The United Nations estimates that 800,000 humans are trafficked worldwide involving 167 different countries. This ‘industry’ unfortunately appeals to many people and is increasing rapidly, earning an average of $32 billion a year. Until 2000, there has been no effort in stopping this modern form of slavery. According to Polaris Project, every year, human traffickers make billions of dollars by victimizing millions of people around the world. Human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world.
Strengthening legal measures to prevent human trafficking can allow governments to prosecute more criminals and protect possible victims.
What, How, Why?
According to The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, there are three elements to human trafficking: What, how, and why.
The transportation of human beings, young or old, to other countries illegally, using boats, submarines, buses, etc.
In order for the traffickers to sell their ‘goods’, traffickers often use threats to scare victims. Traffickers can also use force or forms of abduction.
Human trafficking can be used for the purpose of forced labor, slavery, or similar practices.
The Three P’s
The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime addresses human trafficking matters through its Global Program against Trafficking in Persons. Majorities of States have signed the protocol, but turning it into reality remains tricky. Very few criminals are convicted and most victims are possibly never identified or aided.
United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime helped advance legislation in many countries, but many human trafficking laws are limited in their application to the exploitation of women. This means that UNODC provides no assistance to people who do not ‘fit’ into this category, such as slaves or women who are subjected to domestic servitude. Without these specialized trafficking laws, victims are endangered to larger insecurities while traffickers face reduced risks and penalties.
Is this the end?
Will these children ever have an ordinary childhood? Will this mistreatment and slavery ever come to an end? Because of these events, have people lost faith in humanity?
By Hessa Al-Kubaisi
Drawing By Aya El-Husseini