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Trafficking in Persons: A World-wide Evil Trafficking in Persons: A World-wide Evil
by Rene Wadlow
2021-06-30 09:43:45
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30 July is the United Nations sponsored World Day against Trafficking in Persons.  The trafficking in persons, like the trafficking of drugs and weapons, is a worldwide issue.  A global problem needs efforts at the local, the national, and the world level.  There are many forms of trafficking of persons, including sex trafficking, forced labor, debt bondage and forced marriage.  There are many ways in which people get caught up in trafficking, but the results are the same: people are used and abused.

traf01_400_01The person is "owned" or controlled by an "employer", usually through mental or physical abuse and threats.  The person is dehumanized by being treated as a commodity and bought and sold as if "property".  There are also restrictions placed on a person's freedom of movement and kept isolated from those who might help.

For earlier Ovi analysis of trafficking in persons and efforts to lessen it check: Migration and Awareness of Trafficking in Persons, World Citizens call for urgent action to end human trafficking - a modern-day slave trade, To Snap Every Yoke: World Law to End Slavery in Libya.

Trafficking in persons is part of the dark underside of globalization.  Globalization is generally seen as the integration on the world scale of goods, money, people, and ideas.  However, there exists a criminal and illegitimate set of global networks that threatens to destabilize the more positive aspects of global integration.

Money from these drug-arms-people networks must be "laundered" to be invested in other, often legal, sectors of the economy.  Money laundering is part of the vast flow of money worldwide, some for longer-term investment but part as speculation on the exchange value of currency.  Drugs, guns, illegal immigration and organized crime - these are negative aspects of how the poorer sections of the world become integrated into the world economy.  It is a case both of poorer countries but also the poorer sections of moderately well-off countries.

wc00Those involved in the illegal economies are not opponents of globalization.  They share the same values of making money and gaining enough power so as not to be disturbed.  They use the same off-shore banking and shell companies.

No part of the world is free from these many forms of trafficking.  Prevention, protection of the vulnerable, and recovery are the three level of necessary action.  There is a need for a sound knowledge of the areas and social groups exposed to higher risks of servitude.  There is a need to develop awareness and political will so that police and social welfare officials carry on systematic protection.  There is a need to develop capacity for recovery through the creation of shelters, workshops for psychological care, education, and training.

The evil of trafficking will continue to grow unless strong counter-measures are taken.  Police and governments do not place a high priority on the fight against trafficking unless migration becomes a political-media issue as it has in the USA and parts of Europe.  Thus 30 July - World Day against Trafficking in Persons - is a necessary reminder of the challenges we face.


Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens

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