In the modern world, human trafficking is a problem that causes humanitarian concern. Victims of human trafficking have endured unimaginable suffering. Humanitarian aid workers have often been on the forefront to salvage the situation. However, their efforts have been frustrated since some law enforcement agents and politicians support this illegal activity. The fight against human trafficking in the United States can be traced back to 1999 when the Congress raised an alarm over the issue. Unfortunately, the vice still persists although the number of victims has reduced. This therefore raises several questions about human trafficking as it affects the well-being of a nation in several dimensions. This study focuses on human trafficking in United States, its cause, effects and the measures that the government has taken to curb it.
Statement of the problem
Human trafficking emanates from lack of economic opportunities in poverty-stricken countries. Poverty has often forced many young people in developing countries to get involved in human trafficking. The problem persists because of the vicious cycle of poverty in the developing countries.
The United States has been on the forefront in the fight against human trafficking since 2000. This was observed by the enactment of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) into law (DuPont, 2009). The law is significant in protecting U.S. victims, stops human trafficking and warrants arrest for the offence. The U.S. initiated a program to educate its citizens on the dangers of trafficking and to increase the number of non-governmental organizations that are against human trafficking. However, despite these efforts the network of human trafficking has been considered to be large and therefore poses difficulty in fighting it. Statistics indicate that more than 17,500 foreigners are smuggled into the United States annually. The United States also has lost more than this number of its citizens to human trafficking each year (Fisanick, 2010)
Poverty has always been seen to be major cause of human trafficking that drives people as they attempt to provide for their families. Poverty has always led to lack of proper education which leads to high unemployment. This makes people very desperate and therefore end up being trafficked with a promise of better and fulfilling lives (Aronowitz, 2009). The main victims of human trafficking are young people from developing countries who are illegally ‘shipped’ to developed countries. This makes human trafficking a worldwide phenomenon that has spread across various nations. However, human trafficking is never a stand-alone crime. Drug trafficking has also been run concurrently with human trafficking. The victims are given drugs to tag them along on their way to their destination. The drugs can also be injected on their bodies to make them have some form assurance of their actions so to avoid them from changing their mind (Haerens, 2012)
The young women and girls that are usually trafficked for commercial sex are mostly infected with HIV/AIDs (Jonsson, 2009). The youthful nature of the prostitutes makes their clients view them as potential ‘virgins’ and engage in unproductive sex with them. This increases the risk of spreading the disease (Lee, 2007). The countries in which the victims have been drawn from have often been considered to have weak law enforcement systems on human trafficking. Thus, they are not able to fight it as they lack the proper laws to arrest the perpetrators of the vice.
This research paper intends to find out if indeed the poor economy is the major cause of human trafficking and its subsequent effect on the economy of the United States.
- What development measures should be used to improve the living standards of people in poor countries?
- What are the effects of human trafficking in the U.S.?
- What is the role of the government in reducing human trafficking?
Poverty has been the major cause of human trafficking. Therefore, in order to address the problem the economic performance of the countries involved is important. The development prospects of poor countries are addressed to see how best they can be improved. Legislation also plays a significant role in addressing this issue. Laws governing human trafficking form the basis of curbing human trafficking as they are formed to protect victims and punish the offenders of the crime.
Aronowitz, A. A. (2009). Human trafficking, human misery the global trade in human beings. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.
DuPont, K. (2009). Human trafficking. New York, NY: Facts On File.
Fisanick, C. (2010). Human trafficking. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Haerens, M. (2012). Human trafficking. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Jonsson, A. (2009). Human trafficking and human security. London: Routledge.
Lee, M. (2007). Human trafficking. Cullompton, Devon, U.K.: Willan.