Human Trafficking the Objective of essay

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" (Getu, 2006, p. 145)


The work of Roger Plant entitled: "Economic and Social Dimension of Human Trafficking: Broadening the Perspective" states that the "narrowest perspective, actually quite widely held is that trafficking concerns essentially the sexual exploitation of women and children. Media attitudes tend to promote these perceptions." (2003, p.2) However, according to Plant "a slightly broader focus extends the scope while still - following the Trafficking Protocol of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime - giving primary attention to women and children. They can be exploited for domestic labor, begging and stealing on the streets, and other activities in the largely informal economy." (2003, p.2) Plant states that the broadest perspective view the "large numbers of migrant workers as potential victims of trafficking, particularly the migrants moved by recruiting and transporting agents across national borders. Here, there may be no distinction between men, women and children." (Plant, 2003, p.2) Plant states that the link "between irregular migration and human trafficking is a sensitive one. Some governments, at least until now, have refused to consider the two issues together. Others insist that no meaningful progress can be made against trafficking unless they are dealt with as related issues. Overall, there does appear to be a shift toward seeing trafficking in its broadest sense, at least including the forced labor conditions to which men, women and children, can be exposed in various sectors of the economy." (Plant, 2003, p. 3)

The work of Clawson, Dutch, and Cummings (2006) entitled: "Law Enforcement Response to Human Trafficking and the Implications of Victims: Current Practices and Lessons Learned" states that human trafficking "not only crosses national and international borders, but it also surfaces at the street level. Local law enforcement agencies are often the first to come into contact with covert crime. As first responders, law enforcement agencies play a critical role in identifying and responding to human trafficking cases." (p.1) Human Trafficking is defined in Article 3 of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children as follows:

Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power, or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs (Europol, 2005, p. 10)."

Clawson, Dutch, and Cummings report a study based on survey responses from 121 law enforcement officers as well as seven key stakeholder interviews, nine legal case reviews and three discussion forums involving anti-trafficking task forces. The study reports that several emerging trends were identified specifically in relation to law enforcement in addressing human trafficking crimes, which include an 'increasing awareness within law enforcement of what human trafficking is..." (Clawson, Dutch and Cummings, 2006, p. 44) Trends also included grants available for anti-trafficking task forces throughout the U.S. As well as a greater awareness of the availability of resources and change in law enforcement mindset that these people are victims." (2006, p. 44) it is reported in this study by respondents "that in places where law enforcement had been well trained, victims were being identified and offering greater cooperation, suggesting that law enforcement officers were using interviewing techniques that were culturally sensitive, respectful and non-threatening." (Clawson, Dutch and Cumming, 2006; p. 45) Noted as the greatest challenges by the task force and law enforcement officials were "unique agency policies and procedures that make working together difficult." (Clawson, Dutch and Cummings, 2006, p. 45) Also stated as a challenge is the fact that the issue of human trafficking " is a relatively new issue for communities nationwide, and the law enforcement community itself, and requires consideration education and training." (Clawson, Dutch and Cummings, 2006, p. 46) Limited resources is also noted as a challenge to law enforcement who "indicated that funding for investigations, services, and other essentials did not match the seriousness and magnitude of the problem." (Clawson, Dutch and Cummings, 2006, p. 51) Also stated as findings in this study was the requirement that agencies work "collaboratively was considered critical for adequately addressing the crime of human trafficking and meeting the needs of victims." (Clawson, Dutch, and Cummings, 2006, p. 70)

The International Conference on Measuring Human Trafficking Complexities and Pitfalls (2005) relates an urgent need "for a structured monitoring system of crime in this sector, which assess and quantifies such illegal activity and provides the same set of quantitative and qualitative data for different countries of the world." (International Scientific and Advisory Council of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme, 2005) Collection and analysis of this data is stated to be optimally collected through use of procedures that are standardized in nature and processing according to the same methods to ensure reliability of the data. (International Scientific and Advisory Council of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme, 2005)


Anti-trafficking responses globally consist of what are called the three P's: (1) prevention; (2) prosecution; and (3) protection. All of the measures "deal with both the supply and demand sides of human trafficking." (Getu, 2006, p. 150) in terms of preventive measures the implications are that the "conditions that lead to the vulnerability of the trafficked persons are effectively addressed. The main component in this regard is poverty alleviation through the creation of income, employment and educational and vocational training opportunities." (Getu, 2006, p. 150) in other words economic empowerment "of vulnerable social groups enabling them to be productively engaged nd self-sufficient." (Getu, 2006) Additionally, this will involve the education of not only the individuals who are vulnerable but also communities, government officials and other authorities including policy makers and law enforcement officials "on the ugly nature of the phenomenon of human trafficking at all possible stages in all possible ways." (Getu, 2006, p.150) Furthermore, campaigns which raise awareness and promote diligence with the public is important combined with proper training and equipment for border police and social workers combined with laws relating to trafficking of human beings. Prosecution measures address: (1) signing and committing to the various pieces of global legislation and human rights treaties; (2) having in place anti-trafficking legislation that makes the buying and selling of human beings a criminal offense; (3) Enforcing the law to prosecute traffickers and collaborators as well as persons exploiting trafficked persons; (4) naming and shaming of employers of forced labor and sexual exploiters of victims; (5) Fighting corruption which facilitates and profits from human trafficking; (6) identifying and interdicting trafficking routes through better intelligence gathering and coordination; and (7) Clarifying legal definitions of trafficking and coordinating law enforcement responsibilities. (Getu, 2006, p. 150)


Trafficking in human beings is done for more than sexual exploitation but is also a crime committed which involves forced labor. Human beings are trafficked generally in countries where poverty is an issue. Many times immigrants are victimized by those who take advantage of them in human trafficking and then again by governments and organizations with a focus on immigration. Immigrants are a vulnerable group and easily become victimized because of their poverty, lack of adequate housing, low educational levels as well as discrimination all of which are exacerbated by a lack of legitimate economic opportunity. Included in these complications for immigrants are their lack of language fluency and misperceptions of laws. Combating trafficking in human beings requires open communication between law enforcement officials at every level and across country borders. Failure to properly address these issues results in communicable diseases being transmitted in society as well as the fact that shifting populations result in overtaxing resources of the regions of the world where immigrants gather during their mobility. Just as in the fight against the drug cartels the anti-trafficking campaigns must first target the 'demand' before the 'supply' of human beings can be slowed. Cheap labor is in high demand, and as this study has shown, most particularly in demand is child labor, which comes cheap. Human trafficking also occurs in order to attempt to fill the high existing demand for organs in the health sector. Combating trafficking in human beings requires education, training, legal rulings to support prosecution of traffickers of human beings as well as coordinated and standardized law enforcement as well as a high level of communication between law enforcement officials, governments and other authorities.

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