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Persuasive Essay on Trafficking

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Human trafficking should be prioritized above all other human rights violations. When the act of human trafficking is applied to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, more rights are violated in comparison to any other crime. Human trafficking is the exploitation and active measures taken to victimize those vulnerable for a profit either through forced labor or the sex trade. Such a crime infringes upon the dignity and morality of society and is an active infraction of an individual’s human rights. Such behavior should not be tolerated in society and individuals should not be subject to such behavior. The Polaris Project attempts to eradicate such conduct in society and recognizes Human Trafficking as the most important breach upon ones human rights.

Human Trafficking as a Prioritized Human Right’s Violation Introduction
In the 21st century many think and believe that controversial issues in the world are not as apparent as the media portrays; this is perhaps because such issues are not as explicit to us or because they are not occurring in our own communities. Society through no fault of their own are ignorant and naïve to such issues as they are not exposesd to the atrocities that occur; we are blinded, misdirected and kept quiet.

However, for those who are exposed to such outrageous occurrences, this is the consistence of their lives. Just because we are unaware does not mean a problem does not exist. Therefore, when we know and realize the reality and imminence of a problem, as a human being it is our duty to inform and spread the word to end such suffering. Human trafficking is a global concern; it is everywhere and may in fact be present in your own community. What is Human Trafficking?

Human Trafficking is a serious crime and a severe violation of human rights. Every year thousands of men, women and children fall and are led into the possession of traffickers abroad and in their home country. In various forms, almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking as route of transportation, origin of, or destination for trafficked human beings. Human Trafficking for the average person may be hard to define as there are many difficulties that arise from defining the issue; which in many cases make prosecution problematic. Some may be in the industry by choice, some may not be maltreated, some misunderstand and many are simply unaware that trafficking occurs (Lucia, 2012).

The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) is a United Nation’s sponsored multilateral treaty against transnational organized crime that particularly focuses on protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially Women and Children. Established in 2000 and ratified in 179 states worldwide, UNTOC defines Human Trafficking as follows, “as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.

Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs” (What Is Human Trafficking, 2014). This definition is very broad and inclusive of many components. The most significant features are that of the force against ones will, exploitation and profiting from the one being exploited; this could constitute illicit activity in the eyes of the average person. For the eyes of the law and legislative means for prosecution the elements of Human Trafficking denoted by UNTOC are the ‘Act, the Means and The Purpose (What Is Human Trafficking, 2014). ’ The act consists of ‘what is done.’

This is inclusive of recruitment of humans and the transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of individuals. The means is ‘how it is done.’ This is the threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim. The purpose is ‘why it is done.’ Usually Trafficking is committed for the purpose of exploitation and profitability. This includes the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery and the removal of organs (Hepburn & Rita, 2013, p3). To determine whether a particular circumstance constitutes trafficking in persons the definition of trafficking in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol is applied to the elements of the offense.

Although 179 states have ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, these states must also adopt domestic anti-trafficking laws to correspond with the treaty and implement such legislation. Here lies the problem; many states either do not have the resources to enforce such laws against human trafficking or maintain a very narrow legal definition that is completely inadequate. The perception from state to state varies and the initial challenge is unifying and applying a definition that is established around the globe, after all the issue is a multi-national concern. Why I Chose Human Trafficking

I have had no contact with the world of traffickers, trafficking rings or the victims, that I know of. It is a world that seems so distant but is very abundant in societies worldwide including the USA. I have identified human trafficking as a focal point of human rights violation as I believe this issue is a removal of or can at least be associated with nearly all the human rights as identified by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR.) After reviewing and acknowledging testimony, this issue touched my heart. Human trafficking destroys and ends many lives. In the U.S. alone over 17,500 individuals are brought into the country and held against their will as victims of human trafficking every year (Chisolm-Straker).

These people are given false hope at a better life and are then completely exploited and violated for sex, labor and slavery. Many originate from undeveloped countries and come in search for work; these people are vulnerable and are targeted by trafficking rings. I have always been troubled with capitalism and a capitalist society. In adopting a simplistic idea of Marx’s notion of a society based on exploitation, I very much dislike the dominance and deception of one person over another. Not that I’m advocating communism but when the disparities in society reach such limits and inequities to the stage where basic human rights are removed and societal needs are not met, this is when, for me, society becomes broken.

By stretching this logic and applying it to the issue of human trafficking, it can be idealized as no more than a market-driven criminal industry that is based on the principles of exploitation, supply and demand (Why Trafficking Exists, Polaris Project). Although I have not been directly affected by Human Trafficking, in order to understand I always try to imagine myself or a family member or a friend as a victim. Somewhere in the world is a man who has lost a mother or a sister or a wife to the Human Trafficking industry; a man just like me. The issue has now become personal. People in countries striving for democracy who are suppressed by human trafficking need support; it’s a small world and we need to care. Criteria for Choice

In choosing the human right issue for this paper I applied my own views and opinion of what is important in constituting the greatest of human rights violation. Unfortunately the world is characterized by inequality and suppression of many forms that require many different solutions; however human trafficking should take priority. In deciding the issue of human trafficking I recognized three criteria, the conception of passive or active removal of human rights, the concept of human dignity and the ethical proponents of human trafficking. Passive removal is the failure to provide the fundamental human rights of a human being. Human trafficking consist of an active endeavor to exploit and remove the human rights of others. Criminals knowingly go out their way to possess other human beings and violate their rights for profit. Unlike the need for food or water, sex trafficking in its very nature encompasses the external action from others to remove and prevent rights instead of the provision of a right.

The right to a free and fair world, freedom from slavery and freedom from torture among many other rights is taken and suppressed. In the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the recognition of human dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Human dignity is completely disregarded by sex traffickers. Victims are treated as commodities and their welfare is valued only for profit; otherwise they are not cared for. Human dignity should be valued and maintained from birth, this is what separates us from all other species on earth.

The idea that we should be treated with love, compassion and respect should be explicit in society. human trafficking promotes contradictory values of extreme impudence and hatred in which removal of human dignity is obvious. The fundamentals of ethics and morality call upon the basic difference between right and wrong. Legislation is what we usually revert to for deduction on what is acceptable and intolerable in society; but philosophically we as humans must collectively establish morality to achieve such regulations.

Human trafficking conflicts with morals in cultures and civilizations globally but not in all. In some Islamic and African countries it is acceptable to exploit the inequalities embedded in their culture to the extremes of thrashings and rapes like that in Niger, where this behavior and treatment is normal (NIGER: Rape and Beatings). However in the western world, our morality does not coincide with this treatment thus human trafficking and associated behaviors are a blatant violation of human rights giving the credence that it should be prioritized over others.

Types of Human Trafficking
Sex trafficking is the force or coercion of individuals into the commercial sex trade against their will. This may be interpreted simply as prostitution but sex trafficking is inclusive of a broad range of examples such as residential brothels, hostess clubs, online escort services, fake massage businesses, strip clubs, and also street prostitution (Sex Trafficking in the U.S.). The exposure to the sex trade puts the victim at a greatly increased risk to other harms such as rape, torture, sexualized mutilation and death (Rubio-Marín, 2006, p339) While sex trafficking is undoubtedly the more lurid and most written about form of abuse, we should be equally concerned with the more hidden forms of human trafficking that deceive human beings and lure victims into an inescapable web of sweat and debt.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines labor trafficking as: “The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.( U.S. Laws on Trafficking in Persons.)” Labor trafficking occurs in various industries, in particular where the use of casual labor is normal such as manufacturing and agricultural locations. Although we may refuse to acknowledge the truth, we are all connected to the reality that is modern-day slavery as we consume on a daily basis products made by those in third-world countries who are forced to work for poor pay and in awful conditions.

This exploitative practice allows for corporations to obtain large profit margins from the slight cost of labor. Trafficking of humans is driven by that very global demand for cheap, unskilled, exploitable labor so that profits can total an estimated $44.3 billion annually (Modern Enslavement of Immigrants in the United States.) After drug trafficking human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry worldwide with each slave worth no more than $90 (Human Trafficking).

Unequal opinions of labor trafficking and sex trafficking are a worldwide wonder. Sex trafficking is discussed more the media and encompasses ‘human trafficking’ however in many nations governments and their citizens do not even concern labor trafficking or forced labor as human trafficking. This is due to the glamorization of sex trafficking and a human beings innate interest of the ‘sexiness’ of the industry; humans simply find it more appealing (Hepburn & Rita, 2013, p9-10). Who are the Victim’s?

Trafficking Victims unfortunately do not hold a constant profile and can be men or women and even children. The only commonality held between most victims is the existence of vulnerability covering a wide span of areas such as age, socio-economic status, nationality, education-level, or gender. Traffickers target those hoping for a better life, which may lack employment, have an unstable life or have a history of sexual abuse. Whilst anybody can become a victim of trafficking, particular individuals who are more vulnerable there are those at a higher risk.

Undocumented immigrants are frequently victimized by traffickers as the victim is in need of employment, shelter, and other means of support. Runaways, tourists and at-risk youth are targeted by traffickers for exploitation in the sex and labor or trade as they are manipulated through a combination of deception, threats and violence (“Why Trafficking Exists, Polaris Project” and “Modern Enslavement of Immigrants in the United States”). How Human Trafficking Works

Traffickers usually recruit victims for jobs that are a front for the reality of trafficking. It is common practice for traffickers to lure victims into employment relationships with false promises of high-paying jobs such as house cleaners, housemaids, nannies, cooks and models and then forced into the sex and labor trade (“Modern Enslavement of Immigrants in the United States”). The traffickers typically charge females an illicit border-crossing fee to slip their victims across borders and then smuggle them to brothels and safe houses where it is not uncommon for them to be drugged. Once trapped, women and girls are forced into prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation under the distressing conditions.

Victims of trafficking are often dumped in unsafe or illegal living and working conditions. In an attempt to brainwash and diminish the spirit of the victim they are physically abused and made to feel weak and helpless; this is known as the break in process and is done repeatedly until their will to fight or escape their captors is destroyed. For the victims, contact with the outside world is prohibited, they are forbidden to go outside and they are forced into horrific living conditions.

Once a victim has reached his or her destination, the slaveholder will keep the victim indebted for the cost of travel and keep them in debt for their living costs, known as “debt bondage.” (Kralis, 2006) The dominance of the trafficker is established and maintained so that the victim is held helpless and trapped. As long as the demoralization of the victim is sustained the victim will never revolt. The victims are traded and rotated from country to country and are in the trafficking system for years until they are of no use any more, they are either killed or simply discarded. (Kralis, 2006 and Shelley, 2010, Ch. 7) Why Is This A Human Right Violation?

Trafficking in human is a grotesque human rights violation on multiple accounts. The case can be argued that trafficking in human beings constitutes violations of at least twelve of the thirty articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Article 1 of the UDHR states ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’ Although this states that individuals are born with the right to freedom and equality those subject to Human Trafficking have their freedom and equality removed. Individuals are not free to do as they please and are forced to work and have sex against their will. Although from birth people obtain these rights they are not maintained as long as victims are still in the trafficking trade.

Furthermore, in some cases pregnancy during sex trafficking and the birth of a child lead’s to the traffickers obtaining the child for further leverage and threat over the victim; the innocent child from birth is also denied such rights. Article 3 of the UDHR states ‘everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.’ Life liberty and security is at best case limited if not prohibited when an individual is captured in the world of trafficking. Individuals have their liberty removed when they are forced to act against their will; ether by means of labor or in sexual practices. The right to Security and Life is absent as victims are often exposed to rapes, beatings and in severe but not uncommon cases murder. Article 4 of the UDHR states ‘no one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.’

Perhaps the most obvious and most applicable article of the UDHR to Human Trafficking is Article 4. Human trafficking is recognized as modern day slavery. Although victims may receive pay, they are exploited for cheap labor and enslaved for prostitution in which traffickers make profit. Article 5 of the UDHR states ‘no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.’ Torture is major component of the human trafficking world. Victims are repeatedly raped and beaten and those in forced labor are subject to punishments when failing to ‘work hard enough’ Article 13 of the UDHR states ‘everyone has the right to freedom of movement … and the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.’ Humans who are trafficked are dominated by traffickers and ring leaders.

They are moved against their will and detained in terrible and frightful conditions. They simply do not possess the freedom to move never mind to return to their homeland. Article 17 of the UDHR states ‘everyone has the right to own property ….. no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.’ Often individuals once trafficked are parted from any documentation that maintains their identity. Birth certificates and Passports are stolen to prevent individuals escaping from their capture as without these documents they are unable to return home. Article 19 of the UDHR states ‘everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression’ For those trafficked their freedom of thought is destroyed. After subjection to brainwashing treatments of multiple rapes, beatings and torture their willingness to think and express themselves is completely diminished.

Article 24 of the UDHR states ‘everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.’ In particular for children who have been trafficked, their right to play is suppressed and their right to a childhood is removed and replaced by long working days absent of rest. Article 25 of the UDHR states ‘everyone has the right to a standard of living…health and well-being…including food, clothing, housing and medical care ….. and livelihood…Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.’In the human trafficking trade the basic human needs of food, water, shelter and clothing are rarely met at least not consistently.

Traffickers simply do not care for the wellbeing of their victims, only for profit. Article 26 of the UDHR states ‘everyone has the right to education.’ Survival is the first major concern for trafficking victims. For a child an education is the least of their concern as they are subject to brutal maltreatment. If a child is lucky enough to escape the world of trafficking and exploitation the need of education may be fulfilled however it cannot be attained until they are free. Article 28 of the UDHR states ‘everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.’ Many countries do not possess adequate resources or legislation to enforce and protect the freedoms in the UDHR.

Human Trafficking is one violation that has loop holed the UDHR and still occurs throughout the globe. Article 30 of the UDHR states ‘nothing in this Declaration engage any person in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.’ Traffickers destroy, prevent and oppress victims and their rights. Forced labor and sex trafficking constitutes a violation in the freedoms of the victims.

Human Trafficking should take priority over all other human right violations because the extent of the abuse when applied to the Universal Declaration of Human Right’s is so extensive that it prevents fulfillment of any other human right and suppresses all others. Individual’s freedoms are completely removed and victims live in fear constantly. In order for these victims obtain rights such as food, water, ownership, the freedom to move, an education and privacy among many others, they must first be unbound by the shackles and cruelty of human trafficking. Testimony

The following testimony is taken from the United States, Diplomacy in Action webpage and displays the horrifying experiences of two victims of Human Trafficking. Mauri, United States  “only 16 years old when she was prostituted on the streets of Honolulu, Hawaii. For her, there was no escape; her pimp threatened to kill her family if she did not go out on the street at night. If Mauri tried to use some of the money to buy food, she was severely beaten. Mauri finally escaped and was picked up by law enforcement. She is now in a rehabilitation program and has reunited with her parents, but her road to recovery has been long and difficult. She suffers from terrible flashbacks and severe depression, and has even attempted suicide. Mauri says she was lucky to get out alive: “The longer you stay the less hope you have “Victims’ Stories.” Latulo, Uganda/Kenya

“was desperate to find a job to pay for his university school tuition. While in town one day, Latulo met a man who said he needed people to work for him at a factory in Kenya. Hoping this job would help pay for his tuition, Latulo agreed to go to Kenya with him. Other men and women travelled to Kenya. Eventually they arrived at their final destination at a huge house. The man, suddenly became rude and ordered them to give him their identification and phones. They were shown a video of a man who had been suffocated with a bag because he attempted to escape. They were all told that they would not be working at a factory, but rather would be working as sex slaves. Every room had a camera and they were recorded while they were forced to have sex with strangers. After a month and half of captivity, Latulo was allowed to accompany his captors into town. When they stopped to have lunch, he ran away. Law enforcement officials in Kenya opened an investigation and Latulo was able to return to Uganda and received medical attention “Victims’ Stories.”

The everlasting effects of the treatment these survivors were subject to are still being felt and experienced. Mauri was beaten, starved, pimped out and now suffers from depression, flashbacks and has even tried to take her own life. Latulo was forced to have sex with strangers and put through the traumatic experience of sex slavery and needed medical attention after his escape. Shockingly, These are the lucky ones; the ones who survived. Many in the human trafficking trade do not survive and never return home. The Polaris Project

The Polaris Project is an organization involved in the international fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Named after the North Star “Polaris” that directed slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad, the Polaris Project is renovating the way individuals and communities react to human trafficking in both the USA and around the globe. The Polaris Project constructs lasting solutions that push society closer to a world without slavery by moving for stronger federal and state laws, improved training and the provision of vital services to victims of trafficking (Polaris Project). It is the mission of the Polaris Project to “combat human trafficking and modern-day slavery and to strengthening the anti-trafficking movement through a comprehensive approach.”

This comprehensive approach is inclusive of a set of values and organizational principles that provide a basis for all program activities. They desire to implement and perfect such values within the communities and also in the movement against trafficking. These values include exemplary service to the mission of the agency, a reality and impact-centered approach to remain focused on the mission, empowerment of grass-roots organizations and individuals in communities, non-violence and respect in all their work and efforts, the implementation of transformative innovation and a holistic approach to human trafficking (Polaris Project).

The Polaris Project should receive funds for the work they do as they truly transform people’s lives. They operate 365 days a year they impact on a global scale through legal advocacy acting on behalf of the victims to establish protective legislation, they provide clinical social services to victims in the United States and they are connecting the world in an effort against human trafficking (Polaris Project). The most important way in which people can help is simply raising awareness; this issue is imminent and is always occurring. Raising awareness can unify many and strengthen the fight against human trafficking. Summary

The prominence of human trafficking, sex trade and forced labor in society is so real and abundant that society does not realize it. Human trafficking as displayed violates at least twelve of the rights as declared by the UDHR. This confirms just how trafficking is the greatest violation in human rights because forced labor, prostitution and the world that is trafficking actively prevents victims from obtaining the very freedoms they receive at birth. Without these freedoms these individuals cannot thrive and live prosperously. Those who are vulnerable are in need of help and assistance on how to escape the world they are trapped in. These people are entitled to their own lives. By prioritizing human trafficking over others human rights issues, they can have their lives back.


Chisolm-Straker, Makini. “Human Trafficking.” Human Trafficking. n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. Hepburn, Stephanie, and Rita J. Simon. Human Trafficking around the World: Hidden in PlainSight. New York: Columbia UP, 2013. Print. Human Trafficking. DoSomething.org. n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.

Kralis, Barbara. “How Trafficking Scams Work.” How Trafficking Scams Work.” 31 July2006.Web. 23 Apr. 2014. Lucia, Katie. “Sex Trafficking Difficult to Define, Prosecute.” Victorville Daily Press. 28Oct.2012. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. M “Modern Enslavement of Immigrants in the United States.” aclu.org. n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. “NIGER: Rape and Beatings.” IRIN news. n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. “Polaris Project: For a World Without Slavery.” Polarisproject.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr.2014. Rubio-Marín, Ruth. What Happened to the Women?: Gender and Reparations for Human RightsViolations. New York: Social Science Research Council, 2006. Print. “Sex Trafficking in the U.S. Polaris.” Sex Trafficking in the U.S. Polaris Project. n.d. Web. 20Apr. 2014. Shelley, Louise I. Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.Print. “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UDHR, Declaration of Human Rights, HumanRights Declaration, Human Rights Charter, The Un and Human Rights.” UN NewsCenter. UN, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. (UDHR) “U.S. Laws on Trafficking in Persons.” U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State, n.d.Web. 23 Apr. 2014. “Victims’ Stories.” U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State, 2013. Web. 22 Apr.2014. “What Is Human Trafficking?” unodc.org. 2014. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. “Why Trafficking Exists, Polaris Project.” Why Trafficking Exists. Polaris
Project. n.d. Web. 20Apr. 2014.

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