The issue of human trafficking in the U.S

Discussion Of The Problem

Human trafficking is considered one of the most heinous crimes in the world. Human trafficking is regarded as a modern form of slavery, which involves unlawful smuggling and tradeoff of individuals into forced labor, removal of organs, or sexual exploitation. The trafficking act is officially termed as the recruitment of individuals via means of fraud, deception, force, or manipulation of position power for exploitation. Human trafficking cannot be used interchangeably with coerced migration nor smuggling.

Within the United States, the issue of human trafficking tends to be most rampant around the international travel-hubs characterized by a large population of immigrants. The hotspot area states include Texas, California, and Georgia. Statistics by the United States justice department approximates that around 35,500–170,500 people enter the country illegally each year. On the other hand, the 2016 global slavery index in the United States estimates that between 14,500 and 17,500 people fall victim to human trafficking every year(American Bar Association, 2019). The victims of trafficking include young children, teenagers, men, and women who can be either domestic citizens or foreign nationals.

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Various factors facilitate human trafficking, which varies from poverty, political instability, need for cheap labor, to business. The persistence of human trafficking has been at an alarming rate. It is considered one of the most significant crimes whose global profit is estimated at $150 billion annually, while sex trafficking generating approximately $99 billion. This may just be among the few reasons why dealing with the issue has been problematic coping with. However, with persistent rates, the consequences have been devastating. For instance, it is a major violation of human rights. On the other, it causes untold miseries to the affected individuals along with their families.

Significance Of The Problem

As mentioned earlier, human trafficking is now a multi-billion-dollar business globally, with cases increasing in the state. Activists are bent in destroying the myth that most women who are prostitutes do it voluntarily. The movement is bent in helping individuals exit the world commercialized sexual exploitation. This based on the ground that the act itself is dehumanizing. Activist seeks to define prostitution and trafficking as two separate terms even though most people in prostitution in some form or the other. The fact that human sex trafficking reduces the victims to mere sex commodities violates global human rights.

Not everyone would volunteer into human trafficking, but this, however, circumstances usually have a way of persisting the trend. This would typically involve extreme measures that include coercion. With the higher demand for trafficked individuals, the increase in intimidation would often lead to insecurities. The matters of insecurity would intensify both in the places where the victims are extracted to where they are brought in. For instance, there is civil wars tend to persist while citizens are denied a fundamental right the state owes them. The right to security. This makes various areas inhabitable affecting critical social and economic factors. For example, a country that relies heavily on tourism is likely to experience financial turmoil.

Human trafficking also poses a threat to a country’s economy. The returns that are accrued from illegal human trafficking do not add up to a country’s GDP, but rather imposes a loss to the economy and national security. This is because the profit accrued from the business is instead used to fund under illegal activities. In the worst-case scenario, human trafficking only further devastates the growth of a nation(Silky Grewal, 2019). The price associated with human smuggling integrates various elements. These elements include the value of resources invested in prevention, financial compensation for the victims, livelihood creation for the victims, costs associated with the victims’ medical care, investigation offenders’ persecution. These elements only drag down a country’s economy.

Whether it is human trafficking, trafficking in person, or sex trafficking, human rights are generally gruesomely violated. The act is wrong since it is bent in exploiting worker weakness, independent of the status of migrants, by coercing, deceiving, or forcing victims into working (including commercialized sex) under unbearable, illegal, or pathetic conditions (Jaleel). Human trafficking has been growing at a rapid rate as organized crime in America. It lacks discretion, and it is alarming. It is considered second in the most profitable crimes after the drug trade. Its victims vary from young children to adult men and women. Since the crime itself is rampant, both the consequences and impact of the crime areas tronomical affecting individuals who barely realize it. The victims are transported across borders and sold as commodities to exploit the victims for monetary purposes as such in the process, violating one of the most fundamental human rights by degrading their humanity.

Techniques must be established to determine the signs of sex trafficking. The Department of Health and Human Services haven noted a couple of signs about physical and emotional aspects in recognizing signs of sex trafficking. These signs include deprived sanitation and general deficiency of nutrition, signs of bodily/sexual abuse, symptoms of alcohol/drug abuse, depression, and signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. It is crucial that healthcare experts, including social workers, have the capability of determining these signs.

Children at risk of sex traffiking

Children often run the highest risk of being victims when it involves sex trafficking. The sex trafficking of minors has drawn a lot of attention from law enforcement and has been a grave concern for them as well as health care professionals, including social workers. Sex trafficking minors involve horrifying activities such as child pornography and child prostitution. One way of understanding why a cruel practice, such as Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST), exists in the United States is in terms of supply-demand principles. Understanding the prevalence of the commercial sexual exploitation of children and youths in this country, social workers should dialogue with public policymakers and law enforcement officials at the local, state, and federal levels to develop strategies to help reduce, if not end, the demand in their communities.

The internet has become a critical facilitative factor when it comes to helping sex traffickers in procuring their potential victims. The internet has become a significant factor in assisting most human sex traffickers in locating and obtaining their potential victims.  Most cases start when the offender reaches out to victims via social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram.  They often lure their victims in with the promises of romance, providing an escape from a happy home or promising to make them famous.  Once the victim has joined the offender, they are prevented from leaving by the use of force, violence, or threatening harm on their family and loved ones.  Officials are always in search of techniques to combat the prevalence of internet sex trafficking.  However, with each discovery, sex traffickers are always finding additional technologies that assist them in staying one step ahead of law enforcement (Dixon, Jr., 2013)

Whereas the crime cuts across the individuals, the society, and the political sphere, the individuals probably face it the worst. The amount of evil they undergo is beyond explanation. They are abused regardless of their consent. As such, the trauma leaves them impaired both psychologically and emotionally. Trafficking has posed a significant impact in the American political sphere as well. Since the central aspect of trafficking involves transitional movements, it has led to the examination of the apparent migration policies. Additionally, while considering the political element in traffic, it is adamant about finding fundamental human rights. Human trafficking violates the majority of the most basic human rights. The human trafficking crime affects the rule of law. It poses a threat to national jurisdiction as well as international law.

consequences of human trafficking

Some of the consequences of human trafficking are hard to note. The victims of the process often undergo social ostracism. Most of the time, the victims isolate themselves from the general society for fear of being drugged back into the cycle of human trafficking. They, therefore, end up living in fear and fail to reach out and interact socially. Trafficking can influence both foreign commerce as well as interstate. Considerably, human trafficking in a bid to provide forced labor affects the labor market and employment worldwide. Due to the enormous profitability of the crime, it tends to undermine both international as well as national economic growth.

The factors behind the constant increase in human trafficking cannot be narrowed to a single. Rather, there a variety of factors that include but not limited to inadequate education, ignorance of the topic, and a desire for some kind of fulfillment as well. Poverty can be considered as the most apparent reason behind the growth of trafficking. This is because it establishes vulnerability to the victims. Civil unrest, culture, globalization, marginalization of some groups, as obviously the profit accrued from the illicit business are all reasons behind this global epidemic. Other factors such as race, along with gender, age, and color, force individuals of color to disproportionally engage in prostitution and end up stuck in the commercialized sex business (Butler, 2015).

Human trafficking goes beyond affecting the poor as well as the underdeveloped nations globally. Contrary, it can be classified as an epidemic in every place across the world. Generally,countries that are weak in economic terms tend to make it easier for traffickers to carry out their operations. In such regions, people are more often prepared to abandon their countries in such for better opportunities in more promising areas. The traffickers seize this opportunity to deceive the victims by fake promises.

The majority of the trafficking community is composed of gangs and wealthy persons. There are also often corporations with corrupt government officials in order to make false documentation for the victims. This thus forms an extensive network of the organization that runs deep and powerful. The industry is profit-oriented. As such, there is no limit to what the traffickers can do. After the victims have been lured with fake promises, they are stripped off of their illegal documentation hence the victims become trapped. This is probably the biggest reason why the victims become stuck other than coercion. They become afraid of going to the authorities because they are likely to be charged with illegal immigration. Nonetheless, the thought of corrupt officials being present in the system makes the whole process complicated.

The severity of the human trafficking scheme has attacked both nationals and international attention. There have been efforts in almost every country to combat human trafficking with the degree of effort varying from state to state. Some governments recognize the issue of trafficking by sanctioning the Parlamo Protocol and adopting laws rendering human trafficking activities as illegal. Several governments have established a national strategy reacting to domestic, regional, and international human trafficking.

The NGOs and the SCOs have been at the forefront in initiating anti-human trafficking movements way before government, and international entities started acknowledging the brutality associated with the issues. They recognized the importance of acknowledging and protecting human rights. Both NGOs and CSOs are gravely concerned in establishing awareness campaigns, carrying out research, assisting the law enforcers identifying the victims as well as providing fundamental assistance to the victims of the process.


There several departments and agencies that have been formed to deal with the related issues. For instance, the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit in the criminal division. The unit is a specialized one that was established in the year 2007 to merge the proficiency of several outstanding human trafficking prosecutors in a bid to prosecute the complex, multi-judicial, and global human trafficking instances. In association with the United States Attorney, these cases cut across coerced labor, global sex trafficking, as well as sex trafficking involving coerced, deceived, or forced adults. Other than the prosecutions, the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit partakes a significant role in establishing and enacting path-breaking execution initiatives, consolidating tactical collaborations, and formulating and developing capacity-enhancing initiatives on most excellent practices in survivor-centered human trafficking investigations as well as prosecution.

In the year 2002, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) was established to mitigate human trafficking related issues. Other than that, the TVPA also offers financial assistance for training U.S. law enforcement persons at the international police academies. Nonetheless, the U.S. police agencies also occasionally send agents to help law enforcement persons in other countries who engage in international investigations (Schmalleger, 2015). The collaboration between domestic and international efforts are deemed crucial in mitigating human trafficking. In respect to this, the Bureau of administration developed grant programs which are intended to deal with the traffickers. The grant programs are allowed in a bid to build task forces within U.S. cites. The task forces, in turn, establish plans to create public awareness, recognize victims, and develop protocols midst government agencies as well as service providers.

Some certain policies and procedures have been developed to discourage individuals from engaging in whichever type of trafficking. In December 2005, the U.S. collaborated with other ninety-four countries as an official party to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Person, Especially Women and Children Human Trafficking. Some regulations are specifically for prohibiting involuntary servitude and forced labor. Often the judicial system will rely upon Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statues and conspiracy charges to disrupt and dismantle large human trafficking organizations.

Christian World-View

Religion, more often than not, have tremendous influences on the types of laws enacted. Religious opinions usually revolve around protecting individuals from harm and act in accordance with the divine requirement. As such, the option of not being involved in mitigating human trafficking while considering international treaties can become contradictory to religious opinion. For instance, the bible 1 Peter 2:16(The New King James Version)says, “Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.” As such, Christians are likely to oppose the policy and urge the government to be involved. The basis of their argument might place more value on human life rather than considering financial limitations.

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