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English 12th Year 2011/2012

Human Trafficking

Teacher: Maria Jos Marques By Cindy Mendes, N. 26053, 12.B

Robert Alan Silverstein once said: Slavery was abolished 150 years ago, right? While it is true that slavery is illegal almost everywhere on earth, the fact is there are more slaves today than there ever were. One of todays biggest human rights crises is the international trafficking of women, boys and children into sex slavery, among many other forms of human trafficking. Basically, trafficking in persons is the acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them. It is the third largest criminal industry in the world, outranked only by arms and drug dealing. Virtually, every single country on earth is affected by this crime. The first article of the Declaration of Human rights says: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. It is a fundamental human right to be free of any exploitation in all its forms; however, more than 12.5 million people completely lost all their rights. Activists have identified a large number of human rights violations that may occur in the context of trafficking. Civil and political rights are violated: the right to personal liberty and autonomy, the right to integrity, the right to freedom of movement and expression, the right to freedom from torture or other cruel/inhuman treatment, the right to be free from discrimination, forced labour, and slavery. It also violates womens social, cultural and economic rights, such as health, free access to education and information and favourable working conditions. Apparently, slavery is, indeed, alive and well in our own backyards. How is this possible? How do we stop human trafficking? What are the global implications of this atrocious crime against the human security? I will try to answer those questions and other points concerning the topic throughout this written assignment.

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Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purpose of exploiting them. The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (also referred to as the Trafficking Protocol) was adopted by the United Nations in Palermo, Italy in 2000. The aim of the Protocol is to facilitate convergence in national cooperation in investigating and prosecuting trafficking in persons. An additional objective of the Protocol is to protect and assist the victims of trafficking with full respect for their human rights. The Trafficking Protocol defines human trafficking as: (a) [...] the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs; (b) The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) have been used; (c) The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered trafficking in persons even if this does not involve any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article; (d) Child shall mean any person under eighteen years of age. The Trafficking Protocol entered into force on 25 December 2003. By June 2010, the Trafficking Protocol had been approved by 117 countries and 137 parties. In other words, human trafficking is a crime against humanity. It involves an act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harbouring or receiving someone through a use of force. The victims lose their autonomy, freedom of movement and choice, and face various forms
of physical and mental abuse. It is considered as a modern-day form of slavery.


There are many forms of trafficking: Bonded labour, or debt bondage, is the least known form of labour trafficking today but it is the most widely used way of enslaving people. A person becomes a bonded labourer when their labour is demanded as a means of repayment for a loan. The person is then tricked or trapped into working for very little or no pay at all, often for seven days a week. The value of their work is superior to the original sum of money borrowed.

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Forced labour is a situation in which victims are forced to work against their own will, under the threat of violence or some other form of punishment. People completely lose their freedom. This type of Human Trafficking can globally generate $31bn according to the International Labour Organization. Forms of forced labour can include domestic servitude; agricultural labour; food service, begging and many others. At least 12.3 million people around the world are trapped in forced labour. Child Labour is a form of work very dangerous to the physical, mental, spiritual, moral, or social development of children and can interfere with their education. The International Labor Organization estimates worldwide that there are 246 million exploited children (more than 20 times the population of Portugal) aged between 5 and 17 involved in debt bondage, prostitution, pornography, the illegal drug trade or the illegal arms trade. Sex Trafficking. Women and children from developing countries, and from vulnerable parts of society in developed countries, are seduced by promises of getting a good job by leaving their homes and travelling to what they consider will be a better life. Victims are often provided with false travel documents and an organized network is used to transport them to the destination country, where they find themselves forced into sexual slavery and held in cruel conditions and constant fear. Homeless individuals, runaway teens, displaced homemakers, refugees, and drug addicts are easily targeted by traffickers. Traffickers force the victims to become prostitutes or work in the sex industry; this includes prostitution, dancing in strip clubs, performing in pornographic films and other forms of involuntary servitude. Trafficking in humans for the purpose of using their organs is a rapidly growing criminal activity. In many countries, waiting lists for transplants are very long so criminals have taken this opportunity to exploit the desperation of patients and possible donors. The health of victims, even their lives, is at risk as operations may be done in clandestine conditions with poor medical conditions. What is the most common form of human trafficking? According to a range of various reports, the most common form of human trafficking is sexual exploitation (79%). The victims of sexual exploitation are predominantly women and girls. The second most frequent form of trafficking is forced labour (18%), although this may be a misrepresentation because forced labour is less frequently detected and reported than trafficking for sexual exploitation.

What it is not? Human trafficking differs from people smuggling. People request or hire a person, known as a smuggler, to secretly transport people from one location to another. This generally involves transportation from one country to another, where legal entry would be denied upon arrival at the international border. After entry into the country and arrival at their ultimate destination, the smuggled person is usually free to find their own way. The word "trafficking" includes the word "traffic," which means transportation or travel. However, while the words look and sound alike, they do not have the same meaning.

Where does it occur? Every year, thousands of men, women and children are victims of human trafficking, in their own countries and abroad. Every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. Eleven countries score very high as countries of origin for trafficking victims: Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Albania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, China, Thailand, and Nigeria.

Human Trafficking Industry Trafficking is a lucrative industry. It has been recognized as the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. Some sources say that it is the third most profitable illegal industry in the world. But others say that it is the second, so we can see that it is increasing very fast.

Young women can be sold to brothel (prostitution house) owners in North America for as much as US$16,000 each. Traffickers use Women to pay their debts. Women sexually serve dozens of men per day. In 2004, the total annual revenue for trafficking in persons were estimated to be between USD$5 billion and $9 billion and in 2005, $31.6 billion. In 2008, the United Nations estimated nearly 2.5 million people from 127 different countries are being trafficked into 137 countries around the world.

Global Implications The mental, physical and emotional impact of this crime on the human security of the countless victims is obvious. The additional impacts on human security as a collective international concern may not be so obvious. They include: Threats to border integrity, as millions of people are transported annually across national boundaries under false pretences (lying about who you are or what you are doing); Threats to human health, through the spread of HIV/AIDS and other STDs to the victims, their clients, their clients wives, and so on; Threats to national and international security, since it is believed that many of the worlds major sex traffickers are connected to organized crime groups, which may then use their profits to finance other criminal activities such as terrorism; Threats to the health of our global human conscience, since slavery often proudly thought as having been wiped out in the 19th century is actually alive and well, right in all of our own backyards.
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The Anti-trafficking Policy Index The '3P Anti-trafficking Policy Index' measures the effectiveness of government policies to fight human trafficking based on an evaluation of policy requirements prescribed by the United Nations Human Trafficking Protocol. The policy level is evaluated using a scale. It is available to up to 177 countries. The outcome of the Index shows that anti-trafficking policy has overall improved over the 2000-2009 period.
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In 2009, seven countries demonstrate the highest possible performance in policies. These countries are Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Sweden and the US. The worst performing country in 2009 was North Korea, followed by Somalia. Human trafficking in Portugal Portugal is a destination country for women, men, and children subjected to human trafficking, specially forced prostitution and forced labour. Trafficking victims in Portugal are from Brazil, Eastern Europe, and Africa. According to one NGO, a number of Portuguese girls are subjected to forced prostitution within the country. Men from Eastern European countries and Brazil suffer from forced labour in agriculture, construction, hotels, and restaurants. Children from Eastern Europe are forced to beg, sometimes by their own families. The Government of Portugal does not entirely fulfill the minimum principles for the abolition of trafficking. However, it is making some efforts to do so. It increased its anti-trafficking training, improved national data on trafficking, and provided shelters and assistance to trafficking victims. Despite these efforts, the government didnt provide complete data on the general number of trafficking criminals sentenced, nor indicated the jail time received by the majority of traffickers a long-standing problem in Portugal. Authorities identified 272 potential victims during 2008 and 2009, confirming 48 as official victims during this two year period. The government funds NGOs which assist trafficking victims, they received a fixed subsidy from the government for each victim. One NGO received approximately 80 percent of its budget from the government. However, NGOs report overall funding is inadequate in order to provide critical specialized care required for trafficking victims.

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Organizations that fight against Human Trafficking Numerous organizations fight against human trafficking: The United Nations that include The UN Office on Drugs and Crime and The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking. The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and NGOs are other organizations that fight for this cause. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) A nongovernmental organization operates independently from any government. There are many NGOs around the world that fight against human trafficking. It provides counselling and support services such as shelters, educational and vocational training, job

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placement, and financial assistance for women and children who have been victims of trafficking, especially those involved in prostitution.

Prevention The prevention of human trafficking requires several types of interventions. Some are of low or moderate cost and can have some immediate impact, such as awareness campaigns that allow high risk individuals to make informed decisions. Strong laws that are enforced are an effective means of prevention. However, serious law enforcement is expensive. The "Be Smart, Be Safe" brochures describe the tactics criminal groups use to traffic women, the risks of trafficking, what women can do to protect themselves and how women can get help in the United States. Through its Global TV Campaign on Human Trafficking, the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) warns millions of potential victims about the dangers of trafficking.

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Prosecution As human trafficking has a very high clandestine nature, the great majority of human trafficking cases go unreported so criminals remain free. There are reports that many human traffickers are associated with international criminal organizations and are, therefore, difficult to prosecute. Sometimes members of the local law enforcement agencies are involved in the lucrative business of illegal exportation or importation of human beings. Surprisingly, in 30% of the countries which provided information on the gender of traffickers, women make up the largest proportion of traffickers. In some parts of the world, women trafficking women is the norm. Prosecution is further complicated because sometimes victims of human trafficking are afraid to testify against traffickers as they are afraid of losing their lives and their family members'. In order to combat the globalisation of this criminal behaviour, international policies and practices that encourage civil participation and cooperation with trafficking victims in the prosecution of traffickers have to be developed. Human trafficking laws must provide serious penalties against traffickers, including provisions for the confiscation of property and compensation for victims. At the same time, training is needed to ensure

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that an insensitive investigation and prosecution process does not further traumatize trafficking victims.

Reintegration NGOs provide counselling and support services such as shelters, educational and vocational training, job placement, and financial assistance for women and children who have been victims of trafficking, especially those involved in prostitution. Victims frequently face serious problems when they return into their home communities. Victimized women may have been treated by law authorities as criminals, either for prostitution or illegal migration, and, therefore face additional problems of employment or other forms of reintegration. Assisting victims to resettle and start a new life is a real challenge for concerned governmental agencies and NGOs. In addition to psychological and social considerations, the victim faces financial difficulties. In many source countries, reintegration resources are not available in communities to assist the victim or to provide financial support during the transition period. However, there are some positive examples of government agencies, international donors, and NGOs working together to establish programmes that provide practical assistance and help returning victims reintegrate and become productive members of their communities.

Human trafficking might not be something we think about on a daily basis, but this crime affects the communities where we live, the products that we buy and the people who we care about. It is now considered as a modern-day form of slavery, although it is no longer upheld by law, which happened in the past, victims are still trapped physically, psychologically, financially or emotionally by their traffickers. Stories about human trafficking are often set in distant places, like cities in Cambodia, small towns in Moldova, or rural parts of Brazil. But human trafficking happens in cities and towns all over the world, including our own country. Traffickers do not discriminate any race, age, gender, or religion. Anyone can be a victim. Products we eat, wear, and use every day may have been made by human trafficking victims. Human trafficking is not just in our town it is in our home, since trafficking victims are forced to make many of the products we use everyday, according to Most people have worn, touched, or consumed a product of slavery at some point. Human trafficking has global implications as well, since it threatens human health, trough the spread of AIDS or other STDs and our national and international security. However, some people state that we can actually end human trafficking around the world. Nonetheless, to achieve that goal, everyone needs to work together. Activists around the world are launching campaigns to hold governments, create better laws, and prevent trafficking in their communities. Citizens can start a campaign on to fight trafficking in their community, they can volunteer or donate to organizations that fight against human trafficking. I cannot be certain trafficking will truthfully on the different actions, and most of the in it. Consequently, the real rich and poor, is to target desperate people, and to trafficking, many of whom hardships in their bid for a that, one day, human stop, it will always depend government countries time, we do not have a say challenge for all countries, the criminals, who exploit protect and assist victims of suffer unimaginable better life.

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International Training Centre of the ILO, Forced labour and human trafficking. Available in: <> Available in: <> The Landover Baptist, We buy children . Available in:<> Stop selling sex. Available in: <> UNODC, UNODC on human trafficking and migrant smuggling. Available in: <> Sexual trafficking facts. Available in: <> US Department of State, Trafficking in Persons. Available in: <> Academy for Educational Development, Approaches to combat trafficking. Available in: <> Anti-Slavery International, What is trafficking in people?. Available in: <> Academy for Educational Development, Prevention. Available in:> Moju Project, Human Trafficking. Available in: <>

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