Human Trafficking

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Human Trafficking: A Modern Day Slavery

Human Trafficking: A Modern Day Slavery


Human trafficking, also known as modern-day slavery or trafficking in persons, is a criminal act and a violation of basic human rights (example, right to freedom, right to dignity, right to equal protection of the law) that affects every country in the world. Human trafficking is one of the few crimes that pursued from a victim's perspective, with a focus on prevention of trafficking, protection of victims, and prosecution of traffickers. This entry explores the definition of trafficking and related common misunderstandings and includes an examination of the size, scope, and patterns of trafficking; sample profiles of traffickers and victims; and responses to human trafficking.

Victims Of Human Trafficking

There is no universal profile of victims because of the wide variation in characteristics. For example, a child may be recruited by family members or community elders with the promise that the child be given to a wealthy family and provided with an education and a skilled trade, but instead the child sold into a life of pornography, sex tourism, or abusive labor. On the other hand, a woman may be recruited for prostitution or domestic service. Identification of victims is most effective using indicator characteristics. Indicators of trafficking include lack of freedom of movement, abuse, lack of confidential documents, and an exaggerated fear response. For example, victims may be found living in rooms adjacent to massage parlors or under guard in an apartment or home. They are seldom seen in public and are often escorted when outside the work environment. In addition, many victims have untreated health needs (Aronowitz, 2001).

Critical Issues

The size and scope of the human trafficking problem throughout the world is unknown. Similar to other types of abuse, human trafficking remains hidden, thus unreported, as a result of victims' fear and shame. Estimates of the number of victims have ranged from a few thousand to untold millions, but none of the estimates based on reliable data. For example, 14,500 to 17,500 trafficking victims per year entering the United States has been widely used in estimates for several years. However, only approximately 300 to 500 victims per year identified through various sources (example, newspapers, court cases.

Effect of Human Trafficking on Countries

Many countries are effected by human trafficking as a country of origin, transit, or destination. Trafficking patterns vary across time and reports are often based on a few notable cases. However, ...
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