Human Trafficking on a Global Scale

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As with any social issue/plague, there are multiple aspects and layers that prevent easy solutions. Human trafficking is an international issue (as it historically has been) which means that differing viewpoints on sexuality, human (especially women's & children's) rights, law and economics complicate theoretically "positive" changes in any given country. As Lucinda Peach illustrated, efforts to target trafficking in other countries is also further convoluted by cultural ideas concerning sex work itself.

However, out of these reasons listed, I'd like to point out economics as being the most crucial factor in actually examining the problem on a larger scale. Where there is poverty, there is desperation, and where there is desperation, people are forced to do whatever it takes to survive, including selling their own children into slavery. The fact that trafficking overwhelmingly affects women and children is not a surprise, as they have historically been the hardest hit by the effects of poverty. Much like all of the other issues we have examined in this class, from racism to genocidal rape, this is an issue of subjugation. Another example of the human selfishness that abounds in all societies. The poverty that we see in Africa, Asia, Latin America and wherever else some dinky western European nation was able to colonize, is often times due to the manipulation and exploitation of these colonizers that continues on to this day. The idea of "raids" and efforts of NGOs to run in to India or Vietnam and "rescue" these women and children is ironic (especially considering the makeup of the trafficked clientele) and ineffective. This is a systemic problem, not something that we as U.S. citizens can go in and slap a band-aid on just to feel the "warm-fuzzies."

If we really want to do something about this problem, we should refer back to the idea of white supremacy; someone has to take a step back so that others can take a step forward. We need to stop exploiting the rest of the world for its goods and human labor and stop putting puppet regimes into place or at least help get people like Kim Jong Il out of office so that North Koreans aren't forced to do anything (such as sell themselves or family members) to escape (and then let the people vote for their own leader). (Sorry about that added rant I just watched an Amnesty Int'l special on Kim Jong Il). We're not going to be able to even being to address the issue of human rights in any real sense until we have people that are fed, clothed and housed and have a government that works in its people's best interest. Then we can talk about human rights. Then we can talk about gender equality. Then we can talk about sex worker's rights, etc. etc.

1 Comment

I agree with the comparison between human trafficking and white supremacy, at some point someone has to step back. This brings in the issue and idealism of US exceptionalism, the US is "free" and we are willing to point out those countries that are not. If our country invested the same energy inwardly that we do outwardly on global issues such as this, I wonder what one would find. Solving the problem at home would allow us to help others without this hypocritical idealism that our country has.

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This page contains a single entry by farr0181 published on November 3, 2011 9:10 AM.

Blog #5 Human Trafficking was the previous entry in this blog.

Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery is the next entry in this blog.

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