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Human trafficking is not a new problem. It has been a burden on society for centuries. In fact, in the course of history, it has transformed from slavery to forced labor, prostitution, and pornography as the major forms. At present, women and children are the most vulnerable categories of human trafficking. The problem can probably be reduced through the implementation of appropriate legislation. However, such laws are not equally enforced by governments throughout the world. This essay focuses on the issue of enforcement of laws concerning human trafficking, the influence of country prosperity on the approaches to solving this problem, the vulnerable categories at high risk of becoming victims, and the analysis of opportunities to control human trafficking globally.
The Enforcement of Human Tracking Laws Worldwide
Human trafficking is considered an offense to human rights and thus is in the focus of the United Nations Organization (Burch, 2014). Despite the fact that human trafficking is a global issue, not all countries give equal attention to this problem. This fact leads to a discrepancy in the rates of human trafficking worldwide and the spread of the problem. Thus, the developed countries give more attention to the issue of human rights and, as a result, to human trafficking prevention.
For example, European laws on human rights demand the prevention of human trafficking. Moreover, much attention is given to outlawing human trafficking. There is a Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings ratified in the majority of western European countries (Turner, 2015). Such an approach results in full compliance with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) enforced in the USA, Canada, Australia, and Western Europe (Galastidas, Anderson, & Kelly, 2014).
Also, some South American, African, and Asian countries, although do not comply with the standards introduced by TVPA, make efforts to achieve compliance. However, the rest of the world does not do much to eliminate the problem of human trafficking. For example, the greatest part of Africa, Asia, and even some countries in eastern Europe demonstrate the significant rates of human trafficking victims every year without any proof of efforts to influence the problem or do not comply with any TVPA standards at all (Galastidas et al., 2014). This fact can be probably explained by the weak consciousness of the society and little interest of governments in the elimination of the problem.
Human Trafficking in Poor Countries
Globally, low-income countries are more likely to have high rates of human trafficking than the developed ones. Corruption is one of the causes of poor nations’ susceptibility to human trafficking. For example, such countries as Thailand, Ghana, Uganda, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Haiti, Brazil, and Bangladesh have the highest rates of human trafficking in the world (Durankiev, 2015). In fact, it is considered to be “one of the most lucrative forms of organized crime” (“Human trafficking and corruption,” 2017).
It is evident that organized human trafficking would not be possible without corruption. It is a result of an alliance of criminals and corrupt officials (“Human trafficking and corruption,” 2017). The widespread problem and difficulty in eliminating it can be explained by the support of the corrupt officials who help to conceal the crime. Another aspect contributing to the problem of human trafficking in poor countries is low income.
According to Wright (2015), “poverty is a compelling factor in the human trafficking industry” (para. 2). Although human trafficking is a global burden, it is more common in low-income countries in Asia, Western Africa, Western Europe, and Arab Nations. The explanation for this fact is the desire of people living in poverty to move to places with more employment opportunities. Individuals who experience extreme poverty are more likely to get into the trap of human traffickers.
Vulnerable Populations for Human Trafficking
It is accepted that women and children are the most susceptible population categories to human trafficking. Women and young girls make up the majority of human trafficking. For example, they are most frequently sold to become prostitutes or for another type of sexual exploitation. Still, they are also used as servants or as cheap labor in different industries. Probably, women and girls are less likely to protect themselves compared to men and can be easier trapped by human traffickers.
One of the spheres of child labor exploitation in the cocoa business. The cocoa plantations on Ivory Coast, it’s the eastern part, in particular, use much child labor. However, the worst fact about children working there is that they are used as a free labor force by their families (O’Keefe, 2016). Despite much attention of the press to the problem, there are no significant improvements, primarily due to the poor legislation in this sphere.
Human Trafficking: Too Global to Control
Nevertheless, despite the considerable efforts of the world community, human trafficking is a too complicated issue to be controlled efficiently. First of all, it demands joint efforts in the enforcement of legislation concerning the problem. However, this condition can be hardly achieved globally. With diverse economic and political priorities of different countries, they are not likely to come to a consensus considering human trafficking laws. Secondly, corruption, which is one of the primary reasons for high levels of human trafficking, cannot be eliminated in the global context. It has some economic roots. Since there is a demand for cheap labor and, as a result, cheap resources produced by this workforce, human trafficking as a source of low-paid or free workforce would not be eliminated. Even the developed countries that ratify the necessary laws concerning human trafficking are interested in the results of the work of human trafficking victims.
After all, it can be concluded that the elimination of human trafficking in the global context can be achieved with the joint efforts of the world community. Some reasons restrain positive solutions to the human trafficking problem. First of all, the existing laws on the issue are not strictly enforced. The developed countries demonstrate more compliance with human trafficking legislation while low-income states are not likely to implement the necessary regulations. Secondly, poor countries face obstacles to eliminating human traffickings, such as extreme poverty and high rates of corruption.
These problems could be probably solved on the governmental level, but the governments are frequently more interested in the economic benefits provided by the use of cheap labor than in the solution of the problem. Also, more legal protection is needed for the vulnerable population categories such as women and children. However, little is done in this direction. Finally, the problem of human trafficking is too global to be solved quickly. Thus, common efforts and worldwide interest in problem elimination can stimulate effective legislation and lead to positive outcomes.
Burch, R.J. (2014). International law and human trafficking. Global Review, 3, 77-88.
Durankiev, G. (2015). 11 countries with the highest rates of human trafficking in the world. Web.
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Galastidas, A., Anderson, M., & Kelly, A. (2014). Which countries have the worst record for human trafficking? The Guardian. Web.
Human trafficking and corruption. (2017). Web.
O’Keefe, B. (2016). Big chocolate child labor. Fortune. Web.
Turner, I. (2015). Human rights, positive obligations, and measures to prevent human trafficking in the United Kingdom. Journal of Human Trafficking, 1, 296-317. Web.
Wright, E. (2015). Poverty and its contribution to human trafficking. Web.