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Literature Review on the History of Human Trafficking

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Criminology
Wordcount: 2776 words Published: 5th Aug 2019

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Chapter One: History and Background

The United Nations defines trafficking in human beings as the recruitment, transport, transfer, harboring or receiving of persons by inappropriate means (such as force, abduction, fraud or coercion) for an inappropriate purpose, including forced labor. Trafficking in human beings is also known as modern day slavery (Bakirci, 2009). People are largely stripped of their dignity and human rights. People are forced to move across borders for sex work or children are smuggled for cheap employment or forced to work for very little money as domestic help. It used to be a much-hidden crime and the attention of law enforcement and human rights workers has just recently been given. Trafficking usually occurs in poor and broken environments, where exploiters come and take advantage of their situation. Many women remain uneducated due to poor conditions and the only option during difficult times is to sell their bodies to help their families. Victims are usually given great promises and leave home and get into trouble because of desperation. Sometimes parents sell their children for debt repayment (Williams, 2018). Mainly girls between the ages of 10 and 35 are sold to brothel owners, these kinds of things are supposed to happen more in the countries of the Third World, such as India, Bangladesh, Africa, Kenya and Pakistan; but this is not true worldwide. Trafficking in human beings is the third most illegal enterprise after the sale of drugs and arms and todays most profitable international crime with sales of 7 to 12 billion dollars. The sale of humans is one of the most disgraceful crimes with annual numbers estimated by the State Department of 600,000 and 800,000 (Feingold, 2005). The scope and size of trafficking is hard to estimate because the crime is usually done secretly and tends to be hidden even from the police. It is believed that the numbers are even higher than reported because of the secrecy. Enough information is available to confirm that on a daily and worldwide basis men, women and children become vulnerable victims of this crime. Many factors contributing to this wide-ranging, covert problem felt throughout the word include; economic and political instability, massive global poverty and the disenfranchisement of individual groups. Individual motivation to engage in a lucrative criminal enterprise coupled with the inability of law enforcement to identify victims and offenders make trafficking very attractive to criminals who consider tax free rewards and the likelihood of fear. The purpose of this research paper is to present a history of trafficking in human beings and to discuss ways in which victims are recruited to enslave and sell people (Zimmerman & Kiss, 2017).

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The Mediterranean region is known as the world ‘s birthplace. Historians and anthropologists agree that from this region all civilization grew. Early life records in the Mediterranean demonstrates slavery. Families would sell unwanted family members to traders to make financial progress. Slaves were also formed during the war between tribes. The lost tribe would take women and children as slaves. Sometimes poor families migrate to other countries because of hunger or illness. In their new nation, such families have often become slaves. This evidence can also be seen in biblical records. In Genesis chapter 37, slavery is first mentioned in the story of Joseph and his brothers. Joseph was one of Israel’s twelve sons. His mother was his father’s favorite wife, and he was therefore a clear favorite of his father. This made Joseph’s brothers angry. The brothers of Joseph hated him so much they wanted to kill him. They decided to sell him to traveling traders instead of killing him. The story of Joseph is not the only mention in the bible of slavery. The Bible tells of several times when the whole nation of Israel lived as slaves. It also provided rules and regulations as to how the Israelites were to find their own slaves. Exodus Chapter 1 tells the story of the captivity of the nation of Israel in Egypt. The Egyptians have taken the whole nation as slaves because they were foreigners in the country. While living as slaves, the Israelites suffered from their owners a lot of abuse. The law of Moses in the Old Testament deals with the rules concerning slave ownership. One of the clearest verses is in the New International Version of Leviticus 25:44. This verse described the rules for the Israelites ‘ purchase of slaves. It says, ” Your male and female slaves must come from the nations around you; you can buy slaves from them. ” found that slavery was not only legal throughout history, it was a key element of society. Slavery was crucial to the growth of nations in agriculture and architecture. Slaves were forced to perform laborious tasks that ordinary people were unwilling to perform. Slaves brought about cultural change, too. When people were traded from other countries, they brought their spiritual and cultural traditions with them. These traditions have been woven into the culture of the nation (Zimmerman & Kiss, 2017).

Although slavery was an integral part of nation growth and development, it was a dark practice. Slave owners have acted in disgraceful ways to comply with their slaves. Slaves became hungry, beaten and raped. In an effort to ensure the servitude of the whole family, husbands were kept away from their wives and children. The Israelites only differed moderately from the nations around them. The nation had strict rules to take fellow Israelites as slaves, but the rules for forgiven prisoners were looser. Moses law authorized the beating of slaves. Exodus 21:20 – 21, New International Version states, ” Anyone who beats his male slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but not punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, because the slave is his property (Kempadoo, 2016). ” It has continued throughout history in times of rapid growth. Some of the most commonly known slave trade occurred in the colonial period, when Europeans went to the Americas. Slaves have become the foundation of the American colonies ‘ development. The end of the trade in legal slaves was a gradual process, beginning in Europe and then moving to the Americas. The institution formally ended in the majority of the developed world in 1865, but illegal trafficking in slaves continues to grow throughout the world in human trafficking today (Kempadoo, 2016).

Chapter Two: Literature Review

The history of human trafficking, especially Sex trafficking, can be divided into three eras: (1) the 1840s to the mid-1890s, (2) the late 1890s to World War l, and (3) 1919 through World War Il. During the 1840s to the mid-1890s, the demand for slavery around the globe combined with the rallying and relocation of non-Western men energized the trafficking of people. India, Burma, and Ceylon required slaves to help dig for gold and precious stones from mines and for development ventures like railways. Poverty stricken traveling immigrants in Asia would look for work and criminal business people would make a profit by encouraging the deal and transportation of slaves. The union of these people created a national sex market (Bakirci, 2009).

Support was so powerful in 1904 that several countries signed an international agreement to deal with slave trade. The agreement pledged to (a) establish a central repository for collecting and sharing information on the number of European women forced into prostitution, (b) remain observant at ports of entry by asking women to declare their nationality and report to authorities that European women were forced to travel to foreign countries for prostitution. The international agreement of 1904 did not provide for the sale, transport and forced prostitution of European women to be declared illegal. The agreement drew attention to the problem and reveal a racial divide. Ninety nine percent of prostitutes were colored women, but the agreement did not try to protect them. Women of color were not included in the fight against forced prostitution or trafficking until 1921 (Zimmerman & Kiss, 2017). In addition, despite the universal consensus that nobody should be forced into prostitution, there was still a lack of consensus around the world on the abolition of prostitution in its entirety. Some countries believed that prostitution should be legal if it involved the consensual exchange of services for money. Although the migration of prostitution was affected by the relocation of male businessmen worldwide during the first and second periods, the deployment of troops also affected prostitution and sex trafficking. This was the case during the First World War and during World War II. During their deployment in foreign countries, military troops committed rape against many women. General Patton was believed to have told an assistant during World War II that despite efforts to stop ” wartime raping ” it was an inevitable occurrence. The deployment of troops also helped establish brothels to allow soldiers to gain access to prostitutes. Some military forces around the world, including the United States, often organize sites for ” recreational prostitution ” to reduce rape during the war. Indeed, the United States and South Korea agreed to establish rest and relaxation centers between the 1950s and the 1970s which at times entailed prostitution (Feingold, 2005).

Humans are used for a variety of enslavement, here are a few:

  • Farm labor
  • Domestic work and childcare (domestic servitude)
  • Begging/street peddling
  • Restaurant work
  • Construction work
  • Carnival work
  • Hotel housekeeping
  • Criminal activities
  • Any form of day labor

Prostitution is the most common form of trafficking in the United States. Prostitution is also the world’s most frequent type of trafficking. Globally, women are most often victims of trafficking in human beings followed by children, mainly girls. Children are used most often in sex tourism operations. Sex tourism is an incentive to travel abroad in order to participate in sexual escapades, usually with minors. Mexico and Latin America were places where sex tourism occurred, especially with children. Two million children are estimated to be forced into prostitution for the purpose of providing services to foreign travelers. Children are also used to smuggle organs. In places like India, it is not uncommon for children to be kidnapped, nurtured and then killed solely in order to sell their organs to the highest bidder. The sale of organs is so profitable, however, that some adults around the world agree to sell their organs so that they can be shipped to other countries. It is important to note that while trafficking in human beings is usually a transnational crime, that thousands of children are trafficked within the country’s borders in the United States. In the same way, other countries repolish internal or domestic trafficking in human beings, in which victims are sold and enslaved in their own countries. For prosecution purposes in the United States, trafficking in human beings is said to have occurred when a person is forced to work against his or her will, regardless of the distance from where the victim has been bought or sold to where he or she is ultimately forced to work. In fact, moving a person from one place to another is irrelevant to determining whether a crime of trafficking in human beings has taken place. The only relevant factors are whether the person has been forced to work against his or her will and whether he or she can leave or flee from his or her place of work (Kempadoo, 2016).

People around the world are kidnapped from their homes or sold into slavery by family members. Others are caught trying to migrate illegally to other countries. Some come up with the new promise of work. You’re surprised that there’s no work. All identification is removed and then forced into different forms of work. Modern victims of human trafficking are beaten, tortured and raped in order to maintain compliance, like slaves throughout history. The current number of people living in slavery for several reasons is difficult to estimate. The first reason is that trafficking in human beings is an extremely sophisticated and profitable business. Law enforcement officials are struggling to keep pace with the different forms of trafficking in human beings in the world today. Although trafficking in human beings is illegal throughout the world, many countries are struggling to combat trafficking because of internal corruption. Government officials and police officers are paid to ignore the crimes that occur in their area. One study confirmed that approximately 30 million people today live in slavery. Other scientists think that number is much higher. All researchers, however, agree that more people today than ever live in slavery in human history (Williams, 2018).

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Women and children have always been the most common victims of human trafficking throughout history. That’s true today. Women and children are the world’s most vulnerable members. They are easily overtaken by traffickers and abused. Women are taken and sold into prostitution all over the world. The victims of this crime are also common children. Pornography is another easy way to exploit women and children. The increase in technology has made it easier to make and distribute these materials. Other forms of forced labor include work in the factories, agriculture, and even unwilling civil war soldiers. No population is exempt from trafficking in human beings. In the past, the crime was ignored because it was supposed to only happen to the poor in war-torn countries. It’s not always the case. Trafficking in human beings is growing rapidly; it even affects those with advanced degrees. In 2001, hundreds of registered nurses in the UK were found to be victims of trafficking in human beings. Theses nurse tried to obtain contract work by an online company. It was a fraudulent company and forced these nurses to contract with nursing homes throughout the UK. Their salaries have been decorated as part of the never-ending ” fees ” to be brought to Britain (Williams, 2018).

Worldwide, professionals seek employment in other countries. They hope that they will finally be able to provide for their family in their home country. Many people can get successful jobs; others become unwilling victims of human trafficking. They think they have found a legitimate professional recruiter. They go through the documentation process to travel to another country. They anticipate a new life when they arrive, only to find that they are slaves now. All legal documents are removed, and these people are forced into slavery without any hope of escape or freedom (Williams, 2018).



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