Sextrafficking refers to coerced sexual manipulation, including sexualtourism, exotic dancing, pornography, military prostitution, live-sexshows, mail-order brides and prostitution (Deshpande & Nour,2013). Based on the Victims of Trafficking and Violence ProtectionAct (VTVPA) of 2000, the trade involves engaging in commercial sexthat is instigated through fraud, force or coercion. Furthermore, thelaw may consider a person to be engaging in the offense if he or sherecruits a minor who has not attained eighteen years in sexual acts.It is worth noting that women and young girls are the major victimsof the trade (Kotrla & Wommack, 2011). In 2012, the U.SDepartment of Homeland Security described sex trafficking as“modern-day form of slavery involving the illegal trade of peoplefor exploitation or commercial gain” (Alvarez, 2016). TheInternational Labor Organization reported that there were more than20.9 million victims of human trafficking internationally. On thesame note, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime assert thatsexual abuse is one of the common forms of forced labor. In theUnited States alone, over 4,000 sex trafficking cases were reported.The trade is widespread across the globe due to its high returns,which are estimated to earn over 150 billion dollars annually.According to Monique Villa, the ‘Thomson Reuters Foundation’ CEO,the number of people who are subjected to sexual exploitation isstill unclear since several cases go unreported in the U.S. Villaadds that the victims are threatened by their masters as theythreaten to report them to the law enforcement bodies (Alvarez,2016). Several factors are attributed to the high prevalence of sextrafficking of worldwide, including poverty, social cultural and thedesire to migrate to new places in search of greener pastures.
Thesisstatement:The lack of proper education on sexual exploitation, strict bordercontrol and migration policies as well as gender inequality createfertile grounds for sex trafficking of desperate individuals lookingfor lucrative places to fend for their families.
Asthe economy in a given area deteriorates, criminal activities andcommercial sex activities raise a notch higher. In such cases, sextraffickers approach desperate women, young girls, and in worstcases, the parents of the victims. The cunning traders use deceptionsuch as promising to give the desperate women lucrative and legaljobs in other countries or even locally. Considering that the victimscould most likely be facing hard economic times, they quickly agreeto the deals offered by the would-be ‘saviors’ (Kotrla &Wommack, 2011). In most cases, the individuals may own restaurants ormay have connections with people who specialize in the hospitalityindustry. Nonetheless, upon delivering the women in the restaurants,they are forced to engage in commercial sex activities. Some thinkershave argued the possibility of women being duped to offer romanticpleasures to customers against their will. Bill Woolf, a detectivewith the ‘Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force’,informed that he interviewed more than three hundred survivors of theillegal sex business. Most of them claimed that they did not reporttheir captors to the local authorities because they fearedretribution from the law enforcers. The detective also discoveredthat the victims’ handlers also threatened to deliver them to thelocal authorities that they were engaging in illegal activities ifthey failed to comply with their managers’ demands (Alvarez, 2016).In this case, lack of proper education on sexual education can beblamed on the misinformation of the victims.
Accordingto Weitzer (2014), sex trafficking has two main concepts, namelysexual slavery and human trafficking. The two components reflect thesupply and demand chain in the sex trafficking industry. The form ofexploitation arising from sex trafficking is based on the relationsbetween the trafficker and clients taking victims for sexexploitation. Essentially, the victims are taken to perform sexualservices for pay or on slavery terms. In addressing the concept ofsex trafficking, it is appropriate to examine human trafficking at adeeper length. Human trafficking presents the world with social,political, and economic challenges that need redress before theyswell to wreak havoc in the international affairs. Despite theenactment of strict laws and immigration policies, the issue hasexacerbated over the years. The matter has seen increased trade ofhumans for the purposes of forced labor, slavery, and sexualexploitation. Apparently, the trade can take place eitherdomestically or transnationally.
Intheir assessment on sex trafficking, Troshynski and Blank (2008)observed that women and children were the primary targets in thisform of illegal trade affecting many nations around the world. Humansmuggling is a social problem that necessitates global interventionbefore it gets out of hand as seen in multiple instances. The articlehighlights that the international community is yet to adoptappropriate measures to address the matter despite tangible evidenceand knowledge about its consequences to the society. Further, it isemerging that human trafficking is multidimensional with adverseeffects on the global security and socio-economic sphere.
Inundertaking a study on human trafficking and commodification, Liu(2010), asserts that globalization in the current society has asignificant contribution towards increasing vulnerability. The authorexplores the response measures by the American and Netherlandsgovernments to address the risks to victims involved in cross-bordertrafficking. The article also tries to explore different approachesto ensure the interests of immigrants are taken care of, as well asguarantee their safety in the wake of security concerns andsocio-economic disparities. One interesting observation from thearticle is the author’s attempt to differentiate between humantrafficking and smuggling that draws confusion to the readers. Liu(2010) also undertakes a fundamental analysis to explore therelationship between several variables, namely socio-economicdisparities, human trafficking, and globalization in the currentsocietal setting.
Accordingto Liu (2010), strong immigration control measures around the worldcontinue to deny humans the opportunity to move to other nationsthrough the legal and safe means. The move has contributed toincreased prevalence of illegal immigration that has adverse effectson the socio-economic sphere. Human trafficking is a consequence ofillegal immigration that has been commercialized and exploited bysome individuals. The U.S and Netherlands have createdanti-trafficking laws in the name of curbing human trafficking,although the move attracts criticisms for high concentration ondestroying the criminal elements, and provision of minimal assistanceto the victims. There is a great need for the establishment of betterlaws and policies that generate a uniform approach to humantrafficking besides providing assistance to the victims.
Accordingto Ngwe and Elechi (2012), the abolishment of ancient slavery in the19th century emanated from the adverse effects it had on victims andexploitation by the perpetrators in Latin America and Europe.Apparently, the current society continues to experience incidences ofslavery where it has evolved in the form of human trafficking. Modernday slavery has apparently taken a new angle where the effectsgenerate security, human rights, and socio-economic concerns. Indiscussing the two forms of slavery, Ngwe and Elechi (2012) observethat human trafficking is a threat to the global peace and democracyin societies. The trend is not limited to cross-border movements, butalso takes place at the local level as was the case in Nigeria.
Ngweand Elechi (2012) observe that human trafficking is a rewardingbusiness that generates tens of billions of dollars, which has apotential to overtake drug and arms trade in the next ten years ifappropriate measures are not administered to address the matter.Currently, close to 800,000 people are trafficked around the globe.The problem affects citizens from both the developed and developingsocieties. It is also noteworthy from the study findings thatindividuals from the developing nations are likely to turn intovictims, with the first world countries being the primarydestinations. Countries that have political instability, high levelsof poverty and conflicts are likely to increase the vulnerability ofthe citizens towards human trafficking. Further, weak institutionalframeworks and policies contribute to corruption and skewed lawenforcement hence exacerbates incidences of human trafficking acrossthe world. The two authors recognize the need for the development ofuniform policies across nations and an institutional framework tohelp in addressing the root causes of human trafficking, includingcorruption, conflicts, and poverty.
Moreover,Troshynski and Blank (2008) highlights the significance ofunderstanding the supply and demand dynamics, as well as the networksof the perpetrators to assist in formulating interventions. Thetrafficking business, as noted in the study, has adverse effects onthe victims such as violence against women and sexual harassment.Unfortunately, the victims encounter challenges such as victimizationand lack of basic needs. Minors and women undergo both physical andsexual assault. The findings highlight the importance of harmonizedand uniform international policies to check human trafficking aroundthe world. The author observes that stringent punitive measurescoupled with proper regulatory frameworks, regulation, andimplementation will assist in addressing the sex trafficking.
Itis necessary to develop the right strategies such as friendly bordercontrol and migration policies when looking at the effects and natureof sex trafficking. According to Deshpande et al. (2013), the sextraffickers lure women into the sex trade using numerous approaches.In most cases, the victims are recruited from the emerging nations.They are promised citizenship in the developed states, legitimate andwell-paying jobs, and in some cases, a false marriage proposal. Whenthe victims accept the offers, they are taken to other destinationsother than the respective countries that they were promisedinitially. If the developed countries can establish friendlymigration policies that would allow people from other states to entereasily using the legal means, the women who are preyed by the cunningsex traffickers would be safe from the unscrupulous traders. Waltersand Davis (2011) notes that several Mexican girls are recruited intothe sex trafficking cartels when trying to sneak into the UnitedStates. Furthermore, hundreds or even thousands possibly perish inthe severe desert climate.
Thereis also limited education among the victims of sex traffickingregarding sexual slavery and prostitution. The latter is illegalbecause the participants willing exchange sexual favors with valuablegifts. On the contrary, sex trafficking victims are forced to provideromantic services to their clients. The masters apply differenttechniques to coerce them including taking away their travelingdocuments or even keeping them in guarded premises where they cannotescape (Walters & Davis, 2011). In special circumstances, thewomen are burdened with massive debts that were allegedly incurred toprocess their safe passage to their respective destinations. Besidescoping with legal challenges, the enslaved girls may often lack moneyto process their escape plans, experience language barriers, and havelimited knowledge on the right places to look for assistance. Runningto the police stations may appear an obvious solution, but they oftenfear retribution considering that they might have entered a countryillegally, engaged in unlawful activities, and some corrupt lawenforcers often work in cahoots with the cartels that run the illicitbusiness (Deshpande & Nour, 2013).
Providingextensive education on the various ways sex traffickers recruit theirvictims can help to curb the vice. Walters and Davis (2011) foundthat numerous women from Mexico are offered assistance by smugglers(coyotes) who promise to help them reach the United States safely.The transporters often shower them with gifts such as dresses,makeup, and food on the condition that they would look for a job andpay off the costs incurred during the journey. However, once theyreach the destination, they are offered only one option of working inthe commercial sex industry. The living conditions of the victims canbe described as slavery as their owners may compel them to takeaddictive drugs that make it impossible for them to leave as theywould have no supplies. Other inhumane conditions the victims mayexperience include sleep deprivation, rape, domestic service,physical assault, being locked and being subjected to offercompulsory domestic service (Deshpande & Nour, 2013). Given thatmany girls are naïve and might not even know about the existence ofthe illegal sex industry, offering extensive education on the methodssex traffickers spot their victims could help the vulnerableindividual to escape the predicament.
Finally,gender inequality enhances sex trafficking therefore, theintroduction of strict policies that would make the society treat themale and the female genders equally could prevent the illegal trade.According to Liu (2010), most employers prefer employing men towomen. Consequently, there are limited job openings for the ladies.Considering that some of them may have dependants resulting fromearly and unplanned pregnancies, they become so desperate to theextent of looking for legitimate jobs anywhere. When the smugglerspresent them with attractive job offers, they readily accept theproposals (Zentner, 2011). However, if all states can adopt thepolicies that would oblige employers to maintain gender balance whenrecruiting new staff members, the women can confidently reject theoffers.
Inconclusion, sex trafficking is an illegal business that involvescapturing humans and inducing them to offer coitus services througheither deception or coercion. Both men and women are often victims ofthe sex trafficking injustices nevertheless, a big percentage of thesubjects are women. Researchers attribute the escalation of theproblem to numerous factors, including harsh migration policies,strict border control measures, lack of adequate education regardingthe sex trafficking industry, as well as gender inequality. Thesmugglers target impoverished families and desperate girls searchingfor well-paying jobs. They promise to facilitate the transportationand traveling documents for their clients. Afterward, the customersare supposed to work in legitimate occupations and repay the debtsowed to their facilitators. Unfortunately, the agents later breaktheir promises by forcing the victims to engage in the illicit sextrade so that they can repay their debts.
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