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Symposium 2010

Proposal - Stopping Human Trafficking

The Challenge

At least 12 million people worldwide are trapped in conditions of forced labor, a fifth of them being exploited as a result of human trafficking. These forms of modern day slavery have become one of t ...

At least 12 million people worldwide are trapped in conditions of forced labor, a fifth of them being exploited as a result of human trafficking. These forms of modern day slavery have become one of the most profitable and most horrifying businesses in the world. Human trafficking and coerced labor are said to be the fastest growing source of income for organized crime and its third most important source after drugs and the arms trade.

An essential requirement for redacting human trafficking is to raise awareness that it’s exists and how prevalent and evil it is. This orgatrates on two levels:

First, raising awareness on the part of those who may become the victims of trafficking; and,

Secondly, raising awareness on the part of society at large.

No doubt there are few who would deny that Human Trafficking exists; but most of those who are trafficked probably never appreciated the risk that it would happen to them: and the countries from which and to which victims are trafficked may not recognize that trafficking occurs in their part of the world.

Refugees and asylum seekers are especially vulnerable to trafficking. However, a key point is that it is vital to distinguish between those groups and the victims of trafficking. Before they are Trafficked the victims of trafficking may have no problem, or no problem other than poverty. They do not realize that they are going to be trafficked. When they are trafficked that is likely to be because they are misled. Unlike arms and drugs, humans who are trafficked are likely to be persuaded to undertake a course of action by someone whom they perceive at the time as be a friend. What is needed is to raise awareness of how traffickers operate and of what should arouse suspicion on the part of any potential migrant.

The second requirement for combating human trafficking is to seek to protect the victims. This has to be much more focused than protecting all migrants’, or all illegal migrants, from exploitation generally. The victims of trafficking need particular protection. For example they should not be subject to exportation, whatever the position may or should be in relation to illegal migrants generally.

Other measures include that employment and recruitment processes must be subject to more scrutiny; laws against trafficking, and especially the enforcement of those laws, must be strengthened; and businesses which benefit from trafficked labor should be hold to account.

Above all, the specific evil of hum trafficking should not be lost sight of by failing to distinguish it from the wider issues relating to migrants and labor exploitation generally.

Migrants may well be aware that they face all manner of problems, as indeed commonly they will. The damage is that this awareness may extend to the risk that in addition they may themselves be a victim to someone who does not appear to them to be a danger to all. It is the risk above all of which heightened awareness is vital.

We have to have working together Governments: Public /Private Sector NGO’s and the Churches to make real change globally.

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