Human Trafficking in the U.S.

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Human Trafficking in the US Rosa Gale English 112, Section 170 Professor Thornton November 23, 2010

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Human Trafficking INTRODUCTION: In today¶s society human trafficking is an issue that many individuals have probably heard of but have no real understanding of what this unbridled, travailed issue actually entails. Human trafficking is considered a global epidemic that affects all nations including the U.S. What is most alarming on this issue are the statistics of human trafficking cases not only in foreign nations but here in America as well. The UN along with many other foreign nations are in a long strenuous battle of trying to not only eliminate human trafficking but also to aid in the prevention from it occurring again. Thus it comes to ponder of where exactly does the U.S. stand within this issue? What are some main problems America faces in eliminating this issue and what are America¶s policies and laws against human trafficking and how do they differ, if for better or worse compared to those policies and actions of other nations. THE BACKBONE INFORMATION In order to answer these very specific questions, one must understand the issue of trafficking people. So what does human trafficking really mean? According to U.N. Department of Drugs and Crime, ³human trafficking is the ³recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring of persons by means of coercion, abduction, deception for the purpose of exploitation. The State Department estimates roughly about 27 million people are trafficked annually, the majority of victims being trafficked go to mainly children and women. Out of 100 percent of people being trafficked, 80 percent woman and out 50 percent children. According to Condoleezza Rice, as many as 17,500 people are trafficked to the United States each year.

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PROBLEMS IN AWARENESS INCLUDING THE MEDIA AND PUBLICITY: Although the media does not publicize human trafficking or the awareness of it as much as it deserves, there are however many new sources for the public to access information on what is going on, on the issue. The first main accessible source for public awareness is that of the World Wide Web; one can find a plethora of information on human trafficking that come from reliable government or other organizations made to engage the populous world in the awareness of this issue; down to the causes and effects. These sources successfully cover the main information of the who, the what, the where, the why and the how on this issue and provide many theoretical solutions to aid in the demise of modern day slavery. The second main public source lies within the media and news itself or even gutsy individuals that take it upon themselves to research the topic and or broadcast the awareness of this problem. With these mediums now accessible to the general public and with the many individuals trying to bring more awareness of this issue, it is still notably alarming that this epidemical problem is not on the government¶s top priority list. With the notion of how serious human trafficking is; one comes to question how aware is the United States as a nation, as a government, as a whole, and with this awareness of human trafficking, what is being done about it? Does the majority of the public know what human trafficking really entails? Is the public aware that human trafficking does not only take place on foreign land but rather it occurs on America¶s own home turf? Many are not aware of the fact that human trafficking actually does transpire in this country and yet as nations there are still so many that are apparently subsequently clueless on this issue. With the media and Hollywood being a huge movie/ entertainment

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industry, it comes to no surprise that someone would inevitability create a epic movie such as the 2008 blockbuster movie ³Taken´ that featured Liam Neeson and was directed by Pierre Morel. ³Taken´ whose plot revolves round an ex covert agent¶s daughter who is ultimately kidnapped and put into the human trafficking system, brings awareness to the public and opens one¶s mind to the fact that this is real. This happens every day, every second in some part of the world, whether foreign or domestic a person is being forced against their will to basically what one would consider to be modern day slave trade. U.S. POLICIES: In June 2010 the United States has issued the Trafficking Victims Protection Act to which it places countries within a ³tier system´ and documents human trafficking in America and other countries affected by this uproar. There are three ³tier ranks´; Tier one being that the country in question fully complies with the act¶s standards in protecting, preventing and eliminating human trafficking of persons. Next is Tier two, to which the country that is ranked at two does not comply with all the standards but is making an effort and moving toward getting into the full compliance of the Act¶s standards. Lastly there is Tier three, tier three is a country who does not comply with the standards and is making no effort to seek that goal. One would ask, well how exactly does this act help accomplish the abolition of this predicament? The trafficking Victims Protection Act helps in that it releases the reports out to the public; thus creating awareness and information easily accessible to the masses. Also this act aids in the sense that countries who are at a tier three are not only frowned upon, but there are sanctions in place that prevent them from accessing the World Trade Bank and or aid from the UN itself until they make changes. The report is also very important in the fight to prevent

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human trafficking and each year it includes a much more detailed and up to date statistics and information about trafficking situation not only here in the United States but also for other countries around the world. The report has ranked a total of 177 countries that is based on ³the extent of government action to combat trafficking,´ as stated by the UNODC. The countries are ranked with Tier ranks, as mentioned before; The United States is now ranked with a Tier one ranking which is the highest ranking in the aid and the elimination of human trafficking according to the ³TVPA´ standards. The United States is a main transit and destination spot for the trafficking in persons. According to the Polaris Project it is estimated that 14,500 to 17,500 people are trafficked in the U.S, primarily women and children, are trafficked to the U.S. annually. The U.S. Government is strongly committed to combating and eliminating the trafficking in persons at home and abroad. TVPA , developed pre-existing criminal penalties, provides the funds for new protections to trafficking victims and makes benefits and services available to victims of severe forms of trafficking. Internationally, according to the Polaris Projects main website, the U.S. has initiated many anti-trafficking and development programs to assist countries to combat this ever-growing phenomenon. The U.S. has assisted many countries to provide anti-trafficking legislations and laws, inspired them to enforce to have ³trained law enforcement officials, prosecutors, border guards and judicial officers on detecting, investigating, and prosecuting traffickers, and protecting victims´ (p.4) .The programs the U.S. has integrated publicized information on the many threats trafficking poses; the power behind non-governmental organizations to protect victims from abuse and violence, to outreach to them and provide programs for those who are in fact most at risk

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of being trafficked is amazing. With the many different programs that are placed it helps provide a rather safe network for those capable of escaping. Thus the real issue is to find those solutions that would eliminate the causes. PROBLEMS IN AWARNESS: One major problem that the nation is affected by is the lack of public awareness. Stotts and Ramey (2009) brought up the notion that even though ³the Federal government is taking aggressive steps to eliminate trafficking within United States/« [they made] significant efforts to increase public awareness of human trafficking´ (p.43) with that being said Sotts and Ramey have credited ³the U.S. non -governmental organizations´(p.43) for most of the public awareness they try to expose out to the public. What is needed is more public attention and even the work of very public figures would be a tremendous aid in to the public. By keeping the public educated and informed with the issue and making sure that it gets the media attention it deserves will ultimately aid in the eradication of human slavery and trafficking. With the media such as internet, books, articles, journals, radio shows, blogs and even movies, awareness will rise and give attention to the identification of human trafficking and preventing and protecting victims that have dealt with it or are dealing with it. The absence of reliable global data, in turn, makes it more difficult for governments and international organizations to fight trafficking effectively. AMRICAS ³SO-CALLED´ SOLUTIONS There are so many different solutions that can be put forward and possibly one the most important question to ask one self is ³why are there problems at all?´ Many people, when dealing with these issues might say that we need to capture and arrest more people

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who are directly involved in human trafficking and mainly create problems with thin this issue, thus if one prevents problem A and problem B then hopefully the outcome will be positive and in the right direction. It is important that one ask why these predicaments are problems to begin with. First we must dissect the main problems that is highly used within modern day slave trade and that would be drugs, prostitution and work for immigrants. Why do drugs pose such a challenging nature in this issue? Many immigrants try to come into America for the hopes of a better future and a more promising life for them and their families. Many get into horrible debt to pay for safe travel into the US, and there are groups of people who raid the incoming immigrants to abduct them and sell them into servitude. Another way that captors or organized criminals make money is by prostitution. Women and children are the most likely victims in trafficking are treated pretty horribly with no safety nets to protect them. One of the biggest problems that human trafficking entails is the fact that many victims are told they could reach the ³American Dream´ and make a living here in America so fact that it is so incredibly difficult to become an American citizen, there is no wonder why so many if not most victims of trafficking are deceived into forced labor with hopes of one day reaching that dream. If the US simply made it easier to become a citizen legally, or even to just live and be able to work here. The chaos and problems America faces with immigration would almost be eradicated. Families wouldn't have to get into astronomical debt to get into the country and which in turn they wouldn't have to risk their lives or their loved ones just to have a chance to work here and create a better life for them After all, what's the difference between helping an American out if they're in between jobs and helping a foreigner out while they're in between jobs?... race? Ending the war on drugs

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would almost immediately end the problems associated with drug use. The major problem with drugs and the use of drugs is not that people get high, it is that they in turn become addicted to the substance that many in the trade are forced to take to be able to work longer and harder, due to drugs generally being sold at high price often have leads to illegal activity to pay for it; therefore, by making it legal to use and to sell would reduce the cost A further bonus to drug legalization would be better quality of product. There would be a sharp decrease in deaths due to contaminated or impure drugs. The main problem with prostitution, If it were legal, then the prostitutes could go seek legal aid when dealing with abusive clients, business partners, or managers. Legalizing prostitution would reduce gang related violence by reducing the income of gang syndicates. If prostitution were legalized then the supply of prostitutes would likely increase, and thus prices would decrease according to statements from writer C. Zimmerman The prices would help reduce so many problems involved with prostitution and even could have in place laws and regulations that the prostitutes must go by to make sure that the industry is safe and regulated; it could even potentially reduce child prostitution in the sense that with a regulated trade children could be left out of this commerce and not forced into sex trafflicking. Follow the Constitution: Most children find themselves in horrible situations and would be better off getting a so called relatively normal job and trying to actually make a living than one the streets or under the table work. Trafficking and prostitution are both complex issues, but they require different solutions. The absence of unity with in all the nations, in turn, makes it rather difficult for both governments and the non-profit international organizations to fight trafficking effectively. The notion of

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how to end trafficking, you have to realize that one must also end prostitution, though, trafficking and prostitution are in fact separate issues but they go hand in hand on the main issues of our modern day slave trade. When sex workers or children are abused, coerced or tricked, they need all the help they can get. Thus it is a great thing that the United State of America has stepped up to the plate to aid in the total eradication of human trafficking. Everyone has their human rights thus one should be protected, not only from violence but also from the potential hazards involving the nature of human trafficking. Hopefully this issue will be sought after by many to not only protect but also to help prevent it from ever occurring again. 

                       

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 5HIHUHQFH Huges, D.M. (2003). Hiding in Plain Sight; A Practical Guide to Identifying Victims of Trafficking in the U.S. With particular emphasis on victims of sexual trafficking as defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act 200 LOVE146.org. (n.d.)The Problem. Retrieved from the LOVE146.org website; http://love146.org Polaris Projects. (n.d.) Human Trafficking Statistics, Understanding Victims Mindsets, Common Myths and Misconceptions About Human Trafficking in the U.S., Potential Trafficking Indicators. Retrieved from the Polaris Project website: http://www.polarisproject.org SafeHorizon. (n.d). Anti-Trafficking Program. Retrieved from the Safe Horizon website: http://www.safehorizon.org/index/what-we-do-2/anti-traffickingprogram.html Stotts, E.L. Jr., Ramsey, L. (2009). Human Trafficking: A Call for Counselor Awareness and Action. Spring 2009. Vol. 48. Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development. Rochester, MI: American Counseling Association United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (n.d). Preventing Human Trafficking. Retrieved from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes website:http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/prevention.html United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (n.d). Preventing Human Trafficking. Retrieved from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes website: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-ishuman-trafficking.html United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (n.d). Preventing Human Trafficking. Retrieved from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes website:http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/protection.html U.S. House of Representatives. (January 24, 2000). Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (H.R. 3244). Washington , DC: Government Printing Office. Zimmerman, C., Hossain, M., Yun, K., Gajdadzieu, V., Guzun, N., Tchomarova, M., Watts, C. (2008). The Health of Trafficked Women: A Survey of Women Entering Post-trafficking Services In Europe. The American Journal of Public Health, 98, 55-59.

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Annotated Bibliography Huges, D.M. (2003). Hiding in Plain Sight; A Practical Guide to Identifying Victims of Trafficking in the U.S. With particular emphasis on victims of sexual trafficking as defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act 2000 This printed guide provides up to date information for the general public on how to identify potential victims of human trafficking, what can be done, what programs there are to provide service to victims and handling the overall aftermath situation of trafficked peoples. LOVE146.org. (n.d.)The Problem. Retrieved from the LOVE146.org website; http://love146.org This pamphlet guide that can be downloaded from their website provides useful information to educate the public on child sex trafficking and the problems it entitles for children. This website is mainly focused on children. Polaris Projects. (n.d.) Human Trafficking Statistics, Understanding Victims¶ Mindsets, Common Myths and Misconceptions About Human Trafficking in the U.S., Potential Trafficking Indicators. Retrieved from the Polaris Project website: http://www.polarisproject.org SafeHorizon. (n.d). Anti-Trafficking Program. Retrieved from the Safe Horizon website: http://www.safehorizon.org/index/what-we-do-2/anti-traffickingprogram.html this website is for the public to look up information on the issue. It defines human trafficking according to The UN, gives causes and effects of this issue. Supplies

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information or programs victims can go and get help and supplies additional links to other government sites. Stotts, E.L. Jr., Ramsey, L. (2009). Human Trafficking: A Call for Counselor Awareness and Action. Spring 2009. Vol. 48. Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development. Rochester, MI: American Counseling Association United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (n.d). Preventing Human Trafficking. Retrieved from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes website:http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/prevention.html is a resource that can be used to aid and educate the populace who have access to this website, with informative information on safety guides and how to prevent human trafficking today. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (n.d). Preventing Human Trafficking. Retrieved from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes website: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-ishuman-trafficking.html is a resource for the United Nations that supplies information on defining and giving insights to the broad definition on human trafficking. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (n.d). Preventing Human Trafficking. Retrieved from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes website:http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/protection.html U.S. House of Representatives. (January 24, 2000). Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (H.R. 3244). Washington , DC: Government Printing Office. Zimmerman, C., Hossain, M., Yun, K., Gajdadzieu, V., Guzun, N., Tchomarova, M.,«

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Watts, C. (2008). The Health of Trafficked Women: A Survey of Women Entering Post-trafficking Services In Europe. The American Journal of Public Health, 98, 55-59.

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