According to the AMBER alert registry, women and children are abducted every 40 seconds a day that is about 2,100 people just in the United States "In 2005, the U.S. State Department estimates that 800,000 to two million women and girls were trafficked across international borders yearly and exploited for sexual intentions" (Todd 1). There is also an estimated four million people including men sold into this modern age of slavery (Jordan 28). Human trafficking is a growing conflict domestically and internationally. It is the use of force or deception to lure, recruit or transport young women, children and even men. This problem began roughly around the 1700s when the child labor movement started. Kidnappers exploit their victims for international goods, sex, and drugs by sexually abusing them and forcing them into prostitution at an early age, as young as five. Some feel that that every step taken so far has been the best and the problem is lessening, but not everyone agrees with this. Others believe that it is getting worse because of poor government communication, cooperation and lax enforcement of laws. Even though, human trafficking is an escalating dilemma, the United States is doing all it can by setting trafficking victim laws, enforcing welfare and immigration laws, and raising government awareness about properly training authorities.
Human trafficking stems all the way back to slaves brought over from Africa during the Triangular Trade period. In addition, women's uneven standing in worldwide cultures comes from trouble with poverty and the consequence of violence influence excessively on women especially. Children were drawn into this circle of deception when they begin to work roughly the 1700s. Constantly taken advantage of, they worked long, hard days in dangerous atmospheres as well.
After putting laws in effect and raising awareness, this has resulted in an outward migration for international women from poor countries and conflict areas, bigger than any before. Traffickers make about $250,000 for each woman trafficked, which is a great incentive to continue this degrading business (Harf and Lambardi 246). This dialogue explains how traffickers target traveling young women in foreign countries:
"Sam: The specialty of the groups coming out of this area is trafficking in women. Bryan: Keep going. Sam: Okay. Their previous MO was to offer women from the emerging East-European countries like Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria jobs in the west as maids and nannies. Once they smuggled them in, they would addict them to drugs and turn them into prostitutes. Lately, however, they have decided that it is more economical just to kidnap traveling young women. Saves on transportation costs. Lenore: [crying] Not my little baby. Bryan: What else? Sam: Based on what they know about the way these groups operate, our analyst says you have a ninety-six hour window from the time she was grabbed. Bryan: To what? Sam: To never finding her." (Pierre, Taken)
The movie, Taken, is a about a young American girl who travels to Italy with a girl friend to follow a rock group on tour, but as soon as they arrive they are stalked and hunted at the airport. When leaving they meet a tourist who follows them to her friend's house and breaks in and kidnaps both of them. Unfortunate for the traffickers, this dad is not any American dad, but a secret agent spy that has great skills that ultimately get his daughter back, but her friend is not so lucky. This proves that the large number of push, pull, and facilitating factors makes Central and Southeastern Europe the largest regions for sexual trafficking due to a disintegration of social China, family violence, disasters, ecological harm, and unbalanced economic development (Harf and Lambardi 240). Push factors also contribute to the rise in civil wars that cause the need for underground labor practices. Many women are primarily defenseless, and end up being trafficked anyway.
Secondly, many measures have been taken by the United States to counteract human trafficking as the establishment of the three-prong system that helps protect human rights, prosecute traffickers, and prevent future trafficking. Therefore, "In 2000 through the last few months under the Clinton Administration, a Trafficking Victims' Protection Act was placed in affect" (Chapkis 924). "The Trafficking Victims' Protection Act specifically exempts abused or exploited migrants that have endured the worst abuse from the system, from punitive immigration to welfare reforms measures" (Chapkis 924). The United States House, Senate, and executive branch united collectively to pass this anti-trafficking legislation, also known as HR 3244. Originally, the HR 3244 law appeared to differ from other anti-immigration, prostitution, and poverty policies, but at a closer glance is not a significant difference from prior advances to sexual abuse, immigration, and poverty (Chapkis 924). The establishment of laws serves as a fluffy sock covering a silent, sturdy foot because it only offers special safety and benefits like visas, welfare support, and the chance to become a permanent resident of the U.S. for qualified persons. Therefore, the several countries that have not yet adopted anti-trafficking laws are not moving forward, but only setting back the United States.
Then, the federal government has taken their probation a step further by agreeing upon newly popular federal welfare and immigration laws. One created in 1996 passed by both the House and Senate was called the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which states that the United States federal government will give federal cash assistance to the poor to help combat trafficking of poverty-stricken families (Harf and Lambardi 205). This law is the fundamental shift to greater things. President Clinton then signed and certified that this act was going to be known to end welfare altogether. Thus followed by the Illegal Immigration and Immigrant Responsibility Act, which states the responsibilities of immigrants as well as enforcing official immigration (Harf and Lambardi 208). It addresses border patrol and training needed for border patrol enforcers, paraphernalia, and the overall process. It tells about the increase in internal enforcement by investigators monitoring visa applications and visa abusers. A stern ruling on penalties for illegal activities such as racketeering, alien smuggling and false immigration documents will be dealt with accordingly. Other crimes committed by illegal immigrants will suffer consequences, including deportation. Together these two acts worked collectively to additionally weaken the already unstable situation of those kinds of people.
Next, countries raising government awareness feel that properly trained authorities is an effective method to combat this conflict as well. According to Linda Todd, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act requires a report from foreign countries on progress, programs and law enforcement (1). This report establishes a criterion that is expected from overseas to enforce strengthening police and protection of victims. This is a great example to show how the United States is doing everything possible. If they did not care about this growing subject then they would not waste precious time on this instead of more serious things like the economic downfall. Properly trained law enforcement helps the government regulate smaller regions where they cannot see and reduce smuggling.
There are several logical solutions to address this modern day slavery. Society first thoughts to fix this are to arrest every person suspected of running a brothel or prostitution ring, but it is just not that easy. The United States has many effective ways to handle this issue and is verified by statistics that prove that Europe and China as top countries for trafficking. Laws and enforcement of laws are the top reason why the United States is able to put an end to this degrading life of drugs and sex better than others are. Congress and the House have passed laws and internationally laws are passed yearly. Awareness is the best solution because if people are not aware of an issue how can action take place. Immigrants also cause a threat so laws and restrictions of entrance into countries with cargo can be monitored often too.
In conclusion, if this dilemma is not taken care of by other countries it will spread. Future generations of women, precious children and even men will be taken advantage of and severely abused. No one wants this trend of slavery to continue even though it was outlawed centuries ago. Human beings have rights and are not another's properties these days. One should campaign in their community for government awareness and foundations to raise money to help victims who escaped from this life of servitude. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act does little to reinforce the rights of most Immigrant workers whether in or out the sex industry. As far as HR 3244 challenge to tackle the real problem of migrant and sex worker abuse, it is an admirable if not only insufficient effort. HR 3244 may lead to increased convictions of traffickers, but it is unlikely to challenge deeply held and hostile attitudes toward poor women, undocumented workers, and prostitutes. Yet, any effective answer demands more than figurative action against the coarse economic inequality between the world's rich and poor. The criminalization of migration and the labor associated with it gravely jeopardizes the well-being of feeble workers. In the past two years, following the passage of the law, 36 convictions against traffickers have resulted; a doubling of the numbers successfully prosecuted n 2001 (Chapkis 4).