When the topic of slavery is up for discussion, many individuals think of American history. In fact, the United States abolished slavery in 1865, the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude...shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction" (The United States Constitution). Although it is believed slavery is a thing of the past, its existence is evident in countless countries around the world.
Thousands of foreigners are smuggled across national borders as forced labour in factories, farms, and brothels. Many are forced to become victims of human trafficking through force or the false promise of the American dream. The threat of human trafficking presently is that it deprives people of their human rights, it is a global health risk, and fuels the growth of organized crimes, such as sex crimes. Within this paper I will discuss my research on human trafficking and the victims’ deprivation of human rights. In order to so, I will synthesize three relevant sources on this topic, discuss additional questions that should be addressed when further researching this issue from a peace studies perspective, and outline a specific proposal for future research.
In “Confronting Human Trafficking in Canada”, (Perrin 2009) discusses the complexity of human trafficking and the human rights this act violates. Perrin states that statistics available to the public on human trafficking cases are probably a fraction of the actual number. Many victims are unable to come forward due to threats and violence from their traffickers. Trafficking in persons only became a Criminal Code offence in November 2005. To date Perrin states that, convictions under trafficking of persons has only involved victims who were Canadian women and girls subjected to sexual exploitation. The lack of human trafficking prosecutions related to foreign victims is a startling gap in Canada’s efforts to combat this problem, particularly given that law enforcement agencies continue to bring forward such victims. While victim protection is paramount, only prosecuting their traffickers successfully confronts this problem.
In “The International Sexual Trafficking of Women and Children”, (Hodge and Lietz 2007) state that international slave trade, also known as human trafficking, receives little or no attention from international organizations. In particular they note that at the microlevel, within regions and individual nations, it is often the most vulnerable who are victimized. This mainly includes poor women and young children from developing countries (p.163). Poverty, war, and the lack of a promising future help to further promote unhappiness, pushing individuals away from their originating countries. On the other hand, media-constructed images of glamorized developed nations seem to offer the possibility of a better life, pulling individuals toward these countries (p.165). This false hope leads...