Trafficking in Humans
It is estimated by the U.S. Government that there are between two and four million victims of human trafficking around the world. Of these millions, eighty percent are women and over half are under the age of eighteen. The United States contributes between 600,000 and
800,000 victims per year. The human trafficking industry is growing so quickly it is difficult to obtain a more accurate estimate on the number of victims. According to the United States
Government Accountability Office, the numbers could be as high as twenty seven million victims, worldwide (Miko 40).
Human trafficking has many faces. Sex trafficking is the most common type of trafficking. Humans are also trafficked for labor jobs in sweatshops, drug mills, and even organ removal. Most people only think of the trafficker as the criminal. There are actually additional people in a trafficker’s organization who assist in the kidnapping of victims. The hierarchy of trafficking is similar to a gang or organized crime family. It begins with a kingpin and his secondary. Then, there are spotters, intelligence gatherers, and stakeholders. The kingpin hires security personnel during the kidnapping, hotel keepers for rest periods during the transport, and the transporters who take the victims to the next destination. Lastly, paramedical staff is hired to care for victims as they are exploited and kidnapped. Most of these participants are never prosecuted. There are many reasons why human trafficking is quickly rising to be the number one profitable illicit trade in the world. Unlike weapons or drugs, humans continue to make profits for criminal organizations. Non-Profit organization, Polaris Project, works with victims of human trafficking. They fight for stronger laws to assist victims and prosecute their traffickers.
Polaris Project also provides lifesaving services to survivors, and is considered one of the best
Hughes 2 resources for information and education. After interviewing rescued victims, Polaris Project found that one pimp who worked four girls as prostitutes. For seven days a week, each girl was given a quota of $500 per night. With this quota being, the pimp made $632,000 in one year
It is virtually impossible to stop trafficking with the current legislation. Once a victim leaves their home country it is difficult to trace their whereabouts, almost as if these victims disappear, like Amy Bradley, Natalee Holloway and Corina Saunders. Current legislation on human trafficking is not consistent state by state, country by country. The United States has the toughest penalties in the world; however, the average jail time for traffickers is less than five years. In the United Kingdom, the maximum jail term is fourteen years. In one Canadian news story, a kingpin trafficked nineteen men from Hungary to work as laborers. One victim disclosed showering once every two weeks and eating only table scraps while working construction jobs.
After finally being prosecuted, the kingpin received nine years in jail. He had already served half of that while awaiting trial. His twenty year old son was sentenced to five years, however with
Canadian deductions, will only serve no more than sixteen months. The kingpin’s wife was sentenced with time served and a fine equaling welfare benefits she unlawfully received
(CBCNews). This is outrageous. Jail time should be increased significantly in all countries. If all nations conform to one law, it is possible this could help inhibit the selling and transferring of humans across borders.
The Trafficking Victim’s Protection Act was established by the US Department of State in 2000. Its purpose is to evaluate anti-trafficking progress in other countries. The Act is based on tiers. Tier One is given to countries whose governments abide by the Trafficking Victims
Protection Act’s minimum standards. Tier Two is given to those governments who do