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Sex trafficking refers to situations where individuals get involved in sexual activities without consent. In most cases, such activities are coercive and intent on commercial benefits (Farr, 2012). Such deplorable acts are usually dangerous and unsafe because victims are not in a position to guarantee safety with regard to reproductive health and other related areas of interest. According to Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), perpetrators use various inducements as baits for victims (Farr, 2012).
Most victims of sex trafficking are below legal age that governs involvement in sexual activity. Prevalence of this vice continues to pose monumental challenges for authorities as they strive to eradicate it from society (Farr, 2012). However, it is important to acknowledge the complex nature of sex trafficking because it falls under powerful cartels that are usually armed and dangerous.
This makes it difficult for law enforcement agents to penetrate and diffuse their illegal activities. The dichotomous nature of sex trafficking complicates efforts that gear towards ending its sustenance and propagation (Farr, 2012). The issue of sex trafficking is not unique to the United States of America. In fact, there is concern over escalating cases of sex trafficking across national and international borders. It is challenging whenever authorities try to pre-empt its commission because it links to cross border crimes such as drug trafficking and organized crime.
Involvement of international entities such as the United Nations (UN) is enough proof of its gravity and extent (Farr, 2012). This essay synchronizes basic information with regard to realities that characterize sex trafficking nationally and internationally. It also alludes to legal provisions, policies, and documents that reflect various efforts that gear towards combating sex trafficking.
Dynamics in Sex Trafficking
Numerous factors serve as thresholds in determining and demystifying occurrence, propagation, and sustenance of sex trafficking in contemporary society. The dichotomy of sex trafficking revolves around vital dynamics that characterize its essence and rationale (Farr, 2012). This reality complicates various institutional and statutory frameworks that seek to combat this vicious cycle of abuse and exploitation. Commercial gain is an important factor that sets sex trafficking apart from other similar forms of sexual abuse (Farr, 2012).
For instance, sexual molestation and rape do not suffice as sex trafficking because they do not anchor on commercial benefit. Although sex trafficking revolves around criminality, there is more to it with regard to overall desire for commercial gain (Farr, 2012). Most perpetrators of sex trafficking are bent on raking in commercial benefits as opposed to other forms of abuse. Another factor is age of victims. Most victims of sex trafficking are usually under age and unwilling to engage in such activities (Territo, 2012). They fall into sex traps due to coercion, violence, and other underhand techniques. In other cases, victims participate in order to get illegal entry into foreign countries.
They often pursue such avenues for selfish gain, only to find themselves helpless in the hands of molesters who have little or no regard for national and international legal provisions (Territo, 2012). Legal provisions recognize possibility of sex trafficking taking place within or without national borders. Consequently, there has been increased surveillance along national borders to ensure and guarantee minimal activity with regard to sex trafficking and other related criminal activities. The United States collaborates with other countries to bolster commitment towards eradicating sex trafficking across national and international borders (Territo, 2012).
Campaigns and Initiatives Against Sex Trafficking
Most governments recognize and appreciate the gravity of matters surrounding sex trafficking and other aspects of human trafficking in contemporary society. They agree on joint efforts towards eradication of sex trafficking because it affects operations within their institutions and society (Territo, 2012). Such efforts culminate into legislation that seeks to entrench their position in opposition to sex trafficking. Such legislation plays an important role in offering support to agencies and individuals who dedicate time and resources towards fighting recurrent propagation of sex trafficking and other relevant areas of interest (Territo, 2012).
Institutional cooperation between government agencies and other independent actors facilitates sensitization and clamour against perpetual propagation of sex trafficking across national borders. Campaigns against sex trafficking empower citizens to identify and report cases that relate to specific areas of interest (Territo, 2012). Through such avenues, people feel responsible towards provision of voluntary information that could lead to apprehension and prosecution of offenders. On the other hand, it fosters confidence and dedication with regard to volunteering information (Territo, 2012). It also empowers potential victims to face perpetrators devoid of fear for possible retribution.
Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have a role to play in combating sex trafficking in society. They complement government efforts towards developing frameworks and strategies against propagation and sustenance of sex trafficking. International Justice Mission (IJM) is an example of such organizations that endeavour to fight sex trafficking in the United States and beyond (Territo, 2012). Its clamour for human rights and justice within social contexts sets it apart from similar agencies that preoccupy with tasks in diverse areas of interest. Its operations cover affected regions such as Africa, Latin America, and Asian countries.
The organization collaborates with policing agencies in diverse areas of operation such as brothel raids and busts on trafficking agents who facilitate propagation of sex trafficking through sale and transfer of underage girls (Territo, 2012). Celebrities are also vital in supporting and propagating initiatives against sex trafficking. They dedicate time and resources towards this noble cause in contemporary society. For instance, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher have been involved in efforts towards eradicating sex trafficking and other related offences (Territo, 2012).
Their efforts materialized through a social welfare foundation that served as a central point for coordination and disbursement of resources towards the initiative against sex trafficking. In the past, there have been numerous institutional efforts towards eradication of sex trafficking in regional and international spheres (Territo, 2012). An example of such initiatives is End Demand (ED), a collaborative effort between the United States and other state entities such as Britain and Canada.
This initiative rescues and rehabilitates victims of sex trafficking in various countries that are part of the programme (Territo, 2012). They also pursue perpetrators of sex trafficking with a view to arraign them in courts of law. This initiative continues to bolster efforts that seek to eradicate sex trafficking and other forms of sexual offences (Territo, 2012).
Structural Factors that Fuel Sex Trafficking
Prevalence of sex trafficking necessitates extensive probe into factors that support its sustenance and propagation. Through various agencies and institutional entities, authorities interrogate pertinent factors that support or precipitate sex trafficking and other related criminal activities (Kara, 2013). Economic deprivation is an example of factors that enhance propagation of sex trafficking in most countries.
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Low economic prospects often drive people into dangerous activities such as sex trafficking. They participate in such vices in order to earn livelihood and support their economically deprived families (Kara, 2013). Globalization also contributes to sustenance of sex trafficking. Global economic trends support frantic commercial activities through cross border commerce and industry. This increases border porosity, which consequently enhances illegal activities (Kara, 2013).
Technological advancements also support propagation of sex trafficking because they offer avenues through which perpetrators ensnare their victims. Internet technology is largely responsible for escalating cases of sex trafficking and other sexual offences. Perpetrators take advantage of its convenience and accessibility to lure victims into illegal acts (Kara, 2013). Corruption and lack of political support also predispose young girls to sex trafficking.
In most cases, corrupt law enforcement agents participate in sex trafficking by protecting offenders. This makes it difficult for authorities to combat perpetual propagation of this vice (Kara, 2013). Societal norms and attitudes also facilitate execution of activities that support sex trafficking. Most social systems ascribe less value to women, thereby increasing their susceptibility to sexual exploitation. Such stereotypical views are harmful to overall efforts that seek to counter sex trafficking cartels (Kara, 2013).
Conclusion and Recommendations
Sex trafficking is a challenge that requires collaborative effort involving government and other relevant agencies that channel resources towards its eradication. In absence of such efforts, it will be difficult for authorities to eradicate sex trafficking in its entirety. Authorities should institute structural frameworks to alleviate and ultimately eradicate poverty in society (Pickering, 2010). Poverty plays a role in propagating and sustaining sex trafficking and other related offences.
Besides poverty eradication, governments should endeavour to regulate technological developments that support sex trafficking (Pickering, 2010). This should include stiffer penalties with regard to offenders and cartels that facilitate illegal transfer and exploitation of young girls. Authorities should also pursue corrupt law enforcement agents who collude with criminals in propagating sex trafficking. If well implemented, the aforementioned recommendations shall lead to decline in sex trafficking and other related offences in contemporary society (Pickering, 2010).
Farr, K. (2012). Sex Trafficking: The Global Market in Women and Children. Newyork: Worth Publishers.
Kara, S. (2013). Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery. Columbia: Columbia University Press.
Pickering, S. (2010). Sex Trafficking: International Context and Response. London:
Territo, L. (2012). International Sex Trafficking of Women and Children. Newyork: CENGAGE.