Human Trafficking, Human Misery: The Global Trade in Human Beings

Human Trafficking, Human Misery: The Global Trade in Human Beings

Human Trafficking, Human Misery: The Global Trade in Human Beings

Human Trafficking, Human Misery: The Global Trade in Human Beings

Synopsis

Virtually all countries in the world are affected by the scourge of human trafficking, either as a source, transit, or destination country, or combination thereof. While countries have long focused on international trafficking, internal movement and exploitation within countries may be even more prevalent than trans-border trafficking. Patterns of trafficking vary across countries and regions and are in a constant state of flux. Countries have long focused on trafficking solely for the purpose of sexual exploitation, yet exploitation in agriculture, construction, fishing, manufacturing, and the domestic and food service industries are prevalent in many countries. Here, Aronowitz takes a global perspective in examining the nefarious underworld of human trafficking, revealing the nature and extent of the harm caused by this hideous criminal practice.

Excerpt

For a period of over five years, I worked in various capacities for the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as a researcher and consultant on human trafficking projects in the Philippines, the Czech Republic, Benin, Nigeria, and Togo. My work for the United Nations brought me to these countries on numerous occasions. I returned to Nigeria while working as a consultant for Winrock International and visited Albania while carrying out an assessment on trafficking for Management Systems International in that country in 2003.

All of these missions involved meetings with stakeholders in the country— from high-ranking government officials, to police officers and immigration officials, representatives of local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and international and intergovernmental organizations, and trafficked victims. We heard moving stories from those who were working with the young victims in an NGO in Benin—of how children had died of starvation and hunger while in transit to Gabon and how children on the boat were told to dispose of the corpses. We spoke to two child victims of trafficking and their parents at an NGO in Togo. The parents, poor and uneducated, explained to us how they only wanted to provide their young sons with an education and thought they were doing the right thing when they gave the children to the care of a man who promised to educate them. In Nigeria I spoke with a nine-year-old child who didn’t know which village or country she had come from. At the age of six, her older sister had left her with a family in Nigeria to become a domestic slave. In Albania, while visiting a shelter run by the International Organization for Migration for repatriated trafficked victims, I sat in the living room and spoke to the young women in English, German, Dutch, and Italian. I could speak those languages because I had lived . . .

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