Combating Human Trafficking

Combating Human Trafficking

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Human trafficking is one of the worst forms of crime against humanity that is gradually becoming a concern for most states in the world today. Though this practice has not been, effusively, managed, the UN, as well as, state governments has established methods on how to combat the exploitation of human beings for personal gains by others (UNODC, 2009). Notably, the anti-trafficking legislations are very effective in combating and reducing trafficking of human beings. Decreasing vulnerability, and the provision of support for victims prevents the occurrence of the activity in the society. Additionally, the criminalization and persecution of individuals in charge of human trafficking procedures is aimed at discouraging others from performing this act.

Key Words: Human Trafficking, Victim Vulnerability, Support and Protection,



Greed has led most people to indulge in activities that are self-fulfilling and criminal in nature. One such activity is human trafficking that involves the trade of human beings for, what is known today as modern day slavery (UNODC, 2008). Put simply, this activity involves buying and selling human beings for financial gains by the seller and labor for the buyer. In essence, those who fall victim to human trafficking do so out of vulnerability, as they search to make better lives for themselves and their families. In the search for income and better lives, these people find themselves in dehumanizing situations such as slavery and commercial sex distribution. This criminal activity has easily become an issue of concern for the United States, as well as, other affected states.

Studies on human trafficking in the US reveal that more than 850,000 people are trafficked across US borders annually (Siskin & Wyler, 2010). Accordingly, 64% of the trafficked victims are women and children, whereas the remaining 36% of the victims are men (Siskin & Wyler, 2010). The global figures of human trafficking are much higher with an estimate of between 2million and 4million people trafficked each year, either within their own countries or to regions outside their home countries. Further still, the number of people trafficked into the US is estimated to be 180,000 making this issue a concern for the US and other states (Siskin & Wyler, 2010). For that reason, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has partnered with affected states in a bid to combat the human trafficking activity in the world. The realization that human trafficking activities are slowly gaining momentum, has prompted states to device different methods for warfare towards complete eradication of these activities.

This paper examines the concept of human trafficking, illustrating the methods used to combat human trafficking in the world today.

Combating Human Trafficking

A statement released by the UNHCR in 2005, exposes the illicit trade of humans internationally, and the impact of these activities to regional, as well as, global communities (UNHCR, 2005). Applicably, the UNHCR has measured the extent of damage resulting from human trafficking, and has proposed four main methods of combating this act. UNHCR proposes, a reduction in victim vulnerability, providing support and protection for victims, and prosecution of human traffickers as the main methods of combating human trafficking. Additionally UNHCR recognizes that this can only be attainable through laws and legislations, and for that reason, has established laws in line with these measures for the attainment of this. Subsequently, America, as well as, other affected states have been presented with a framework for the attainment of these human trafficking eradication goals and objectives. Each method of combating human trafficking comprises of a variety of diminutive activities aimed at reducing human trafficking in the world.

Curtailing Victim Vulnerability

Reducing vulnerability in victims of human trafficking is the first step towards combating this vice. Human rights organizations believe that when states maximize on this, human trafficking can be reduced with a substantial percentage. This method comprises of diverse activities ranging from, increasing awareness, to training, and enhancing employment. In essence, most victim of human trafficking are susceptible to deception by the trafficker. Victim vulnerability is in most cases as a result of lack of employment and financial stability, thus drawing the victim to search for greener pastures. The UNHCR proposes an increase in awareness through the media and other methods of communication, as well as, education and training concerning the issue of human trafficking (UNHCR, 2005). Education and training may be beneficial to both the victim and the trafficker, in that, the victim will learn how to be less vulnerable to such situations while prospective traffickers are discouraged from the activity. Additionally, increasing employment opportunities for potential victims will reduce the vulnerability of the victim to the trafficker. With jobs, victims are less likely to pursue other illicit methods of finding financial stability

Providing Support and Protection for Victims

The second suggestion by the UNHCR towards combating human trafficking involves providing support and protection for victims of this trade. Support can come in different ways, but it mainly comprises activities that do not make the victim feel excluded. This is especially applicable to women and children who have fallen victim to human trafficking. Children victims of human trafficking can be provided with support in the form of education, where they are given the opportunity to reintroduce themselves as prolific members of the community.

Criminalization and Prosecution of Human Traffickers

Lastly, the UNHCR proposes the criminalization and prosecution of human traffickers as a way of reducing the occurrence of human trafficking in the society. This will not only see traffickers punished for their crimes against humanity, it will also discourage other potential traffickers from taking up the activity. In their proposal, UNHCR suggests 7years to imprisonment depending on the nature and level that the trafficker was carrying out these activities, with the highest punishment going to child traffickers (UNHCR, 2005).

Human Trafficking Laws and Legislation

The aforementioned methods of combating human trafficking are only attainable through the establishment of and legislations that further support the implementation of these methodologies. For example, for the activity to be punishable by law, legislations against the act need to be established. Some of the laws for combating human trafficking include awareness programs, protection laws, as well as, laws regarding punishment of human traffickers. All governments and states, will therefore be expected to adhere to these laws as a show of their support against human trafficking.


Human trafficking is believed to be one of the most abundant areas of global criminal activity. This activity has since become a considerable concern to the United States and the international community. However, affected states have worked out diverse methodologies which can be used to combat this growing issue and rid the communities from the negative impacts of Human Trafficking. However, this can only be achieved through state commitment and assurance for support against the human trafficking.


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