Some argue that sanctions will probably only be applied to countries already subject to other sanctions -- such as Burma, Cuba, or North Korea -- and that threatening other countries with sanctions may actually encourage them to become less open to working with the United States. Others argue that while that may…[continue]

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