Human trafficking is the trading of people. Human traffickers normally use their victims for slavery, sexual exploitation, illegal organ and tissue extractions among many other illegal things. Human trafficking can be done within the borders of a country or internationally from one country or continent to another. However, as long as there is trading of people, human trafficking has occurred the victim does not have to be moved anywhere.
Human trafficking is illegal in all parts of the world. The victim’s right of movement is denied and they are coerced and exploited for commercial purposes. Human trafficking is one of the oldest trades. The trade was in existence from the beginning of history. At the time it was legal and countries had laws that guided how the trade was conducted. As much as the trade in people became illegal all over the world, it is still practiced in many parts of the world. Contrary to popular belief the trade is still very high in the black market.
The trade in people has been estimated to be one of the fastest growing illegal activities in the international criminal organisations. Over $31.6 billion in the international trade market is attributed to human trafficking.
Various organisations have come up to condemn the practice and to advocate for governments to take the necessary measures to ensure the practice is killed from the roots. International conventions have made human trafficking to be one of the agendas that are discussed.
In 2003, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised crime resulted into an agreement known as the Trafficking Protocol. This was the first binding legal document concerning human trafficking in the international realm. The essence of it was to define what human trafficking is in international terms and to find a way to help the victims of human trafficking all over the world. According to the Trafficking Protocol human trafficking is:
‘the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;’
Human trafficking has also been defined as a type of modern day slavery. This contemporary slavery is prominent in various countries and continents including Africa, United States, Bangladesh, Europe, China, Ethiopia, Haiti, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, Mali among many others. In order to combat human trafficking all countries have to work together. Corruption is one of the major facilitators of this illegal business.
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