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Human Trafficking/Anti-Slavery Movement Alicia Messner

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1 Human Trafficking/Anti-Slavery Movement Alicia Messner

2 THE BASICS What is human trafficking? The United Nations defines human trafficking as: “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, or abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments of benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs” (2009). Human trafficking is the third largest criminal industry in the world generating $9.5 billion annually (Zhang, 2007) IMG:

3 TIMELINE OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE U.S. Human trafficking was first made legal in 1502. Trafficking continued until the 1800’s when abolitionists demanded the end of slave trade (in the U.S. in 1808). However, slave trade continued in countries, but was now banned from inter-country slave trade. Alongside slave trade, prostitution arose because traders created a demand for prostitutes, which in turn led to sex trafficking. State involvement with human trafficking ended after WWI. Illicit trade began to avoid taxes and regulations. (Okubo,2011) A great leap to end human trafficking occurred in 2000. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act was passed. This states that human trafficking as defined by the United Nations is not legal and that countries should take action to stop the occurrence of it. However, there are some countries that will not comply. One example would be Saudi Arabia. l There are three areas of focus when combatting human trafficking. These focus points are, prevention (raising awareness, education, outreach, and advocacy), protecting and assisting victims (provide health and psychological services as well as shelters, legal and vocational services), investigating and prosecuting human trafficking crimes (training of law enforcement officials). In the past ten years various U.S. government agencies have provided $447 million to combat human trafficking. There are many agencies, government organizations, and non-governmental organizations that work to prevent and stop human trafficking locally, nationally, and globally. IMG:

4 CONTRIBUTING FACTORS AND CAUSES There are many things that contribute to human trafficking. Some of these factors are poverty, corruption, low education, (Okubo, 2011) globalization and demand (Zhang 2007) The most significant factor is corruption. Without corrupt government officials this industry would no longer have the easy access to necessary documents and transportation routes. What is being address in the social justice/human rights movement that is taking place today? “Human trafficking is a multi-dimensional threat, depriving people of their human rights and freedoms, risking global health, promoting social breakdown, inhibiting development by depriving countries of their human capital and helping fuel the growth of organized crime” (2009). IMG:

5 TRAFFICKING CATEGORIES IMG: Sex trafficking accounts for 39% of trafficking

6 SOUTHEAST ASIAN CULTURE IN THE U.S. Saving face is important in Southeast Asian cultures. Collectivism is another key aspect of this culture. The focus is on family and the community overall rather than the individual. Much of the trafficking that takes place is due to “helping” the family as a whole by bringing income to the family. For example, family may sell their daughter to provide for the rest of the family. Position in society is based on achievement and ascription. Family matters. It is very important to present ones family in a positive way and bring respect to ones family. Societal roles and expectations are often based on what family one belongs to as well. Education is important in this culture as well. Southeast Asian culture is very much a hierarchical society. Family is expected to take care of each other and it is important to respect ones family. Public displays of affection are not appropriate to this culture. However, it is not uncommon to see people of the same sex holding hands. Buddhism is prevalent and the primary religion in Southeast Asian culture. Buddhism has created a society of people striving to do good so that good things may return to them in the future. Time is more monochromic for Southeast Asian cultures than U.S. culture. In the U.S. timeliness is very important, but for Southeast Asian culture schedules are more flexible. IMG:

7 STEREOTYPES AND STRUGGLES “Utilitarian prejudice may help a certain social group maintain power” (Hall, 2005, 218) this is why people are often trafficking from outside their region or country. Social status prejudice allows traffickers to boost their standing in the community as they disregard those they traffic and consider them to be less than themselves (Hall, 2005, 218). Video: Seattle is taking action to stop trafficking and to stop prejudice of these victims, often times the women are viewed as criminals rather than the victims they are. “Racist and sexist stereotypes of women are used in the sex industry to market the women. Men come to expect stereotypical behavior from the women they buy in prostitution. Also, buying women from different races and nationalities gives men the illusion of experiencing the ‘different’ or ‘exotic’” (Raymond, 2001, 41). Some will say that these women “chose” to be in the place they are at. In reality none of these women want to be in this place in their life.


9 EXODUS CRY Exodus Cry has three main initiatives: Prayer, awareness and action. To raise awareness there are conferences to attend and documentary screenings of Nefarious: Merchant of Souls which includes interviews of various people in the sex industry globally. There are ten action steps suggested. These action steps are prayer, compassion, purity, spread the word, volunteer, watch, reach, speak up, adopt a child, invest. IMG: It seems that our society is avoiding the problem of human trafficking. Although awareness has been raised in recent years there is still avoidance occurring and action is not being taken in all areas (Hall, 2005, 230). Another example is priority conflicts. Some people have higher value placed on them and it is apparent that the people being trafficked are not of high priority to our society (Hall, 238). “Utilitarian prejudice may help a certain social group maintain power” (Hall, 2005, 218) this is why people are often trafficking from outside their region or country. Social status prejudice allows traffickers to boost their standing in the community as they disregard those they traffic and consider them to be less than themselves (Hall, 2005, 218).

10 LEARNING OUTCOMES MET I learned actively through reviewing previous readings as well as researching scholarly sources on my own that focused on my topic. I improved my understanding of another culture (southeast Asian culture) as well as deepening my understanding of interactions between cultures and stereotypes that may arise. I now have greater expertise in the area of human trafficking and Southeast Asian culture and the worldviews of this culture. I was able to think critically through evaluating the research I found. I read many interviews, studies, and statistics from many perspectives. Then, I compiled the information that I found to be most accurate and focused on primary sources and personal testimony of both traffickers and women that were trafficked. While researching Southeast Asian culture I recognize many beliefs, values, and worldviews that were discussed in our class readings. Current human trafficking is related to slave trade throughout history and it is apparent that history is having an effect on the current happenings of trafficking today. I also noticed that the dehumanization of those being trafficked is very similar to what took place with slave trade in history as well. I reflected both on in class readings and history to compile my research. In my research my personal awareness was raised as well. I communicated clearly by narrowing my research to focus on main points and reliable sources. I then presented my research in a way that allowed others to learn about my topic in an accessibly way. The information I presented was straightforward. The information and research was prepared in a way that was logically sequential. Interacting in diverse and complex environments was important to my project as well. I tried to be open when researching while maintaining a scholastically critical perspective. I took in information without bias, but tried to recognize the biases of the writers/researchers presenting the information I found. I tried to present my information in a way that accurately portrayed my topic and the current problem, as well as actions being taken to implement changes.

11 WORKS CITED (2007) Diversity Tip Sheet: Southeast Asian Culture: An Overview. Diversity Council. Retrieved from (2007) Human Trafficking. United States Government Accountability Office. Retrieved from (2009) The World Factbook: Trafficking in Persons. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved from factbook/fields/2196.html factbook/fields/2196.html Gallagher, Anne T.. The International Law of Human Trafficking. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Ebook Library. Web. 22 Nov. 2011. Hall, B.J. (2005) Among Cultures. Wadsworth Cengage Learning,. (2). Kristof, N.D. (2011) What About American Girls Sold on the Streets? New York Times. Retrieved from Okubo, S., Shelley, L. (2011). Human Security, Transnational Crime and Human Trafficking. Asian and Western Perspectives. Retrieved from Ebook Library. Raymond, J.G., Hughes, D.M. (2001). Sex Trafficking of Women in the United States. Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. Seattle Government (2011) How is SPD Fighting Teen Sex Trafficking? (Video) Available at Sex Trafficking Fact Sheet. Department of Health and Human Services. National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Retrieved from United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law.United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law. (2010) In our own backyard: child prostitution and sex trafficking in the United States: hearing before the Subcommittee on Human Rights and Law of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, On Hundred Eleventh Congress, second session. Washington U.S.G.P.O. Retrieved from Zhang, S.X. (2007). Hitchhiking: Human Smuggling and Terrorism. In Smuggling and Trafficking in Human Beings: All Roads Lead to America. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. Retrieved from

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