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Catastrophic Reality of Human Trafficking

Autor:   •  May 30, 2018  •  5,747 Words (23 Pages)  •  198 Views

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Individuals who have experienced violence and trauma in the past are more vulnerable to future exploitation, as the psychological effect of trauma is often long-lasting and challenging to overcome. Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, war and conflict or social discrimination may be targeted by traffickers, who recognize the vulnerabilities left by these prior abuses. Violence and abuse may be normalized or beliefs of shame or unworthiness lead to future susceptibility to human trafficking.

The links between human rights and the fight against trafficking are well established. From its earliest days to the present, human rights law has unequivocally proclaimed the fundamental immorality and unlawfulness of one person appropriating the legal personality, labour or humanity of another. Human rights law has prohibited discrimination on the basis of race and sex; it has demanded equal or at least certain key rights for non-citizens; it has decried and outlawed arbitrary detention, forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, and the sexual exploitation of children and women; and it has championed freedom of movement and the right to leave and return to one’s own country.

Human rights most relevant to trafficking

• The prohibition of discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status

• The right to life

• The right to liberty and security

• The right not to be submitted to slavery, servitude, forced labour or bonded labour

• The right not to be subjected to torture and/or cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment

• The right to be free from gendered violence

• The right to freedom of association

• The right to freedom of movement

• The right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health

• The right to just and favourable conditions of work

• The right to an adequate standard of living

• The right to social security

• The right of children to special protection

As noted above, many of the practices associated with modern-day trafficking are clearly prohibited under international human rights law. For instance, human rights law forbids debt bondage: the pledging of personal services as security for a debt where the value of those services is not applied towards the liquidation of the debt or their length or nature is not limited and defined. Many trafficked persons who enter into a debt with their exploiters (relating to, for example, placement or transport fees) find themselves in a situation of debt bondage; the debt is used as a means of controlling and exploiting them. Human rights law also prohibits forced labour, defined by Convention No. 29 concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour of the International Labour Organization (ILO) as: “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself [herself] voluntarily”. Slavery, servitude, child sexual exploitation, forced marriage, servile forms of marriage, child marriage, enforced prostitution and the exploitation of prostitution are also trafficking-related practices that are prohibited under international human rights law.

MANILA— Every year, millions of men, women and children in Asia venture to new places in search of a better life. Often they move from the countryside to the cities. Some also go to another country. Their aim is to earn more money for themselves and their families. For many these journeys end badly because they fall into the hands of traffickers.

Human trafficking is on the rise in Asia as people flee poverty and conflict. Better transport and communications links contribute to the problem. A U.S. government estimate suggests that each year up to two million people are trafficked worldwide, including 150,000 from South Asia and 225,000 from Southeast Asia. According to a recent study by the Swedish government, human trafficking ranks third, behind drugs and arms smuggling, in the scale of organized crime.

Women and children are the most vulnerable. They are used for commercial sex, domestic labor and construction work. Children are also in demand for factory or farm work or in the entertainment sector. Some end up as circus performers or camel jockeys.

Trafficking amounts to a gross violation of human rights. Victims suffer physical and mental abuse and social stigmatization. They become isolated, losing ties with their former lives and families.

Trafficking hampers the struggle to end poverty and gender inequality in Asia.

One effective way to reduce the degrading trade is to address the factors that render women and children vulnerable. Traffickers target families who are poor or socially excluded. In societies where women and girls have a low status and severely limited life options, they are easy prey.

To make women and children less vulnerable, they must be empowered by giving them more access to, and control over, resources like education, basic health services, skills and leadership training, credit schemes, and decision-making.

We need to make it safer for people to move around by improving migration management and enforcement of labor standards.

Most trafficked persons are "invisible" — they lack official documents, even evidence of birth, and often work in sectors of the economy that are subject to official scrutiny or regulation. They should be covered by labor standards, social insurance and other welfare mechanisms.

For many new migrants from the countryside to the cities, the first stop is an urban slum, where children and adolescent girls in particular are vulnerable to traffickers and their false promises of a better life. Urban poverty reduction projects need to ensure that such people are made aware of the dangers of trafficking and provided with social protection.

Today, I want to discuss an issue that [. . .] ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social


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