Human trafficking is one of the major forms of modern slavery affecting the globe. Although the global anti-trafficking movement has taken major strides in the prevention of the vice, it persists. The varying stories told by victims demonstrate the many forms of human trafficking that seem to challenge efforts to end it.
Trafficking Through Fraud
One of the stories that demonstrates how human trafficking occurs through fraud is that of Ping, a twelve-year-old girl, who, together with her friend, was tricked into prostitution. The innocent girls were deceived by Ping's acquaintance who had promised them jobs in a different city in Vietnam. The girls were placed on a bus, and they thought that all was going to be alright. However, they were shocked to learn that they had just been sold into prostitution. There was no way to escape, and Ping had to suffer in the brothel for close to a year before she was rescued by the authorities. Some of the factors that made Ping vulnerable may include poverty and age. If poverty had not struck her family, Ping would be in school like other girls of her age. Also, being so young, at only twelve, made the girl gullible enough to accept any offer without examining it.
From the testimonies given by the victims, two major themes emerge. One is the theme of sexual exploitation and the other, poverty. All the victims are so poor and needy that when an opportunity seems to knock on their doors, they seem to be more than willing to take the offer. This is regardless of the fact that they are fraudulently recruited. For example, Ping and her friend are promised jobs, Michael is offered a job via the internet, Adelaide is requested by her husband to consider taking up prostitution for a while to supplement their family income, Paul, a Nigerian is promised enrolment to school, etc. Unfortunately for them, after getting into the trap, the victims are shocked to find out that instead of getting out of poverty, they get themselves in trouble. They are forced into sexual slavery. To make matters worse, they are coerced through threats to stay put, and any attempt to escape becomes futile. Poverty is mainly what makes these victims vulnerable to the trafficking hence finding themselves in sexual slavery.
One of the interventions to curb human trafficking that I find most workable and realistic is the implementation of programs and policies that empower vulnerable individuals and reduce the risk of modern slavery. In this case, issuing legal identity documents, as well as enhancing economic empowerment and equal distribution of national resources among the citizens would go a long way in protecting the vulnerable groups. Strict measures are also put in place to ensure straightforward recruitment and the enforcement of policies that regulate and monitor foreign labor recruiters. Citizens are also trained on how to identify fraudulent recruitment. Such efforts would reduce vulnerability and risks associated with human trafficking. This intervention is more workable and realistic as compared to others such as raising awareness, which alone is not enough; multilateral collaboration, which seems to be ignorant of the victims; and enhancing partnerships, which may not be preventive enough. Actually, the implementation of the appropriate policies and programs is the best intervention since it is both curative and preventive.
Generally, human trafficking is a big challenge to almost every country in the world. It is a form of modern slavery that needs to be urgently addressed. The efforts to curb it may have yielded fruit, but there is still a long way to go. Hopefully, a day will come when the vice will be a thing of the past.
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