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Human Trafficking and Exploitation in Modern Society Essay

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Updated: Jun 14th, 2021

Human Trafficking as a Modern Global Challenge

It might seem that the problem of slavery long lost its relevance in the distant past. Nevertheless, new forms of slavery have found their place in a modern liberal society, giving rise to new types of human rights violations around the world. The issue of human trafficking, which embodies various forms of exploitation on an extreme scale, reflects this situation, revealing a number of problems of modern humanity and violating the rights of over 40 million people (Zimmerman and Kiss e1002437).

On this basis, trafficking in persons has many characteristics, which make this phenomenon a new type of slave trade that threatens people from different perspectives. Therefore, human trafficking is contrary to the basic provisions of human rights and freedoms, threatening the well-being of the world population, and it requires the adoption of active measures to protect people from this phenomenon.

Definition of Trafficking in Persons

It is necessary to determine the essence of human trafficking to understand the magnitude of the problem of slavery in the modern world. Thereupon, according to the UN definition, human trafficking implies a series of actions, including “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons” through multiple forms of intimidation, threats, fraud, and so on (Zimmerman and Kiss e1002437).

In essence, this implies an act of buying or selling human resources as a commodity with different goals. These illegal actions might aim at achieving a series of goals, such as the exploitation of labor, forced marriage, involvement in prostitution and sex industry, as well as illegal adoption, organ trafficking, and others (Busch-Armendariz et al. 13, 20). Hence, given the diversity of areas that deal with the unlawful use of human resources, it becomes clear that human trafficking is a significant threat to just living conditions.

Causes of Human Trade

It is difficult to understand why various forms of slavery flourish in the modern world. However, considering the causes of this phenomenon sheds light on its relevance. Hence, it is important to note that in the context of globalization, simplification of border crossing procedures, and increased migration flows, people trafficking becomes increasingly transnational at its core (Busch-Armendariz et al. 101). In this regard, human trafficking flourishes in modern conditions of ease of movement around the world, using new opportunities for criminal purposes.

One should note that human trafficking as criminal activity implies a violation of numerous laws, which makes human trade a large-scale and dangerous issue for society. It is known that the slave trade is closely related to violence, forgery of documents, illegal migration, and corruption. Trafficking is also carried out for labor and sexual exploitation, marriages, trafficking in human organs and tissues, and other severe violations of the law (Busch-Armendariz et al. 29, 94).

One should understand that a specific group of people is most strongly exposed to the threat of violation of rights and freedoms through the involvement in trafficking in persons. The gap in economic development, poverty, and the attractiveness of the alleged high standard of living in other places are among the factors of the influx of victims into the system of people trafficking (Busch-Armendariz et al. 20). Hence, the desire for better living conditions, lack of employment opportunities, political instability, and other circumstances make people easy victims.

Forms of Abuse and Most Vulnerable Groups

In conditions when human trafficking occurs everywhere and in various fields, the most vulnerable category of people becomes a mass victim of slavery. In this regard, it is possible to distinguish between girls and women, as well as children, who are easy prey for the sexual sphere, illegal marriages, exploitation in housework, and so on (Zimmerman and Kiss e1002437). This fact allows concluding that the weakest and most ignorant people are of the most significant interest to criminals associated with human trafficking. Nevertheless, today, everyone can become a victim of trafficking since it covers more and more areas where a person can participate.

Therefore, men can also become victims of dangerous and low-paid labor, including work on plantations, the sphere of mining, industrial fishing, and so on (Zimmerman and Kiss e1002437). The international nature of trade and the diversity of industries and areas where illegal workers are involved make this a global problem and underline the plight of the victims, regardless of gender and age.

Moreover, many people are not protected from falling into trafficking due to social circumstances and modern technological opportunities. Hence, ethnic minorities and people from developing regions, who lack support and face a language barrier, can fall into the trap of uncoordinated work in the most dangerous sectors (Zimmerman and Kiss e1002437). In addition, technological development and new opportunities exacerbate the problem, giving rise to new forms and methods of trafficking.

The proliferation of information technologies and the rapid growth of modern telecommunications and the Internet are associated with their unlawful use for the commission of crimes, including trafficking in persons. The possibilities of such use increase rapidly, including Internet pornography and an easy way of contacting potential victims or customers (Busch-Armendariz et al. 20, 185). Therefore, the export of people across the border through fraudulent or violent means, sexual and psychological violence, deception, involvement in life-threatening activities, and slavery are realities that people face today.


Thus, human trafficking is a global and evolving phenomenon that is closely related to globalization processes, poverty, technological progress, economic and political changes, and other manifestations of the modern world. The fact that slavery and the violation of human rights flourish in modern conditions causes great concern for the safe future of humanity. Therefore, human trafficking requires close attention and a large-scale struggle to ensure the safety and prosperity of the world population.

Works Cited

Busch-Armendariz, Noel, et al. Human Trafficking: Applying Research, Theory, and Case Studies. SAGE Publications, 2018.

Zimmerman, Cathy, and Ligia Kiss. “PLOS Medicine, vol.14, no.1, 2017, e1002437. Web.

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