“We let ourselves think that human trafficking is only about forced prostitution, when in reality, human trafficking is embedded in our everyday lives." - Noy Thrupkaew
Forced prostitution accounts for 22 percent of human trafficking. Ten percent is imposed forced labor, but 68 percent is for the purpose of creating the goods and delivering the services that most of us rely on every day, in sectors like agricultural work, domestic work and construction. It's found in cotton fields, Coltan mines in the Congo, and car washes in Norway and England. It's even found in U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.
MAJOR CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO TRAFFICKING
Human trafficking is based on the simple economic principles of supply and demand. Global poverty is one of the major contributors to human trafficking because it creates a vulnerable supply of victims. On the other hand, the economic prosperity experienced by some countries over the last few decades has created vast wealth and exorbitant incomes for some individuals, with enough earnings to demand a market in the sale of humans.
Another reason for its prevalence is the possibly due to the belief that there is a relatively low risk of being apprehended and punished. out of an estimated 21 million victims of human trafficking in the world, they have helped and identified fewer than 50,000 people. Proportionally speaking, that's like comparing the population of the world to the population of Los Angeles. As for convictions, out of an estimated 5,700 convictions in 2013, fewer than 500 were for labor trafficking. Keep in mind that labor trafficking accounts for 68 percent of all trafficking, but fewer than 10 percent of the convictions.
In study after study, in countries ranging from Bangladesh to the United States, between 20 and 60 percent of the people in the sex trafficking trade who were surveyed said that they had been raped or assaulted by the police in the past year alone.
There is no requisite age to become a trafficker. Because of the large profits to be made, individuals as young as 15 years of age may be engaged in the sale of humans. In Latin and South America, for instance, it is not unusual for teens to set up an illegal business in the sale of other teens as well as children as young as 8 years of age.
In April 2006, UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) published the report Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns identifying 127 countries of origin, 98 transit countries and 137 destination countries. The sensitive nature of the issue and the lack of systematic action on trafficking worldwide make information collection a challenge, reflecting the unwillingness of some countries to acknowledge that the problem affected them. The absence of reliable global data, in turn, makes it more difficult for governments and international organizations to fight trafficking effectively.
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Stillman, Sarah. “ The Invisible Army.” The New Yorker. 05 October 2016. Web. Feb 2017 <http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/06/06/the-invisible-army>
Thrupkaew, Noy “Human Trafficking is all around. This is How it Works.” Youtube, uploaded by Ted Talks, 13 June 2015, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIGBBPspTKM>
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