Research Proposal: Human Trafficking

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Human Trafficking

The objective of this work is to examine the history of human trafficking as well as the moral and legal obligations and the impact of human trafficking on the global community and its impact on U.S. foreign policy. Finally, this work will examine the impact that human trafficking has on members of society and the solutions to the issue from a criminal justice standpoint.

Human trafficking crimes are as old as mankind itself however as the world has become more globalized so has too the trafficking of human beings. This work examines the history of human trafficking and the moral and legal obligations of society in addressing these crimes. Furthermore, this work examines the impact of human trafficking on the global community; the impact that human trafficking has on U.S. foreign policy and the impact that human trafficking has on the criminal justice system and possible solutions for addressing trafficking of human beings.

HISTORY of HUMAN TRAFFICKING

The work of Delphine Nakache entitled: "Challenge Paper on Justice and the Intersections of Diversity" states that a large amount of "public government and media attention has focused on criminal offenses by specific immigrant and/or ethnic groups. Far less attention, however, has been placed on the victimization experiences of immigrants and the members of specific ethnic minority groups. Victimization can be defined as recurrent objectionable or negative actions aimed at people of a certain group in an offensive manner that can result in those persons being excluded from society." (Nakache, nd, p.1) the position of immigrants is a vulnerable one in which "they can easily become victims of crime: poverty, inadequate housing, lower levels of education, discrimination and lack of legitimate economic opportunity, risk of deportation for permanent residents, language barriers, and misperceptions of law..." (Nakache, nd, p.1) Nakache reports that development of partnerships among key stakeholders and sharing of information among law enforcement agencies are both critical for combating the crime of human trafficking.

II. NEW DRIVERS of HUMAN TRAFFICKING CRIMES

The Center for Unconventional Security Affairs report entitled: "The Human and National Security Implications of Climate Change" states that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that after scientists by the thousands from all around the world "pored over all of the peer-reviewed research conducted since 2001...synthesized the findings...and presented them to the world with careful estimates of how much certainty we can attach to each claim." (Center for Unconventional Security Affairs, 2007, p.1) Findings of these scientists state that due to drought in some areas of the world "some people migrate in search of jobs. But sudden influxes of poor people from another country or region can trigger or amplify ethnic violence, introduce new diseases, place pressure on local resources, and lead to higher levels of criminal and gang activity. Other people turn to the drug or sex trade to survive. Some people take up arms and turn against their neighbors in a mad effort to control the land and water that remain viable. And still others have no choice but to escape to despair and violence by moving into refugee camps." (Center for Unconventional Security Affairs, 2007. p.1) the implications are clear according to these scientists that in the "interconnected world, our interests and values are affected when people turn to crimes like internet fraud, drug trafficking and human trafficking." (Center for Unconventional Security Affairs, 2007, p.1)

II. SOCIETAL and HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

The work of Pamela Stowers Johansen (2006) entitled: "Human Trafficking, Illegal Immigrants and HIV / AIDS: Personal Rights, Public Protection" states that the United States is "ambivalent about treatment of undocumented persons with HIV / AIDS. Public policies tend to be contradictory and are in a continuous state of change in the current political climate of uncertainty for undocumented persons, fears of deportation and lack of access to health care may be increasing concerns." (p.36) Johansen relates that while policies may be "sympathetic to undocumented persons working in the sex industry, cultural stigma against illegal immigrants and prostitutions are realities for trafficking victims, both in the United States and in their home countries. Despite current emphasis on victim protection as opposed to old 'victim blaming' policies and practices, there is evidence that reality falls short of ideology." (2006, p.37) According to Johansen, due to limited education, limited work options and trauma history, trafficking victims often fall victim to "secondary trafficking." (2006, p.37) These victims generally avoid seeking help due to their lack of education, fluency and lack of knowledge about the host culture. Furthermore, "despite protections, victims may be charged with crimes, including prostitution and face incarceration or deportation." (Johansen, 2006, p. 37) Policy interventions such as "border controls and the legalization of prostitution" have failed in reduction of the incidence of trafficking of human beings. (Johansen, 2006, p.38) Johansen states that "at the most basic level, interventions can begin with the provision of information about human trafficking and more specifically, HIV / AIDS risks and prevention." (2006, p. 38) Furthermore, preventionary effort should take a look at "root causes, including supply and demand factors that contribute to high numbers of trafficking victims." (Johansen, 2006, p. 39) Policies that are currently in play fail to view the "push and pull factors that make people vulnerable to trafficking including employment opportunities [and the] high potential for profit for those involved in trafficking." (Johansen, 2006, p. 40) There is also a need for "macro level interventions and changes in public policies" in regards to health education for trafficking victims. (Johansen, 2006, p.40)

III. EXAMINATION of the DEMAND and SUPPLY

The work of Makonen Getu (2006) entitled: "Human Trafficking and Development: The Role of Microfinance" states that the increase in the demand for women and children in trafficking is not only from "developing countries to developed countries but also to big cities and holiday resort areas...Children and women, often young girls, are held in captive in local brothels to work as commercial sex workers at the disposal of sex tourists and sex traders or exported to Western destinations where they are confined in conditions that are inhumane and traded for the purposes of commercial sex, including prostitution and pornography and in general child pornography and prostitution in particular." (2006, p.143) in fact, the U.S. Department of State has related that where "prostitution is legalized or tolerated, there is a greater demand for human trafficking victims and nearly always an increase in the number of women and children trafficked into commercial sex slavery." (Getu, 2006, p.143) Getu relates that the largest of all sex trades has been identified as being "within Asia carried out by Asian traffickers and 'buyers'..." (2006, p. 143) Additionally, women are sold for the purpose of marriage and concubines and "although this is done in many countries "in varying degrees, the demand for young women as brides and concubines is more prevalent in Taiwan, China and India." (Getu, 2006, p. 143) There is a high rate of importation of Vietnamese women in Taiwan and these women are "sold into prostitution not long after they are 'married' and become legal Taiwan residents." (Getu, 2006, p. 144) the reason for the increase of imported wives is in part due "to the widening gender gaps caused by either population control policy or a financial bias towards boy children." (Getu, 2006, p. 144) There is additionally high demand for cheap labor and specifically "cheap and submissive child labor both in the informal and formal sectors: domestic work, service, construction, agriculture, fishing and mines." (Getu, 2006; p.144) in Western Europe, there is a high demand for human organs for health purposes and this has become "an increasingly critical factor in pushing the demand for trafficked people, particularly children. This market is more widespread in Latin America than anywhere else." (Getu, 2006, p. 144) Getu (2006) examines the 'supply side' of human trafficking and states that "the overwhelming majority of trafficked persons consist of women and children." (p. 144) Estimates indicate that eighty percent of these trafficked are women while approximately fifty percent of individuals who are victims of human trafficking are children. According to Getu (2006) the root cause of human trafficking is "poverty" as in "most of the areas of origin of trafficked persons, 50-60% of the population lives on U.S.$1 a day. Income poverty, unemployment, hunger, disease and illiteracy are widespread and rampant. Employment, education, vocational training and economic opportunities are in chronic shortage." (Getu, 2006, p. 144) Resulting is the vulnerability of unemployed youths and school dropouts, which "become easy targets to human traffickers." (Getu, 2006, p. 144) Even more vulnerable are those who have migrated from areas that are rural in which "opportunities are even rarer" in urban areas to which they have migrated. (Getu, 2006, p. 144) it is important to note that "in most of the origins of trafficked persons, social customs often relegate women and children to positions of being 'owned' by husbands, parents and society at large. They are powerless in decision-making processes and are subjected to physical, verbal and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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