Human Trafficking Essay

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Human trafficking is a social problem in which human beings are bought and sold for profits through forced prostitution, bonded labor, or involuntary domestic servitude (Department of State, 2010). The United Nation's International Labor Organization (2006) estimates that there are currently about 2.5 million people who are victims of trafficking and over half of these people are located in Asia and the Pacific. Other estimates range from 4 million to 27 million (Department of State, 2008). The magnitude of human trafficking is tremendous as traffickers profit over US$32 billion every year (ILO, 2005) and it is the second most lucrative criminal activity in the world after illegal drugs trafficking (Belser, 2005). The United States of America led the world stage by passing a sweeping legislation called the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in 2000 to tackle this issue, influencing the United Nations to subsequently introduce “The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons” in 2003. This measure was gradually adopted into legislation by over 80% of the United Nations members around the world, expanding the international efforts to address human trafficking over a relatively short period (UNODC, 2009). Despite a growing consensus by state and non-state actors to acknowledge human trafficking as a problem, there is still much tension among the anti-trafficking community over the definition of trafficking, the scope and scale of the problem and how it should be solved (Gulati, 2010). Scholars have identified factors such as globalization, rapid economic growth in some markets over the other, varying political developments, gender inequality, increased construction of public transport infrastructure withi... ... middle of paper ... ... 2005). Parents and other children in the farming households spent these remittances on new motorcycles, video players, modern cement houses, and other materialistic products that projected higher wealth status (Muecke 1992, Wawer et al. 1996). It was common to associate new, large, and elegant houses as the byproducts of financial contribution from the daughters who were commercial sex workers in Japan. These daughters could return to live in the villages with little stigma, considering their fancy houses stood in sharp contrast against the dilapidated wooden stilt houses of their next-door neighbors (Peracca, Knodel & Saengtienchai, 1998). Some forms of hazardous labor like commercial sex work were tolerated by some parents and daughters, rich or poor, to be acceptable choices that allow generation of wealth, and improvement of class status within the villages.

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