Human Trafficking: Modern day slavery By: Celena Webb


Human Trafficking is the recruitment or receipt of human being by means of the use of force, abuse of power, or deception to achieve or have control over somebody for the purpose of exploitation. It is generally divided into several categories: forced sexual exploitation, forced labor, and domestic servitude.

It is a problem because it is a growing pandemic that can affect any person in the world regardless of age, gender, race, or religion. It is an escalating global violation of basic human rights.

The Elements of Human Trafficking

Trafficking Personnel network usually has the following types of personnel:

  • Recruiter: a person who finds vulnerable victims, usually from his or her own town or village
  • Travel agent: a person to facilitate travel for victims to other countries
  • Document thief/forger: a person whose specialty is to steal or create false documentation
  • Employer: a person who initially purchases and then sells humans to customers
  • Enforcer: a person who protects the employer from police and who keeps victims from escaping

Research Question:

How Did Human Trafficking Become a Billion-Dollar Industry?


“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.


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.

Research Plans

In my research, I plan to try and find information about the origins of human trafficking. By finding out how it began, I hope find out what factors came into play that turned it into such a major entity all around the world. Through looking at older research, studying books, and reading articles, I hope to find an answer to my question. To find information, I can go to official government websites to see what other countries are doing to address the problem. I can find articles and books that talk about the origin of the human trafficking and when it first began to boom in the world. I can go online and find videos or documentaries featuring interviews and stories from victims of human trafficking. I can look up read about anti-trafficking organizations.

Key Challenges

I think that I will find a lot of information on human trafficking, but none of it will relate to my research topic. I think that one problem I may have while doing my research is trying to sort through all the information and deciphering what actually relates to the question that I am asking. In regards to human trafficking, there is a lot of information out there, but because there are so many aspects of it, it can be very easy to get lost in all the things that are being thrown in your face. Since the practice is illegal, scholars have a difficult time collecting data from victims of trafficking, much less being able to create theoretical models to explain the definition, causes, and potential solutions to combat the practice.I can address these difficulties by narrowing down the things I search for.


Potter, Tylee, "Sex Trafficking: Explanations and Suggested Solutions" (2008). All Theses. 521.<>

Healey, Justin. Human Trafficking And Slavery. Spinney Press, 2012. eBook Academic Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 22 Feb. 2017.

Coen, Myrianne. Human Trafficking, Smuggling And Illegal Immigration : International Management By Criminal Organizations. Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2011. eBook Academic Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 22 Feb. 2017.

Stillman, Sarah. “ The Invisible Army.” The New Yorker. 05 October 2016. Web. Feb 2017 <>

Thrupkaew, Noy “Human Trafficking is all around. This is How it Works.” Youtube, uploaded by Ted Talks, 13 June 2015, <>

"What is Human Trafficking?" United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <>.

Created By
Celena Webb Webb


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