Human Trafficking as a Quintessence of 21st Century Slavery

Nnebedum, Chigozie (2017) Human Trafficking as a Quintessence of 21st Century Slavery. ® Peter Lang GmbH Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften Frankfurt. ISBN 978-3-631-72765-2

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Human trafficking can be termed ‘a modern day slavery’ which in its complexity and dynamism ends up in the exploitation of the victims for the personal gains of a person or group of persons. Being one of the fastest growing international criminal business activities, and ranking behind illicit drug (substance abuse) and arms deals (Human Right Watch 2001), human trafficking focuses more on women and children. This is often because their vulnerability in society renders them easy prey to exploitation. A majority of the victims, especially women, end up in the sex industries. The Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (United Nations – Palermo Protocol 2000) gives what stands as a working definition of human trafficking, presenting the basic elements that should characterize the crime. These elements include the fact that the act of recruitment can include harbouring and transportation of the victim; the means must involve force or threat of force; the purpose will be exploitation (The Trafficking Protocol 2000, art. 3a). The exploitation in question takes two forms: it can be through forced labour or forced prostitution. In either case, the sole aim is to make money through the crime. The chain of beneficiaries of the crime of human trafficking includes the recruiters, the smugglers, the traffickers and the customers. Human trafficking can happen within a country or across the borders. In most cases people are transported from the so-called underdeveloped to supposedly developed regions. As a result, women and girls are smuggled yearly from underdeveloped countries, for example Nigeria, to Europe and America. Nigeria is one of the multiform countries in the world and is situated in the western part of Africa. Despite Nigeria’s rich oil reserves and production, the country has little to show for it in terms of economic advancement and, therefore, is, as far as development index is concerned, one of the poorest countries in the world (UNDP Poverty Index 2013). There are variations in the root causes of trafficking. These are sometimes dependent on regional and cultural backgrounds. However some root causes are traceable to social/economic inequality, negative effects of globalization, political instability, and the greed of the traffickers. The crime of human trafficking is one that poses an extensive threat to the global community and should be seen as a challenge by all stakeholders at different levels. Conceptions of measures towards combating the crime should be in the direction of applying the international rights which anchor in the national laws 20 to the victims. Above all, the empowerment of the group that is usually affected should be considered and planned by the national and international bodies. The road towards a solution to this problem should point to the international human right laws and to the national adaptations and implementation of them. Human trafficking should remain a very important theme within the human rights discussions. However, the institutional and judicial adaptation of these rights within the international and national legal systems has shown a lot of flaws. The human right model, as a measure towards fighting human trafficking, provides that a victim should not be seen as a criminal but as a victim of a crime which increases his or her vulnerability in a foreign land. The human right measure considers the victims of human trafficking as victims whose conditions demand help and protection, and not as criminals who should be prosecuted and punished. They should, for the very fact that they are victims, be decriminalized, and the traffickers should be prosecuted and punished (Smith & Mattar 2004; Ivan-Yuko 2009). It should be noted that with the introduction and execution of strict border controls, the number of illegal migrants will increase (Pak-Hung 2011). Often the prospective illegal migrants fall victim to human traffickers. If the causes of illegal migration in the countries of origin are not addressed, for instance the reduction of the socio-economic and developmental inequalities in the world in general, then one may expect that not even the strictest repressive measures would stop the desperation that often leads people to seek to migrate at all cost in the bid to better their lives (Pak-Hung 2011). This work is a contribution towards a better understanding of the nature of the international crime of human trafficking. It is an impulse towards finding a new way at the international levels, and encouraging cooperation among nations in the fight against international human trafficking and its root causes.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Management and Social Sciences
Depositing User: mrs chioma hannah
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2019 08:50
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2019 11:14

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