Human Trafficking What is it? Why does it happen? How do we know about this? Who profits from this? What can we do? Should we act? Why? How?
Human Trafficking What is it? Which governments are responding? Should they? Are they? How? How do we know about this? What humanitarian groups are involved? What are their stories? Where are they sent to? Where do the victims come from? What countries are involved? Is Australia involved? How? Is it a ‘lesser evil’ for some people compared to their ordinary lives? Who else is connected? Why is there a market? What can we do? Should we act? Why? How? Why does it happen? What difference does it make to our lives? Should it? Why? Who profits from this? The Big Questions … What happens to traffickers if they’re caught?
What is Human Trafficking? United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime definition “Human Trafficking is a crime against humanity. It involves the act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harbouring or receiving a vulnerable person through a use of force, coercion or other means for the purpose of exploiting them.” United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, 2012
Forms of Human Trafficking Sexual exploitation Forced agricultural labour Domestic & industrial labour Child soldiers Slavery Servitude or the removal of organs Exploitation includes but is not limited to:
How does it happen? There are 3 constituent elements to Human Trafficking United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, 2012
Where is it happening? Human Trafficking is a global problem
Australia’s Involvement According to the Australian Federal Police… Since 2003: 305 investigations and assessments into Human Trafficking have been made There have been 184 victims rescued 70 % of cases involved women in ‘Sexual Servitude’ Commander Chris McDeritt, AFP Human Trafficking Unit Media coverage of Human Trafficking within Australia Herald Sun article 4 Corners Episode The Age Article
Who are the victims? Traffickers target vulnerable members of communities Vulnerabilities include: Absolute and relative poverty Lack of employment opportunities Lack of education and life skills Dysfunctional family situations World Vision Australia, 2012
Women and Human Trafficking Victims are not limited to a particular race, age or gender; however women are often targeted due to their position of subordination within certain societies.
Why does it occur? Human Trafficking is based on the principles of supply and demand Human trafficking occurs not only due to people’s vulnerabilities but also societies demand for cheap labour and services.
Why does it flourish? Human Trafficking is a market driven criminal industry Human Trafficking is currently perceived as low risk to traffickers. There is little deterrence for those involved in the criminal operations. Consumers are willing to buy goods and services from industries that rely on forced labour, they create a profit incentive for labour traffickers to maximise revenue with minimal production costs. Polaris Project, 2010
The Role of the Consumer Economic pressures often see consumers seeking ‘the best price’ for their goods and services. The lack of awareness surrounding the issue of human trafficking often prevents the consumer from knowing the ‘true’ price they are paying. Unfortunately consumers often unknowingly provide the demand as well as the profit incentive to the traffickers. Through informed changes in purchasing choices, consumers have the power to reduce the demand for human trafficking. A provocative Australian campaign questioning WHY human trafficking is possible and the role of the consumer
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2012 Industries Involved in Human Trafficking Agriculture Horticulture Construction Garments and Textiles Food Processing Health Care Services Contract Cleaning Catering and Restaurants Domestic Work Entertainment Sex Industry
Maria Maria was taken from her hometown in Mexico at the age of 15, with promises of a well-paying job as a housekeeper for a family in California. Instead, the same woman who offered her the job sold her into slavery to a single, white older male for $200. For five long years she was raped and beaten. She was forced to clean 18 to 20 hours a day while her “boss” dug her own grave, reminding her of what would happen if she tried to escape. After five years, she was freed when her boss was killed by another man. That is, she thought she was finally free, only to learn that she was to be held responsible for his death. Maria served more than 22 years in prison for a crime she did not commit. Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking, Survivor Stories Retrieved from website
do Roghini At the age of just 13, Roghini was taken out of school and forced into bonded labour to repay a family debt. It all began when Roghini's sister became betrothed. To pay for the dowry her parents took out a loan of $50 and Roghini was 'mortgaged' to a family who made matchboxes in their home. For a gruelling 11 hours every day, Roghini would sit cross-legged to fold and glue matchboxes. For every 1,500 matchboxes she made, Roghini would be ‘paid’ 30 cents. Of course, this was nowhere near enough money to buy food, let alone repay the debt, so often she went hungry. Along with Roghini, 20 other children, mostly girls, worked glueing matchboxes in that dark, airless room. The man of the house often threatened and shouted at the girls, using obscene language that would leave them feeling worthless and humiliated. Not surprisingly, Roghini became so depressed by her situation that she tried to take her own life. From her point of view, there was no escape from the endless work, no hope of ever going to school again and no time for fun or play. It all added up to an incredibly bleak future.
Sophea At just 15, Sophea was sold into sexual slavery and forced to take drugs that made her an addict. It was a year before she found a means of escape. Her fiance's mother told her there was a great job that paid 3,000 baht (around A$120) a month, so Sophea agreed to try it out. Soon after, she was taken to the Thai border and delivered straight into the waiting clutches of brothel owners. She was forced to have sex with customers repeatedly or be beaten. Instead of being paid she was forced to take drugs, gradually becoming addicted. The torment she suffered is barely imaginable. Sophea believed that the woman who had left her would eventually come to her rescue. She waited a whole year. No- one came. One day, she plucked up the courage to escape and called her grandmother who then notified the police. Retreived from World Vision Australia website
Promotional video from coalition of musicians and celebrities campaigning about Human Trafficking:
do BIG The BIG Issues Are consumers creating a ‘market’ for human trafficking? Is human trafficking a ‘lesser evil’ than the life the victim was already living? If and when ‘rescued’ what happens to victims...are they back on the streets? How do we prevent people becoming vulnerable to traffickers? Who has the power to change legislation and make trafficking less lucrative and profitable? Are issues of humanity as important as economic issues to Governments? What value do we place on the lives of the victims? Are we too far removed to want to make a difference? How do we raise awareness?
Government Responses United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, 2012
Initiatives and Organisations involved in Raising Awareness of Human Trafficking ugees/comments/20601/
References ABC Four Corners (6/10/11) ‘Sex Slavery in Australia” Australian Federal Police (AFP) Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trading, Polaris Project : For a World without Poverty The Age (17/5/2008) United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2012) United Nations Global Report on Trafficking in Human Persons (2009) World Vision Australia (2010) story_of_bonded_labour.aspx story_of_bonded_labour.aspx