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SECTION A HUMAN TRAFFICKING
- Reasons for its occurrence
SECTION B: NATURE AND SEVERITY OF THE CRIME
SECTION C: THE WAY FORWARD
- Capacity to Respond
SECTION D: CONCLUSION
Painfully and slowly, there is a picture that is emerging of a universal crime that is embracing all nations. Billions of dollars are being minced at the expense of numerous human trafficking victims. Young girls and boys who at their tender ages are supposed to be in school are now being pressurized into becoming soldiers in armed conflicts, sold for sex or doing hard labor. Girls and women are being trafficked for abuse such as being forced into marriage, domestic labor, and prostitution. Men trapped in debt are slaved in sweatshops, mines, and plantations.
Reasons for its Occurrence
Many people are alarmed that this kind of crime is happening in the 21st century. However, because it is a high reward and low risk crime, it goes on undetected. In countries where it is prevalent, either no laws prevail to curb human trafficking or even if laws have been enacted, they are not being enforced. More often than not traffickers are released on bail and victims are jailed. Deceitful human traffickers capitalize on the innocence, poverty, and hope of the unsuspecting victims. Trapped victims are enslaved and dehumanized by being forced to offer continuous services or provide cheap labor. They live in fear because most of them are subjected to violence. Their tears, blood, and sweat are in the hands of their captors.
Nature and Severity of the Crime
In the recent past, there was a boom in information concerning trafficked people. However, there is a problem concerning the consistency of available data. Most figures availed concerning trafficking are based on the approximation of the trafficking level. Apart from that, there is usually no explanation concerning how these figures are calculated. In most cases, they are fundamentally used for fundraising and advocacy objectives. Human trafficking is opportunistic, dynamic, and adaptable. Like most forms of criminal activities, it capitalizes on the vulnerability of individuals in a crisis, and takes advantage of conflicts and humanitarian disasters. It entails a wide range of actors because it is multidisciplinary. To contain this crime, it is critical that the profiles of its victims and traffickers, its underlying conditions, and its nature are comprehended.
It is possible to identify and rescue victims in various phases of the human trafficking process. It is also possible to identify potential victims as they cross borders or at any other transportation stage. Victims are most commonly identified in their country of destination. In some instances, they are also identified as they return to their countries. The most frequently reported trafficking victims are women and children. Human trafficking is complex in nature and one cannot be easily suspected to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is more determined by poverty, age and gender. This vulnerability makes them be victimized even at the initial stages of the trafficking process.
Traffickers usually disguise themselves as recruiters or transporters. Consequently, they engage in human trafficking through criminal activities, forgery of documents, money laundering or corruption. A number of crimes are associated with human trafficking. They range from unlawful confinement to torture and in the worst-case scenario, murder. In most cases, offenders are citizens of the country in which investigations on the human trafficking case are commenced. Consequently, very few of them are successfully prosecuted which results in very few traffickers being convicted. Most human traffickers are also involved in money laundering, pimping, smuggling of immigrants, and forgery of documents.
The Way Forward
Efforts to contain human trafficking are being crippled by the lack of data. As much as human trafficking clandestine nature makes it difficult to collect data, it is not impossible to do so. States need to be knowledgeable about the various forms the crime takes, its extent, and its geographical spread. Stakeholders need to comprehend the functioning of criminal networks and what essentially makes people be vulnerable to trafficking. Without data on human trafficking, it is not easy to evaluate the crime’s impact, to appraise the effect of anti trafficking efforts and to generate effective solutions.
Capacity to Respond
As much as it appears that human trafficking highly features on the agenda of many nations, it is still a big problem. It is now emerging that most states do not have the national capacity, the necessary knowledge, or expertise to combat human trafficking. Only few states have enacted national action plans and formed inter-agency coordination processes or recognized the role of diverse concerned departments to combat trafficking in a multi disciplinary and coordinated manner. Apart from that, very few countries have the vital training, knowledge and expertise essential for the effective prosecution and conviction of human traffickers.
There is a need for a multi sectoral approach in the fight against human trafficking. NGOs, the civil society and other stakeholders can augment efforts req.............
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