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Human Trafficking Ans Smuggling In The United Nations Criminology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Criminology
Wordcount: 3028 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Human trafficking and smuggling has been amongst the fastest increasing international crimes according to United Nations. The crimes entail different types of crimes running over different nations and involving an ever-increasing figure of victims (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, 1999). Human trafficking involves targeting the victims of human trafficking as objects of sexual abuse. The aim of human trafficking is for the trafficker to gain profitably by exploiting the victim. Fraud, coercion and use of force play an important role in human trafficking. It is sometimes not easy to establish the difference between smuggling and trafficking in the beginning stage. Trafficking in most cases engrosses an aspect of smuggling, particularly the passage through the border of a country.

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Human smuggling on the other hand involves the smoothening the progress of transportation, effort to transport or the illegitimate entry of a person or persons across an international border through contravention of one or more countries laws through deception like using of fraudulent travel documents. In most cases, smuggling is performed for the purpose of obtaining financial or material gains by the smuggler although the material gains are not essentially part of the crime. Smuggling of human beings is in most cases done with approval of the person who is smuggled often by paying a lot of money. Smuggled persons after being smuggled in their destination countries are left free by their smugglers.

Human trafficking is a criminal activity and a relentless infringement of human rights that is of great worry worldwide. The overwhelming majority of the people trafficked include women and children. The United Nations describes trafficking in persons as the recruitment, transfer, transportation, harboring or receiving of people through use of threat or force or other methods of compulsion, kidnap, and trickery, or of the abuse of power or of a position of defenselessness or receiving payments or gains to acquire approval of a person to have control over another person for the purposes of exploitation. Human trafficking crime engrosses several different crimes spanning many nations and entailing a growing number of victims. According to, Stoeker, & Shelley,(2005), human trafficking can be matched up to present day form of slavery.

Theories supporting human trafficking

According to (Nicola, 2009) the biological theory proposes that ” the male impulse of sex which is uncontrollable as the……for food or drink. Women and the other hand have…… sexual impulse.”According to this theory, exchange for sex for payments provides an answer to the requirement for majority of men sexual outlet” However, some writers claim that the theory is outdated since current studies has stressed the need for self control of sexual impulse and an vital role social and cultural issues in characterizing the male need for sexual impulse.

The psychological-personality cluster of theories tries to give psychological explanation for the requirement of commercial sex thus favoring children and women trafficking to provide the services. The social theories also try to support the commercial sex trade by clarifying that, “the attention of the sex industry is not independently driven by only the personalities involved but it is a product of the surrounding social and cultural context”. The author of the theory clarifies that “the demand for prostitution is a means of male bonding”.

Victims of human traffic are in most cases abused bodily and emotionally. Although, human trafficking is regularly believed as an international crime involving crossing of borders, the crime can also occur within the country where victims are trafficked within their own countries. Where human trafficking takes place within the country, traffickers in most cases transport victims between locations within the same country and sell them to other human trafficking organizations. While differences exist between human trafficking and human smuggling, the fundamental issues that contribute to the increased level of these crimes are in most cases the same. In general, lack of employment, extreme poverty, political uncertainty and civil unrest are the major factors that give rise to a condition that promote human trafficking and human smuggling.

Human trafficking which is also the current form of slavery is a criminal act and an abuse of basic human rights such as right to dignity, right to freedom and right to equal protection of the law which affects every nation globally (Fisher & Lab, 2010). Trafficking in humans is among the small number of crimes that is pursued from the victim’s side, with the aim of stopping of the crime, protection of the victims and trial of the traffickers.

Humans are trafficked are for the purposes of labor and sexual exploitation while children are trafficked for purposes of misuse in begging and illegal activities and for taking away of organs. According to (Friman, & Reich, 2007), human trafficking is closely associated with organized crime. Reports from Europol, suggest that the number of human traffic victims to Europe can reach a hundred thousand annually. Europol suggests that human trafficking is regarded as the second source of illegitimate money for organized crime. In 2005, the International Labor Organisation, predicted that the yearly profits gotten form human traffic and forced labor and sexual exploitation globally could reach 31000million dollars (Fisher & Lab, 2010).

Human trafficking is a profitable business and in areas such as Russia, Hong Kong and Eastern Europe trafficking in humans is controlled by large criminal groups. Nevertheless, the greater part of human trafficking is conducted by networks of smaller organizations that individually specialize in specific areas such as recruitment, transfer advertising and selling. This criminal business is very profitable since it requires small capital to start-up and chances of prosecution are rare (Mendelson, 2005).

Victims of human trafficking are in most cases the most powerless and vulnerable persons in a given region. Majority of the victims originate from poorer families in which there are no economic activities and they are frequently ethnic marginalized persons and many are displaced people, runaways or refugees or can originate from any social background race and class.

Human traffickers mostly target women in terrible conditions particularly for the sex industry. Traffickers in persons exploit the lack of prospects for economic activities, offer for jobs and employment opportunities or study then force their victims into prostitution. Women traffickers use agents and brokers to organize the travel and job placements for the women victims who are then accompanied and transported to the employers (Stoeker, & Shelley, 2005). Ahead, arriving at their ends, the women come to understand that they had been deceived regarding the kind of work they had been promised to do as well as the monetary arrangements and find themselves in pressurized or abusive conditions from which fleeing is both risky and complicated. This forces such women to end up in prostitution as a source of survival (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, 1999).

Children trafficking in most cases involve taking advantage of the child’s parent due to intense poverty. The parents normally sell the children to traffickers so that they can manage to pay debts or gain income or they may be deceived regarding prospect of educating their children to get a better life. In West Africa, majority of the children who are trafficked have lost either both or one parent through AIDS. In addition, many male children and female ones are trafficked and trained to be soldiers. A study by United States Department of Justice of 2007-2008, indicated that over 30% of all human trafficked for that year were children who were forced into the sex industry (Fisher & Lab, 2010).

Size, Extent and Pattern of human trafficking

The extent and size of human trafficking crimes remains unknown globally. Compared to other kinds of human abuses, trafficking in humans remains still underreported due to fear and shame of the victims. Majority of human trafficking occurs in regions associated with extreme poverty as a result of war or destruction of economy. According to,( Fisher & Lab, 2010), in the outcome of economic destruction and fall of Soviet Union, many of the Balkan countries became countries of origin, who supplied desirable women for sex trafficking in the Mediterranean and European states.

As a result of the illegitimate nature of human trafficking and the different methods used the extent remains unclear. According to, USA, State Department, report approximately half a million women and children are smuggled across international borders every year. The report also depicts that many of the transnational victims are trafficked for use in commercial sex business.

According to (Mendelson, 2005), there was a rapid increase in prostitution in Bosnia, Cambodia and Kosovo, after the moving in of NATO and United Nations peace keeping force in these nations. Mendelson, (2005), further argues that peace keeping forces had been associated with forced prostitution and human trafficking. Supporters of peacekeeping missions have maintained that the actions of a few individuals should not be use to lay the blame on many people who participate in the mission, although United Nations and NATO have been condemned for not taking the issue of forced prostitution associated to missions of peacekeeping with seriousness.

Why the human trafficking crime is growing at high rate

Human trafficking appears a less risky undertaking for criminals compared with trafficking of drugs or vehicles. According to (Stoecker & Shelley, 2005), in Central European Countries and Russia, laws on drug trafficking have become stricter and the methods of reduced theft of automobiles have become more complicated. In addition, punishments for criminals of human trafficking are much softer than the laws regarding trafficking of drugs which are not in place in Russia. Even in countries where laws regarding human trafficking exist, such crimes are complicated to establish and accuse since of few victims consent to give evidence in court.

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According to, (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, 1999), in many countries the smuggling of persons is not effectively under control and stopped. This has because many Government border practices and policies, immigration, justice agencies and police mostly focus on the illegal aspects of migration while ignoring the side involved with organized criminal groups in the trafficking of human beings. As a result the most important target of control intercessions would be unlawful migrants but not the criminal groups occupied in human trafficking and exploitation.

Moreover, majority of the countries also do not have effective policies planned to combat trafficking on persons. Many countries admit that their legislation do not offer up-to-date regulations to counter with human trafficking, especially activities carried out by international crime groups. Moreover, national policies do not offer effective tools with which to disintegrate organized crime structures and their international groupings and to cut their gain margins and frustrate their efforts to expand their supply. Inquiry of higher level of administration of organized criminal groups involved in human trafficking in most cases lacks the necessary associations to strategies against bribery and corruption.

In addition many countries, lack the capacity to respond to human trafficking. The main reasons include; inadequate laws regarding human trafficking, lack of judicial proficiency in that sector and lack of adequate cooperation between government enforcement agencies criminal justice and other relevant institutions like immigration and border control agencies. At international platform, the structure for collaboration among law enforcement and official of justice of various countries may not be existing or may not be satisfactory resulting to ineffective inquiry, assessment and settlement of cases associated with human trafficking.

Persons who have become victims of human trafficking might in many cases lose more than they gain when collaborating with the justice system. In many countries victims of human trafficking regarded the ones responsible for illegal acts instead being victims of human trafficking and are in most cases prosecuted for infringing the immigration laws prostitution or statutory offences that are lawfully regarded as indecent behavior. Lack of sufficient victim and witness protection programmes might lessen the success of inquiry and hearing and court hearings of such cases.

Destination, transit and countries of origin of human traffic victims

A common misunderstanding has been that human trafficking occurs in deprived countries. Almost every country in the world is occupied in secretive profitable human trafficking business. The source is the country from which person are trafficked and is usually depicted as destitute and might have been weakened by war, natural disasters or corruption. According to (Fisher & Lab, 2010) some of the source nations include Guatemala, Nepal, Nigeria and the former countries of Soviet Union and many more. A transit nation describes the temporally stop where trafficked victims are temporary stopped on their journey to the country of enslavement and the destination nation refers to the country where trafficked humans end up. The destination countries for human traffic victims are normally wealthy nations since they need to have enough income to purchase the trafficked victims. Among the renowned destination countries include, Japan, India United States and Western Europe.

The smuggling of immigrants and human trafficking has increased worldwide in the recent years, as a result of the process of globalization and other factors. Trafficking in humans has been growing tremendously due top the participation of groups involved in organized crimes. The smuggling of immigrants by organized crime groups interrupts with the procedures of immigration of destination nations and in most cases entails abuses of human rights. The exploitative manner of treatment of human trafficking victims in most cases accounts a new form of slavery.

Sexual exploitation and trafficking in persons

According to (Kroft & Greene, 2009), there has been no specific agreed definition of trafficking of persons for sexual exploitation. The term is used to refer to movement of persons particularly women usually between countries and within countries for sexual work using physical force or oppression through forced debt. Nevertheless, the issue become controversial when the victims are willing involved in prostitution. Sexual trafficking encompasses forcing an immigrant into sexual act condition or agreement for the immigration. Trafficking people for sexual purposes entails use of physical force, dishonesty, and oppression incurred through forced debt. Women and children who are victims of human trafficking are in most cases promised domestic jobs or jobs in service sector but instead find themselves taken to brothels while their travel document have been seized. Women and children victims of human trafficking might be beaten or locked up and guaranteed they would get their freedom back through prostitution as the purchase price together with their visa and air ticket.

According to, (Friman & Reich, 2007), the reasons why women and sometimes underage, children agree to offers from human traffickers is to get better financial opportunities for themselves and their families. In many circumstances the human trafficker in the beginning offers a genuine job or the assurance of a chance to further the studies. The majority of the jobs offered are in hotel industry or in bars and clubs. In other cases human traffickers use marriage, bullying, threats or taking hostage as means of obtaining their women victims. In most cases many women victims of human trafficking end up in prostitution while some of the migrating prostitutes get involved in trafficking of humans.

Human trafficking for sexual uses involves a business deal of contributions services and items (Friman & Reich, 2007). The terms of exchange and elements involved in the transaction displays the form of connection that exists and the economic system in which the deal takes place. In traditional society’s financial system, women were sold as gifts to create alliances and to make peace and ensure hereditary was continuous. In market financial systems women are viewed to offer monetary benefits to the human traffickers who maximize their profits by being in charge of the exchange process.

According to (Friman & Reich, 2007), sale of sexual services contributed to high increase of women trafficking particularly in Central Europe in the era of economic recession which has had high unemployment level. All over the poorest nations of Central and Eastern Europe and, majority of the women have admitted taking the risk of being trafficked instead of remaining in their own counties where there are high levels of poverty and unemployment. In unstable economies, with limited job availabilities, many unskilled women have found an incentive by selling their sexual services and for human traffickers to organize the sector. According to (Friman & Reich, 2007), women in poor nations of Central and Eastern Europe involve themselves, in prostitution since for some it is the only way for them to access international and regional job offers.


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