Human Trafficking: Causes & Impacts

By Fatima Tariq

Trafficking in humans is a very serious and monstrous crime. In the present times, it is the modern version of enslavement. It is defined as the impelled trade of people for the sole purpose of sexual slavery and labour exploitation.[1] Condoleezza Rice, the former U.S. Secretary of the State, in 2007, put her thoughts in words saying that Human Trafficking is the newest form of bondage involving the trafficking of humans worldwide. In this profit-loss game, women and children being comparatively delicate are the most vulnerable prey.[2]

Human trafficking has been taking place since centuries in almost all cultures and countries. Human trafficking is influenced by different factors. This illegal business is up and running due to its high demand because without a buyer there will not be any supplier.

Lack of employment opportunities and lack of awareness can be the root cause of human trafficking. Due to fewer chances of getting a basic education and low employment people are forced to engage in illegal means of earning. They find it unproblematic to sell a member of their family to earn quick money. Prostitution, child labour, and digital pornography are playing a major role in increased demand for human trafficking. It has been reported from several countries all over the world that people are either forced into selling their family members or poor people, travellers, foreign students are abducted and sold illegally. War prisoners are also subjected to human trafficking. They are violated by their basic human rights, war prisoners are forced into free labour, sexual activities and are often sold. Forced migrations due to wars and natural disasters leave people homeless and jobless. They become vulnerable and are exposed to human trafficking. In addition to this, hostility and catastrophic plight can also draw forth the prompt monetary uncertainty and absence of human rights in a country, giving dealers dealing with human trafficking the upper hand and making individuals increasingly helpless against human trafficking cases.

Summing up, economic instability, fewer employment opportunities, illiteracy, wars, and natural disasters create a monetary void. This situation provides the traffickers to lure people in their traps. Traffickers or pimps are the only people who get benefited from all this. People who are sold and bought are never paid and are ill-treated.

Human trafficking impacts nations and governments both economically and politically. It persecutes the victims thereby leaving a huge impact on their lives. Assaulting the victim emotionally and physically, habitual brutality, compulsion, and inhumane environment are the existent forms of trafficking. But unlike other crimes, it involves repetitive and long-term episodes of torture. Studies have revealed many victims of sadism and their limited physical and mental abilities. In more severe cases, it can result in death. Organized criminals are benefiting from this situation and are extending their roots throughout. Illegal money-making is forcing people to experience a financial crunch. Women and children who are forced in sex work are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and other STD’s.

Human trafficking is a dark subject that should be addressed more. Awareness programs should be conducted to reach the maximum audience. Human trafficking is a violation of human rights and people involved in this should be rightfully punished. Lack of political will and inadequate legislation is discouraging human rights activists to work on this cause.

Governments should make policies alongside human rights organizations and ensure people of their safety. People affected by wars and natural disasters should be catered accordingly. Border guard of countries should have efficient patrolling to stop human trafficking by any means.

As to conclude, the aspect of human trafficking violates all laws provided under the fundamental human rights, the traffickers attack the vulnerability of the mind of the people to exploit the situation. Collaborations at a local and international level are highly needed to eradicate this crime from our government and judicial system, from the non-government authorizations, health care professionals and public educational institutions. In our fight to exterminate this crime, laws and prosecution strategies should be implemented in such a way that they unveil the major geographical, commercial and structural elements of human trafficking.

Fatima is a Legal Intern at AFMalik Law and a Law student at Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore.

Works Cited

Office, Home. “Human Trafficking Legislation: Report on Internal Review.” GOV.UK, GOV.UK, 22 June 2012, www.gov.uk/government/publications/human-trafficking-legislation-report-on-internal-review.

Toolkit to Combat Trafficking in Persons. United Nations, 2011.

[1]https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html#What_is_Human_Trafficking,

[2] Trafficking in Persons Report June 2020, U.S. Department of State

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