Is Human Trafficking Really a Problem? Yes! Please Read And Educate Yourself

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Criminal Justice is the arrangement of institutions that is appointed by government to uphold the law and social control throughout the United States. This also deals with the punishment involved for breaking the laws. The rights of the accused are rights that protect those accused of crime. The United States has a fair criminal justice system; we have strengths and weaknesses both. One of our weaknesses recently brought into the spotlight is human trafficking. The United States has put many laws into effect in order to slow down the illegal immigration that has become a serious problem.

 Human trafficking is when one is held or obtained by another for a compelled service. When trafficking statistics are taken they are relayed to the public in tiers; three being the lowest and one being the highest. The United States is on the first tier of the human trafficking pyramid. “The United States takes its first-ever ranking not as a reprieve but as a responsibility to strengthen global efforts against modern slavery, including those within America (Clinton 2010).”

Human trafficking is an ongoing problem for the United States as well as with much of the world. “Each year, thousands of people are brought into the United States — often through New York — to be used for forced sex or labor (NY Times).” The number of individuals who fall victim to this unspeakable crime is growing at a very rapid rate. Forced labor, Sex trafficking, child labor, bonded labor, domestic servitude, and child soldiering are all forms of trafficking. This is illegal even if the party agrees to such terms. The United States needs to enforce and construct stricter laws regarding the issue of human trafficking.

           The United States can take several steps to cut the number of human trafficking offenders down. While most federal law enforcement agencies are trained in field of human trafficking; many local law enforcements are not.”A big part of the problem is that victims of human trafficking crimes often do not realize that they are being exploited. From dishwashers to prostitutes, many believe they are working off debt (HumanTrafficking.org).”  Extensive training should be given to all law enforcement officers in this field, so that certain tell tales are noticed. Local and state level law enforcement should be trained to recognize and handle trafficking situations. Intensifying trafficking task forces by replicating the same examples utilized for terrorists.”Federal law enforcement tends to focus on the largest trafficking rings rather than local brothels and sweatshops, and federal efforts need bolstering in any case (NY Times).” New York and Texas are taking steps to embrace such ideas.

            There have been many studies that show a majority of human trafficking takes the form of forced labor. This is a major problem worldwide; not just in the United States. Female victims of involuntary or merged labor; particularly those in domestic servitude are frequently sexually abused as well. Forced labor can result from employers utilizing high unemployment, crime, discrimination, or even political conflicts to exploit employees. . Sex trafficking, child labor, bonded labor, domestic servitude, and child soldiering are also forms of trafficking.

           “The Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force aims to raise awareness of the issue, eliminate the demand for this kind of labor, understand the routes traffickers use, and report statistics (HumanTrafficking.org).” More state level law enforcements should receive this training to ensure that this problem is dealt with sufficiently.  In New York strict laws have been set and harsh punishments are given to violators of these offenses.”A conviction for sex trafficking would bring a penalty of 3 to 25 years in prison while labor trafficking would be punishable by three to seven years (NY Times).”  Offenders of forced prostitution will be treated as felony trafficking offenders. The same goes for using illegal drugs and promising victims employment.

The United States needs to enforce and construct stricter laws regarding the issue of human trafficking. “Each year, thousands of people are brought into the United States — often through New York — to be used for forced sex or labor (NY Times).” The fact that this number is only growing is extremely inexcusable. Many local law enforcement officers are not trained properly in the field of human trafficking. Law enforcement should train as they do for terrorist situations; these people are being held hostage by traffickers. The fact that many individuals that are being illegally trafficked do not even know that this is illegal and they do have rights simply shows how the subject is being blown off by many law agencies. President Bush set an act into place to help this large problem. According to TIEFENBRUN (2010), “The Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which is a U.S. law that Clinton signed in 2000, that Bush reauthorized three times during his administration, and he even signed onto another law, a related law called the Protect Act, which says that if a United States citizen engages in sex in country where it is even legal to do so that U.S. citizen will be caught and prosecuted in the United States.” Many presidents have attempted to deplete this issue and have still fallen short. “Each year, 800,000 people become human trafficking victims and are transported across international borders (HumanTrafficking.org).”  This statistic is overwhelming.

References:

NY Times, (2010).Human Trafficking, Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/21/opinion /21mon3.html on February 27, 2011.

 Maureen Cavanaugh, Hank Crook, January 13, 2010. What Can Be Done To End Human Trafficking? Retrieved from http://www.kpbs.org/news/2010/jan/13/what-can-be-done-end-human-trafficking/on February 27, 2011

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