By Domingo Fortuna
We live in a world where millions of people are sold into human trafficking for the purpose of exploitation. Millions of lives are destroyed every year by smugglers trying to make a profit out human being. According to the U.S. Department of State, an approximately 20.9 million men, women, and children are trafficked for commercial sex or forced labor around the world. Human trafficking relinquish people’s freedom and makes them susceptible to modern slavery.
Every year, millions of people are trafficked in countries around the world, including the United States. Traffickers target individuals who are vulnerable to persuasion. Usually, victims of human trafficking are people who are emotionally unstable or having difficulty adjusting to a new environment. The vulnerability of victims gives traffickers the opportunity to approach them and persuade them to the point of involuntary submission. Most of these people are immigrants from developing communities. Their unfamiliarity with the language, laws and customs is an advantage for traffickers to manipulate and exploit immigrants in their new environment. Human trafficking has become a business that makes a profit to destroy a person’s soul. In fact, the United Nations estimates that human trafficking makes approximately 32 billion US dollars a year, (UNODC, 1). Traffickers make billions of dollars per year by selling people into human trafficking, where individuals are forced to work against their will in harsh working conditions ,which endangers their wellbeing.
The damages caused by human trafficking are expanding quickly. Victims are trafficked across national and international borders, for the purpose of exploitation. According to one World Health Organization reports, (Exodus,1), the global scale of human trafficking can be attributed to the way nations approach human trafficking and what they do to provide a solution.
For example Algeria denied sex trafficking despite evidence. As a result, no effort is made to investigate, prosecute, or convict perpetrators of sex trafficking. Countries like Algeria need to acknowledge the problems affecting their citizens, in order to diminish the control of traffickers over the population. Human trafficking affects every country in the world. It occurs for three reasons: prostitution, forced labor, and the illegal trade of human organs. According to the U.S. Department of State an estimated 20.9 million women, men, and children are trafficked around the world. The United States should serve as a model of justice by decreasing human trafficking and advocating for the rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking. It’s our task as citizens to stand up for humanity and establish the issues affecting our society. As Americans, we have the freedom to make choices and create change. In the upcoming election, America should elect a candidate who has the capacities to fulfill the characteristic of a world leader. So it’s very important to understand the stand of every presidential candidate, in order to know how they might provide a solution or relieve to human trafficking.
We can decrease the influence of human trafficking by spreading awareness about anti trafficking programs that will help victims of human trafficking. Anti-trafficking programs like Restore NYC and the Polaris Project provide a safe environment for human trafficking victims, where they can reconstruct their lives and become influential representatives. There are many anti-trafficking programs, but they are not endorsed by elected officials. Victims are not familiar with these programs; it often takes them about a year or more to receive help. The United Nations has the goal to achieve global awareness of human trafficking, but it is a difficult task. It’s time to demand justice by promulgating awareness and spreading hope. Our society needs leaders that will address human trafficking and provide a solution. We need officials that want to create awareness.
Human trafficking seems to be a problem, far from home, but it is happening right outside of our doors. For instance, New York has “6,000 Chinese restaurants located” throughout the state (Macaulay, 1). As the number of Chinese restaurant grows, the competition increases. Restaurants owners are forced to commit “underhanded and even illegal activities”(Macaulay, 2), because of the pressure to maintain their customers. By lowering the food cost, owners have to deduct money from their worker’s salary to sustain the restaurant. In one case, Mexican immigrants were paid a salary of $3.50 an hour to work at a Chinese buffet-style restaurant under harsh living conditions (Chicago Tribune, 1). To furthermore, the Mexican workers worked 84 hours a week without substantial breaks, (Chicago Tribune, 2). Immigrants are exposed to exploitative labor conditions that are characteristic of trafficking cases, such as withholding of documents, deportation, nonpayment for services, physical abuse, or extremely poor living conditions.
The United Nations estimates that victims from over 130 different nationalities are trafficked in almost 120 countries. We have to stop the exploitation of human beings and promulgate the enforcement of justice. It is our duty to stand for our belief and preserve the freedom granted to us. As citizens, we have to spread awareness about human trafficking, in order to get rid of thousands of years of slavery. Even though, presidential candidates haven’t addressed this issues, we have to ask them this kind of questions to elect an official capable of creating change and hope for those, who are not free.
"Human Trafficking." (2007): n. pag. 2005. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.
"What is Human Trafficking?" Exodus Cry. N.p., n.e.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2016
"Algeria." U.S Department of State. N.p., 20 June 2014. Web. 1 May 2015.
Janssen, Kim. "Suit: Chinese Buffet Workers Made $3.50, Slept on Dumpster Mattresses." Chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune, 13 Nov. 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.
"Exploitation in Chinese Restaurants in New York City." What's Cookin in NYC. Macaulay, 07 May 2014. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.
WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
Every year, millions of people are trafficked in countries around the world, including the United States. Most of these people are immigrants from developing communities, who are transported to developed communities that are more prosperous. Traffickers use immigrant’s workers unfamiliarity with the language, laws and customs as an advantage to manipulate or exploit them in their new environment. Traffickers sell them into involuntary servitude, where immigrants are forced to work against their will in harsh working conditions. Labor trafficking has become an important issue for the U.S. presidencial race because illegal immigration has resulted in an increase of involuntary servitude in the United States. Also labor trafficking violates the Constitution of the United States of America, which states "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”. Even though the authorities are trying to decrease labor trafficking in U.S. soil, their effort is not effective because labor trafficking is happening in the major cities of the United States.
New York City is known for its Chinese food. In almost every corner of the city we can find a Chinese restaurant. As the number of Chinese restaurant grows, so do the competition. Because of this restaurant owners are forced to commit “ underhanded and even illegal activities”. Exploitation, fraud, and coercion are some the tactics that are used to manipulate immigrant workers. Immigrants are exposed to “exploitative” labor conditions that are characteristic of trafficking cases, such as withholding of documents, nonpayment for services, physical abuse, or extremely poor living conditions. Also traffickers use the threat of deportation as well as document confiscation to maintain control of their victims.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND ITS IMPACT
According to the U.S. Department of State, an estimated 20.9 million men, women and children are trafficked for commercial sex or forced labor around the world. Even though the United States provides programs to help victims of human trafficking, the victims are not familiar with these programs. It often takes them about a year or more to receive help because they are uneducated. The United States has the goal to achieve global awareness of human trafficking, but it is a difficult task. For example, countries like Algeria denied sex trafficking despite evidence. As a result, no effort is made to investigate, prosecute, or convict perpetrators of sex trafficking. In Algeria human trafficking are subjected to force labor and sex trafficking. Typically, sub-Saharan African men and women immigrate to Algeria voluntarily but illegally with the help of smugglers. Some of these women and men go to Algeria thinking that smuggler would help them travel to Europe. In contrast, these women may be forced into prostitution, domestic service, and begging. Just like in the United States Immigrants are the most vulnerable to sex trafficking or labor trafficking in Algeria because of the language barriers.
Human trafficking affects every country in the world. It occurs for three reasons prostitution, forced labor, and human organs. The majority of the victims of human trafficking are immigrants because traffickers use immigrant’s workers unfamiliarity with the language, laws and customs to manipulate them. From Algeria to New York City we can see similarities in the way involuntary servitude works. If we come together we can decrease human trafficking, and spread awareness about anti-trafficking programs that would help the world. It's our duty as citizens to acknowledge the problems that are affecting our society. So it’s very important to understand the stand of every presidential candidate, in order to know how they might provide a solution or relieve to this issue.