Issues in Social Justice
Chapter Three: Human Trafficking
”Profitable trade”, “bondage for profit”, and “human trafficking” are a few ways the authors begin to describe the next issue. They end the introduction with a realization of what these terms really mean, “modern slavery” (pg 53). There are four major aspects in exploring human trafficking: first, defining the problem, learning how these crimes are committed/who is committing them, focussing on how victims are affected, and addressing the problem. When it comes to defining the problem, it becomes clear that there are many types of human trafficking that do not come to mind at first. The authors explain that the first kind is called industrial forced labour – people who are sold for labour, in particular manufacturing and hard physical labour – which can result in injury, death, and more. There is also mining forced labour, which is basically the same, except for the fact that workers are exposed to toxic chemicals and many children are employed as well as men. Next is forced domestic labour. This type of human trafficking means that humans, normally women, are purchased to do labour in private homes. In this case, the risks with this type are that when the women reach a certain age they are either resold, or put to death. The next two are the most known types, prostitution, and child sex slavery. In reality, there could be more types of human trafficking that are not even talked about. A shocking fact, is that “it is estimated that there are currently anywhere from 12.3 to 27 million people either living in slavery, or who were trafficked, living around the world at any given time” (pg 58). This statistic was from 2008. It is frightening to imagine it now, as it may not necessarily be any better than it was three years ago. Another important question, is how these crimes are being committed. It is stated that traffickers use a scheme called the “bait and switch”, where people are promised a better quality of life yet are then victimized and transferred. On the other side, there is no particular type of people who committ these crimes, as it is a global operation. The individuals, or criminals, feel as though it is the most “lucrative form of criminal activity” (pg 63). In regards to the outcomes of trafficking, there is no good. Victims are often beaten, abused, health issues, lack of physical development, and the list goes on, sadly. One key response, is that of the United Nations, named the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. Through this, the world is informed and given both educational tools and resources which they can use to fight this sickening war against human trafficking. The United States has also responded with the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, which created “sweeping changes in American policy and attitudes”. Although the creation of these organizations has made slight differences, there is a lot that needs to be done. A whole lot. Just as in chapters one and two, the world can do much better than this.