Human Trafficking - Persuasive Paper Part 3: Possible Disadvantages, Answers.
Human trafficking essay introduction
Abolishing slave trade was a significant accomplishment in the history of civil war and revolutions. Human trafficking is often referred to as the modern day slavery and it continues to be a real issue in society. The only difference human smuggling has with traditional slavery is its change of face and its manifestation. There are thousands of people who fall into the cruel hands of perpetrators of this grievous crime against humanity. Human trafficking can take place in the local markets and also abroad with the emerging trend of globalization. Human smuggling is bigger that it has ever been. Women, men and even children are being traded off and we need to speak strongly against this vice. Everyone needs to know about it and we have to implement an effective strategy to stop human trafficking and give help to the victims of this vice.
Every country has some form of involvement in human trafficking as a source for human labor, a destination or transit point for victims of this heinous crime against humanity. The United Nations has shown the existence and the current rate at which human smuggling takes place globally. Human trafficking is any form of recruitment, transportation, harboring and receipt of persons by use of threats, coercion, deception or fraud for the sole purpose of exploitation. Exploitation can take the form of sexual, forced labor, prostitution, removal of body organs or servitude. Sex trafficking is the most rampant form in Europe. Exploitation of women and girls has been in the spotlight for some time now. Between 2003 and 2004, over 85% of the victims who were rescued from human traffickers were sexually exploited.
The main objective for human smugglers is to maximize profits from another person’s exploitation of any form. With the huge profits that human traffickers amass annually from this trade, this vice is increasingly growing globally. Victims often don’t have a way out because they desperately need income to take care of themselves or they are too afraid to get out it.
Main solution to human trafficking
For the purpose of this paper, I will focus more on enactment of anti-trafficking legislation in the U.S and internationally as the main solution which would help in combatting human trafficking. Enactment of laws and policies against this vice in Europe and other parts of the world should be encouraged. Harsh sentences for involvement in these crimes will be essential. To follow this; well-trained law enforcers, prosecutors, judicial officers, border police, investigators, anti-trafficking police and detectives should be employed. Special police units should also be formed in all countries to deal with human smuggling at border entry points, airports, seaport, bus stations and train stations. When the sex industry is criminalized, it provides ideal conditions that promote human trafficking. Decriminalizing prostitution may help.
The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws came up with ‘Uniform Act on Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking.’ This act was to help states in America to understand victims of human trafficking and punish criminals found guilty of this trade. Sweden enacted a law in 1999 that criminalized people who attempted to or had purchased sexual service (Haynes, 2014). This law was proposed by a women’s movement in Sweden as a tool that prevented prostitution and human smuggling. If found guilty of purchasing casual sexual service at a fee, offered a fine or a sentence of at most six months was to be given. Those women who were sexually exploited were not punished but rather were to be granted support by the social service and offered programs that facilitated exit from the vice. This law was also adopted by Iceland and Norway. To monitor human trafficking in Sweden, a national rapporteur responsible for human smuggling was appointed in 1998 at the National Police. This office was mandated with giving recommendations to the government, civil society, and law enforcement departments.
Countries like Germany and Netherlands have legalized prostitution. Decriminalizing prostitution has opened up markets for organized crime which has done away with the need for human smuggling. Nevada is the only U.S state that has legalized prostitution. It has county and state laws regulating prostitution. Prostitutes must be registered as independent contractors. They are not entitled to benefits such as retirement, health, and unemployment. They must get monthly HIV tests and weekly health checks. In cities with over 400,000 people like Las Vegas and Reno, brothels are illegal. When a client is diagnosed with HIV, the brothel owner is liable.
Advantages of the proposed solution
These efforts will ensure perpetrators of human trafficking are severely punished; victims of human smuggling are set free; enforcing of justice to victims of trafficking of humans at all levels; and detecting of human trafficking syndicates. This will also ensure that the huge demand for victims of human trafficking is crippled. Victims are usually convinced by perpetrators to distrust government authority especially police (Weitzer, 2014). These efforts by the government will restore the faith of the public in government to abolish human trafficking hence victims will feel protected and supported through this difficult ordeal while the perpetrators are prosecuted. By cutting off demand, human trafficking will stop being viewed as a lucrative business idea hence prevents entry of new ‘entrepreneurs’ into this business. Legalizing prostitution will do away with forced prostitution and child prostitution; and reduce the demand for human trafficking victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. Decriminalizing prostitution will protect workers who are involved in the sex industry against abuse and violence. It has been thought that legalizing prostitution will decrease the prevalence of rape in the country.
Disadvantages of the proposed solution
The major impediment to this solution is that some politicians in Europe have vested interests in this trade. Some government officials are greedy hence they keep accepting bribes from human smuggling establishments to facilitate illegal departures for victims of human trafficking and convincing survivors not to pursue justice in the courts of law. This fuels this vice. Corruption in government and government agencies has contributed to thriving of human smuggling. Corrupt officials will undermine the great work that is done by honest officials hence they need to be weeded out of the system to ensure efficiency. Perpetrators get arrested and are released due to their strong political and government contacts. Some are said to collude with the government by giving bribes so as to be sheltered as they go on with this illegal trade. Closing these loopholes by government and politicians will help a great deal to abolish this trade.
Another disadvantage of this approach is that funds are limited. Recruitment of qualified individuals, training of existing staff and setting up special policing units requires injection of funds. The government should come up with strategies for getting more resources into combatting this vice. Governments should also join hands with nongovernmental organizations so as to come up with more funds to fight human trafficking. The private sector as an interested party can also be involved to inject funds to deal with human trafficking as part of their social corporate responsibility projects.
A great disadvantage is that numerous efforts are put forth by traffickers to frustrate anti-trafficking efforts. Some survivors are threatened against filing charges. Social workers who work closely with these survivors are not spared either. Due to the threat they cause to human trafficking syndicates, social workers are faced with retaliatory court cases and threats. Since traffickers have readily available resources which they can use to intimidate those who curtail their trade, the government needs to step its witness protection programs and provide social workers more support. This will ensure that victims of human smuggling together with their family members are assured of economic support and safety. Witness protection programs also have to be made easy to reach for victims and the process of application of these programs will have to be made less restrictive.
Some scholars view some measures like decriminalizing prostitution as a way to erode the moral fabric of the society. Morally, prostitution is considered evil because of the possibility of the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Decriminalizing of prostitution should be done under strict regulations and guidelines. This can include measures like constant health screening; registration of prostitution earnings under tax and commercial laws; provision of condoms to sex workers by the government; and registration of sex workers’ businesses.
Other possible solutions
It is important to tackle other possible solutions to human smuggling. First, education and creating awareness about this vice to vulnerable groups in society will ensure that they are informed and equipped adequately against abuse and violence. People should be educated on risks of falling prey to human smugglers. They should be taught to authenticate any offers that seem easy from people posing as friends and from strangers as well. The helpline numbers should be made available to the public who can report any form of human smuggling. Non-governmental organizations should be actively involved in offering support systems to victims and educating the general public on how best to protect themselves against this vice. Human rights activists should also be seen to come out to lobby for protection of the fundamental rights of the victims and should be engaged in creating awareness of this crime. Circulation of information will help in reducing the supply of people for human smuggling.
These efforts need funding from both the European governments and the private sector so as to ease the formation of outreach programs. These resources at times lack hence impeding the efforts to adequate education and creating awareness.
Secondly, offering effective exit strategies for victims of human smuggling and creating better economic alternatives for girls, women, refugees, poor people, orphans and drug addicts who are vulnerable will help in the fight against human trafficking. By giving a source of income to these vulnerable people, they will be economically able. Hence, they won’t be so desperate to yield to lies by perpetrators. Small income generating projects can be encouraged by providing small loans and subsidies. This can be done by NGOs and the government to prevent human trafficking to potential victims (Farrell & Fahy, 2009). For victims, creating alternative economic activities will ensure that they support themselves and their families without sliding back to exploitation.
The difficulty or challenge is the lack of funding to implement these exit strategies and better economic alternatives throughout Europe.
Thirdly, using closed border system by states will limit human trafficking. This means putting up checkpoints on all border points so that all vehicles are searched by police officers and border patrol officers. People are also subjected to a bit of questioning as to their destination. This will result in confiscation of illegal goods and hold of people who are hidden or being transported unwillingly. This will assist in curbing human trafficking and also drug trafficking.
Even with the disadvantages associated with possible solutions to human trafficking, something needs to be done by the governments regarding legislation to eliminate this illegal trade. The fundamental human rights of trafficked victims need to be protected at all costs by abolishing this trade.
Farrell, A., & Fahy, S. (2009). The problem of human trafficking in the US: Public frames and policy responses. Journal of Criminal Justice, 37(6), 617-626.
Haynes, D. F. (2014). The celebritization of human trafficking. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 653(1), 25-45.
Weitzer, R. (2014). New directions in research on human trafficking. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 653(1), 6-24.
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