Human slavery did not end in the 19th century as many people believed. It now exists in the form of modern slavery called human trafficking. Over the past couple years, human trafficking has spread across the globe and has a substantial impact on the global economy. Human trafficking is occurring in every country for various purposes such as sexual slavery, forced labor, or for the extraction of organs. Even though it exists globally, there has to be main sources where all these humans are coming from and one of those sources is the region of Southeast Asia. Human trafficking usually exists in poor, rural countries because those countries lack a strong government therefore the government is not able to give resources such as money and man-power to combat human trafficking. The fluctuation in economy of Southeast Asia has also helped develop human trafficking because human trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry of supply and demand. In these countries, there are various demands for cheap labor and commercial sex. This creates an opportunity for human traffickers to try to meet these demands and reap in huge profits with little circumstances. Human traffickers lure people into jobs where they are worked in harsh conditions or sold as slaves. These are the reasons why human trafficking is a crime against humanity. The economy of these areas are the most apparent reason why human trafficking flourishes. To stop human trafficking, the economy of these areas has to be improved through jobs availability so people can have an alternative to selling themselves into being trafficked. There must be drastic increase in economic and social development to reduce the vulnerability of potential victims to human trafficking.
Human trafficking is defined as the trade in humans. The more exact definition of human trafficking from the signing of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons in the year 2000 states that "'Trafficking in persons' shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the 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." There are two forms of human trafficking that exists in the economy of Southeast Asia today; commercial sexual exploitation and forced economic exploitation. Both of these forms exist in every Southeast Asian country including Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar. According to the global report (2005) of the International Labour Organization (ILO), there were about 7,300,000 people trafficked in Asia. These numbers include people exploited for commercial sex, forced labor, and other undetermined circumstances. Out of these numbers, 12% of human trafficking is in forced commercial sexual exploitation and 82% in forced economic exploitation. Since 2005, these numbers have risen drastically from 7,300,000 people being trafficked in Asia to 11,700,000 people. The 2012 ILO report shows that there are now 22% of human trafficking is in commercial sex and 68% in forced labor in Asia. The 2013 Trafficking in Persons report by the United States Department of State is a breakdown of the intensity of human trafficking in every country. Every country was given a tier with tier 3 being the highest intensity and tier 1 being the lowest intensity. According to this report, every country in Southeast Asia was deemed tier 2 meaning that the country has acknowledged the existence of human trafficking but cannot make efforts to lessen it. Every country in Southeast Asia has been in the tier 2 list for the past several years because they have failed to “demonstrate evidence of overall increasing efforts to address