Under Global Sex Market And Labor Market Criminology Essay

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Transnational criminals have been major beneficiaries of globalization. Human smuggling and trafficking are among the fastest growing transnational crimes because of the increased demand and supply in a present global perspective. With the skyrocketing migration flows, this illicit trade lurks within the enormous movement of people "representing an essential aspect of global transformations" [2] . As globalization has caused increasing economic and demographic imbalances between the developing and developed countries, the supply has been irresistibly abundant. This article tends to provide a critical discussion regarding whether illegal migrants engage voluntarily with traffickers of human beings in specific terms of global sex market and the labor market.

Market has always been a stable driving force for any kind of organized crime, where it exists to provide goods and services that are illegal, regulated, or in short supply. The presence of one or more of these limiting conditions, and the desire (by a large enough segment of society) for those particular goods or services, makes their provision a profitable business. Many people want drugs, sex, or to be able to gamble; some want to dispose of toxic wastes cheaply and quickly; others want to obtain illegal weapons, adopt babies without having to go through a lot of bureaucratic red tape, or collect on life insurance policies prematurely. The tug-of-war between human desires and human weaknesses, and laws, regulations and morals provides fat profits for organized crime. [3] Not surprisingly, gambling, sex, and drugs are the clearest examples of how organized crime fulfills human desire for forbidden fruit. [4] 

The demand that fuels human trafficking is very much driven by the desire of people who want to migrate to seek work and a new life, but who are unable to do so by legitimate means. But demand also comes from employers who rely on undocumented labor, and from the clientele of the sex industry, [5] which can be clearly seen via the illegal labor market as well.

The profits from such activities are significant and rising. Current estimates by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime place human trafficking as the second most profitable form of transnational crime after the sale of drugs and rank it more profitable than the sale of arms. [6] A recent study [7] based on the International Labor Organization data, suggests that the annual profits from commercial sexual exploitation were $33.9 billion, based on approximately 1.4 million trafficked people engaged in commercial sexual exploitation. [8] 

Violence and the threat of violence are also very much generally accepted as important dimensions of organized crime. Organized criminal groups use force, or threaten its use, to accomplish their ends. [9] Trafficking in persons is now perpetrated on such a large scale that it is a prime activity of many transnational crime groups. [10] Violence and, in extreme cases, kidnapping, which is perpetrated in many areas in the world on children and women, who are the vulnerable subjects. [11] Taken into account that organized crime and with its violence nature largely involved within the easily profitable business, illegal migrants engaged in trafficking are more likely to fall involuntarily into the coercive category.

Pimps, the "business" managers of streetwalkers, call girls, and prostitutes, are either controlled by criminal gangs, or must hand over a percentage of their profits from the business. [12] Women are attractive as an entry-level commodity for criminals; and as a service provider, the commodity (a trafficked woman) generates income again and again. And a single sustainable commodity like this can make ï¿¡3,000-6,000 per month for her trafficker. [13] 

Cases bases for critical thinking: involuntariness, coercion and exploitation.

First is the US-Mexico Border case, where typical involuntariness is so clearly demonstrated. Because of the porosity of the US-Mexico border and the criminal networks that traverse it, the towns and cities along it have become the main staging area for an illicit and barbaric industry, whose "products" are women and girls. On both sides of the border, they are rented out for sex for as little as fifteen minutes at a time, dozens of times a day. Sometimes they are sold outright to other traffickers and sex rings, victims and experts say. These sex slaves earn no money, there is nothing voluntary about what they do, and if they try to escape they are often beaten and sometimes killed. [14] 

Second one was the case of US v. Cadena in 1998. From roughly February 1996 to March 1998, between twenty-five and forty Mexican women and girls (some just fourteen years old) were trafficked from Veracruz, Mexico to Florida and the Carolinas. Promised jobs as waitresses, housekeepers, or child and elder carers, they were instead forced to work as prostitutes, and endured assaults, rapes and forced abortions. Eventually, sixteen men were charged with a variety of crimes, including importing aliens for immoral purposes, involuntary servitude, visa fraud, and conspiracy. The ringleader, Rogerio Cadena, was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years in prison and ordered to pay $1 million in restitution. Seven others received sentences ranging from two and a half to six and a half years.

Third case happened in UK, which by was described by Katja Franko Aas as "far from unusual in its gripping depiction of human misery." [15] The plight of thousands of eastern European women kept as sex slaves in British brothels was highlighted yesterday as court proceedings against members of a major trafficking ring ended. Detectives believe the gang brought at least 600 illegal immigrants to the UK, many of whom were locked up, forced into prostitution, and told their families back home would be killed if they refused to obey orders. The women - the youngest known victim was 17 - were fed just one meal a day … They were forced to have sex with up to 40 men a day for as little as £10 a time to pay off £20,000 debt each - the price for which they were 'bought'. [16] 

Complete coercion exists when victims have been abducted, which can be obviously seen through cases involving kidnapping of children. [17] According to human rights activists, Romanian children are drugged into submission so that they can be forced to beg in metro stations and underground pedestrian walkways of major European cities. [18] Other cases involve the kidnapping of both young boys and girls for use as child soldiers and sex slaves to service the outlawed militias and renegade military units. [19] 

Statistical analysis

Surveys show that the majority of Asian women who now offer themselves as sex workers first entered the sex trade unwillingly. One survey of sex workers found that:

• 3 percent were sold by a boyfriend.

• 4 percent were raped and sold.

• 5 percent were raped by a stepfather and sold.

• 32 percent were tricked and sold by a nonfamily member.

• 8 percent were sold by parents to pay debts.

• 4 percent went to the city to find a job and were then sold. [20] 

And in the context of the Latin American human trafficking flow, cases were registered where victims were forced to 'recruit' friends and/or family members. [21] 

Trafficking in persons is a truly global phenomenon: in data recently reported to UNODC, victims from at least 127 countries were detected, and 137 countries reported having detected victims. While this sample may not be representative of the entire victim pool, two thirds of the victims reported were women, and 79% of the victims were subjected to sexual exploitation. [22] Researchers estimated in 1999 that 40,000 to 50,000 women were trafficked into the United States each year by crime rings. [23] With the developing of globalization, an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 men, women, and children are trafficked against their will across international borders. Of those, about 15,000 victims are trafficked into the United States. Victims are forced into prostitution, or to work in sweatshops or as domestic labor, and in many forms of involuntary servitude. [24] 

Differentials of human smuggling & human trafficking

The United Nations Protocol on Trafficking in Persons (2000), which exposed the brutal nature of it, defines trafficking as: The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons: by the threat or use of kidnapping, force, fraud, deception or coercion, or by giving or receiving or unlawful payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. The use (or threat of use) of fraud, force, deception, or coercion against people held in forced labor, servitude, or slave-like conditions distinguishes smuggling and trafficking. Human trafficking profits from the unusual fact that people are expendable, reusable, and re-sellable commodities. [25] 

Smuggling of migrants has been defined by the United Nations as ''the procurement, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit, of the illegal entry of a person into a State Party of which the person is not a national or a permanent resident.'' [26] Inherent in the definition of smuggling is the crossing of international borders. If an individual pays transportation costs prior to departure and, upon entering the destination country, terminates his or her relationship with the transporter, the individual has been smuggled. [27] 

Therefore, when comparing the two kinds of trans-border crimes, it can be easily found that Smuggling is relatively more voluntary; trafficking is involuntary. Trafficking "victims" do not choose to be victimized. These victims include women, who agree to go to the United States, Japan, or Western Europe to work as waitresses, dancers, models, or au pairs, but are forced into prostitution or domestic servitude; children, who are abducted and sold abroad to work in pornography and prostitution rings, or as child labor; and migrant workers who are forced to work under slave-like conditions to pay their smuggling fees. [28] While people smuggling, on the other hand, refers to cases where migrants enter a transaction with full consent and are free to leave at the end of the process. [29] 

Cases of Specialties

However, there are exceptional cases human smuggling can be convertible to human trafficking, and voluntary cooperation turned to forced cooperation under certain circumstances.

What began as smuggling becomes trafficking.

It costs between $20,000 and $70,000 (depending on the émigré's location) to send a single person abroad. Once the nominated worker has arrived at a foreign destination, he or she is expected to work all hours for the benefit of those who have pooled their savings to pay the snakehead. [30] However, because once trafficked, the vulnerability of victims (especially female young victims) increases enormously. On reaching their destination, victims are often informed that they have entered the country illegally. Their passports and other documents are usually taken away from them and they are physically, psychologically and sexually abused until they acquiesce to the demands of their traffickers. [31] 

The smugglers' profit from any of these transactions is usually short term and single. People seeking to be smuggled must raise the necessary funds and pay the smugglers beforehand. Once they reach their destination, the smugglers have no further involvement. This mutual negotiation is not true of human trafficking, although trafficking cases often begin as smuggling cases. The "victims" want to migrate and agree to be smuggled: for example, a young woman who wants to go to another country to work as a nanny makes a contract with and pays a smuggler to help her. On arrival, the smuggler/trafficker tells her she owes an additional fee for food or other costs. Unable to pay, she is consigned to a brothel and forced into working as a prostitute. Incalculable numbers cross borders illegally in search of work every year. But while many are willingly smuggled by arrangement, millions are trafficked. This means that force, blackmail, or deception is used in getting them to their destination. [32] 

Besides the use of force, deception is also another popular technique to start with "voluntary" cooperation. Especially within organizations of female leaders (approximately sixty percent according to a sample survey), usually thirty to thirty-five years old; many are former prostitutes. Typically, recruiters are fairly well educated, and must possess certain characteristics, to communicate effectively and be persuasive to gain some level of trust from their victims. [33] And with the trust of victims, the criminal organizations successfully lure them into the trap of further coercive sex exploitation.

In some of the Asian cases, it is believed that trafficking in women and children for the purpose of prostitution is a very serious problem in Asia (Skrobanek et al. 1997, Williams 1999, Thorbek and Pattanzik 2002). although authorities from most Asia claim that some of the women (as opposed to children) have not been forced, coerced, or deceived into prostitution, but anyone who is familiar with the plight of a large number of women and children engaged in the sex trade in a foreign country will agree that this is a major problem that needs to be addressed. [34] The same is true of the claim often made by Asian law enforcement authorities that sex workers voluntarily cross national boundaries and continue their occupation simply to increase their income. [35] However, it is worth noticing that these sex workers at that time did not necessarily have to cooperate with human traffickers to carry on their business.

China cases, exporting labor& help promoting economy in a more dynamic market.

By exporting labor, the snakeheads extend China's influence around the world and contribute to the economy hugely by alleviating unemployment. Moreover, those workers abroad send back remittances to bolster the Chinese economy further. Others who celebrate the snakeheads (often tacitly) include the European, American, and Middle Eastern businessmen and -women who revel in the Chinese's unstinting work ethic that comes at a bargain price. The consumer also benefits (albeit unwittingly) because the cost of labor drives down prices and extends choice. [36] 

Global perspective

In Japan, in the 1980s, Django started here as a laborer at the end of the eighties, when the bubble was ratcheting up demand for new buildings. "It was easier at that time, of course, because there was such a demand for construction workers." [37] He is, obviously, one of the 175 million people in the world who have left their homes since the late 1980s, usually to escape poverty, by offering their labor to more dynamic economies. [38] Taken under a European circumstance, for example, in 2000, it was estimated that the use of exploited labor of illegal immigrants is contributive to an underground economy accounted for 28 percent of Italy's gross domestic product. [39] 


It could be that high-class call girls enjoy the economic freedom their work affords them. But just as Glenny Misha had obtained, it is clear that for most women in the industry, the happy hooker is a preposterous myth. [40] 

In conclusion, contrary to the international smuggled labor market, I take it more likely in most cases within the global sex market that illegal migrants are not voluntarily engaged with traffickers of human beings. Generally speaking, smuggling is relatively more voluntary; trafficking is involuntary.

Annotated Bibliography:

Louise shelley, Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective, Cambridge University Press, 2010

Katja Franko Aas, Globalization & Crime, SAGE Publications, 2007

Finckenauer, James (2007) Mafia and Organized Crime: A Beginner's Guide

Louise shelley, Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective, Cambridge University Press, 2010

Misha, Glenny, McMafia: Crime without Frontiers, the Bodley Head, 2008

Peter Landesman, "The Girls Next Door," (The New York Times, January 25, 2004)

'Trafficking in Human Beings and Smuggling of Migrants', in Reichel, P. (ed.) The Handbook of Transnational Crime and Justice, Thousand Oaks: Sage (ch. 10)

Immigrants tell of forced prostitution and slavery as trafficking gang is jailed, Guadian,2005


ALEXIS A. ARONOWITZ, Human Trafficking, human misery: the global trade in human, PRAEGER(2009)

Kovalev (2007)

UNODC, The Globalization of Crime: A Transnational Organized Crime Threat Assessment, United Nations publication, 2010

Carlo DeVito, The encyclopedia of international organized crime, New York, NY : Facts on File, c2005

Caryn E. Neumann, SEXUAL CRIME: A Reference Handbook, 2010

Cybele K. Daley, 20th Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment San Diego, January 25, 2006


James O. Finckenauer ; Ko-lin Chin, 'Asia Transnational Organized Crime and its Impact on the United States: Developing a Transnational Crime, Research Agenda' report submitted to the National Institute of Justice, Nov, 2004.

Glenny, Misha (2008), McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld, Alfred A. Knop, New York, 2008