Human trafficking has existed for centuries. Throughout history, there have been recorded accounts of slave trade for labor and sex, even dating back to biblical times. In many historical instances, these forms of human trafficking were at one point or another considered legal (Grubb & Bennett, 2012; Europol, 2005). It has only been within the last few centuries that civilized societies have begun to center policies more around human rights, in an attempt to protect those who are vulnerable from being exploited, dehumanized, and degraded.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, human trafficking is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons…for the purpose of exploitation (“Human Trafficking”, Article 3, para. A, n.d.). The spectrum of human trafficking ranges from domestic servitude to forced labor, organ theft, prostitution, or other forms of sexual exploitation. Although local and international policies might exist to help protect those vulnerable from the victimization of human trafficking, people trafficking remains to be the second most lucrative crime after drugs. It is estimated that human trafficking produces 32 billion US dollars worldwide each year (OECD 2006). According to the Inter-American Development Bank (2006), “Every year, some 1 to 2 million children, women and men become victims of human trafficking; while traffickers make anywhere between $4,000 and $50,000 per person trafficked, depending on the victim’s place of origin and destination” (“Human Trafficking 's Dirty Profits and Huge Costs”, para. 3). One of the most common place of origin is Asia, it is estimated that more than 225,000 victims are trafficked every yea...
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...each year. This number does not even reflect the number of victims who are recruited from within the U.S. As a result, the United States government has declared human trafficking to be a national security concern. More policies have been initiated and/or modified in attempt to help victims and prosecute traffickers and recruiters. In addition to federal policies, many U.S. states have started to create their own human trafficking policies. As of August 2010, Georgia and 42 other states have instituted criminal laws to combat human trafficking (Polaris Project, 2010), which allows for prosecution at the state level by local, county, and state law enforcement agencies. Although these states given local municipalities the authority to arrest and prosecute, many of them do not mandate that law enforcement receive training on human trafficking (Grub & Bennett, 2012).
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