TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN – A CURSE OF THE SOCIETY
Surviving in the 21st century has been about globalization and modernization, and to keep up with the global economic markets and demands, a large section of the business is happening around the trafficking of women all over the world for various purposes, from sex slavery, selling of organs, tourist prostitution to terrorist use. Auctions of Sexual trafficking of victims may be the most horrific part of the problem, but they are just the tip of the iceberg for a massive international problem of human trafficking that exploits women and dehumanizes them. Human trafficking has been among the fastest-growing forms of transitional crime because the current world condition has created a massive economy of demand and supply because of an increase in Globalization and resulted in an economic imbalance between the developed and developing economy, and migration flows are enormous. Research has found the current top five countries of trafficking are Afghanistan, China, Iran, North Korea, and Syria. The majority of women being trafficked from the Asian countries are women migrant workers being trafficked to Thailand and Malaysian Countries for labor and commercial sexual exploitation.
In 2004, the government of the United States government provided a report on the approximate size of the international trafficking problem, suggesting the number of victims of trafficking worldwide from 600,000 to 800,000 people. In 2006, the Trafficking in Person Report(TIP) provided alternative statistics, according to the data, 12.3 million people worldwide are in forced bonded labor and victims of sex trafficking. Some part of this trafficking business is also engaged in the activity of terrorist funding forcing victims into the insurgency, guerilla movement, or suicide bombers.
GLOBALIZATION AND TRAFFICKING
Globalization is the development of an economy on a global basis by the means of free trade and free flow of economy all over the world. The need for globalization has increased monetary demand and cheap labor. Sex business and sex slave helps in generating the unaccounted and black money which has been steadily providing the process of globalization. Forms of slavery and human trafficking are not just the outcomes of globalization but they are part of the whole globalization process. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimated that the annual global profit generated from trafficking amounts to around US $32 billion. High demand for cheap labor in developed countries has resulted in the trafficking and exploitation of desperate workers from developing and underdeveloped countries. Women and children are the most vulnerable in society and are the principal victims of trafficked victims who are coerced in the services of the sex industry. People from human trafficking are sent to work in prostitution, pornographic industries, drug business, cheap labor, sex parlors.
The process of globalization is taking the advantage of fast-moving technological advances, free flow of goods over the boundaries of countries, acceleration of the liberalized global markets to fuel the trafficking business and also get away with it. International cargos, boats, trucks, and vans meant for the transportation of goods are being used for the trafficking of women and children over the borders by managing to escape inspections by the presence of corrupt authorities. Discreet ways of sex trafficking have evolved in means of pornographic websites, advertisements of bride availability, advertisements of cheap labor, and message services. Because of the internet, activities like this have increased in the last few decades and have been funding the globalization process since then.
SOCIAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING
The influence of society has been affecting the trafficking business from the root level, causing women to take up the prostitution business which is ending up in trafficking. The lack of capital and adequate jobs have forced women to give in the prostitution business. Two important social factors contributing to human trafficking are population growth and imbalance between the numbers of men and women in many countries. The current population of Asia is approximately 446.27 crores, standing as the most populated area in the whole world, with no sign of a reduction in the number. This amount of population and not even half of this amount of jobs are available, resulting in women and children being sold in exchange for money and also women selling themselves to financially sustain themselves.
Asia is the epicenter of human trafficking, and most of the trafficked women and girls are sold in Thailand, China, and western countries. The imbalance between men and women has increased due to practice like feticide in countries like Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and other south Asian countries resulting in the trafficking of women in countries like China and Japan where women are being sold off at cheap rates to provide in one of the biggest sex industry there and also sometimes, sold as wives or concubines for wealthy businessmen’s. The migration of women from rural to urban areas and Asian to Western countries have created a demand for jobs and women have been settling for odd jobs resulting in being abducted and sold for trafficking. Victims of domestic violence are another social factor contributing to the cause of trafficking.
Human trafficking has now become one of the largest organized crimes worldwide, laws, and methods to counter such trafficking has failed repeatedly to provide for a proper solution. Victims of trafficking are subject to physical threats, molestation, severe abuses, and deaths. The constant abuse, violence that they suffer makes it nearly impossible for them to return to normal lives. More than hundreds of women die every day due to some kind of abuse in the trafficking and prostitution business. United Nations is effectively taking part in preventing, combating protecting the women of human trafficking, and has partnered with UNICEF, UNESCO, ILO, and UN Women to prevent or at least reduce the trafficking racket. Every nation is being advised to take serious legal actions in stopping Human trafficking and preserving the human rights of the women. The very first way in which people will come up and actively participate in women’s empowerment is when every human being will be educated and not just women. Feminist approaches should be inbuilt in human beings as a very normal and obvious form of approach and not something that people will have to decide whether to accept it or not. The states should take responsibility for providing more proper and safe job opportunities for women as that of men in the economic sectors so that women get to become more independent of themselves and have the means to make decisions independently. And the developed countries should be aware and have knowledge as to where the cheap labor is being provided and stop accepting such illegal cheap labor.
Author(s) Name: Piyasha Das (Amity University, Kolkata)