IMPACTOF GLOBALIZATION ON CIVIL SOCIETY
Globalization is a way ofintegrating worldwide government policies, culture and socialactivities of people and markets through trade and exchange of ideas(Schaefer
2005).Modern means of communication and transport are the main drivers ofglobalization. However, professionals have differences of opinionabout globalization and its effect. One group sees globalization as anatural result of advances in information and communicationtechnology particularly the internet and satellite transmission ofmass media. The other group views globalization as a natural andwidespread flow of capital such as human resource, financial resourceand physical resources among countries (Kanter 1997 Soysa and O’Neal1999). Globalization has been underway for several hundred years. Itstarted with colonialism that promoted economic development of thealready wealthy countries by keeping the economies of the colonizedcountries underdeveloped (Frank 1969).
Humantrafficking as by the United Nations Convention on TransnationalOrganized Crime refers to the recruitment, transportation, transfer,storage or possession of persons either by threat or abduction. Otherillegal ways may be through coercion, fraud or use of a person totake control or enslave a person without their consent (Martin &Miller 2000). As the world, through ease of transport andcommunication becomes a global village there is a heightened movementof people. Globalization has made human-trafficking a very lucrativeand fast-growing criminal activity. Unfortunately, human traffickingis not just an outcome of globalization it is part of theglobalization process itself and involves functional integration ofdifferent economies in the world.
Economicfactors as a Facilitator of Human Trafficking
Thehighly integrated modern world economy has enabled human traffickingbusiness to thrive. To support this stark and unfortunate economicreality the International Labour Organization ILO estimates thatU.S. $32 billion of the annual global profits generated from humantrafficking. Economic globalization is one of the leading causes ofhuman trafficking. The U.S. Department of State’s report 2008recorded that between 600,000 and 800,000 people especially women andchildren are trafficked across national borders annually.
Globalizationfosters interdependence between countries in commerce and facilitatestrade. The inequalities in the processing and manufacturing costshave played a major role in facilitating human trafficking.Manufacturers normally set up factories in developed countries wherethe production cost is low. People from underdeveloped countries areforced to sneak into the developed countries in search of work. Theplight for survival in the undeveloped countries in the face of highdemand for cheap labor by big corporations in developed countries hasled to the trafficking and exploitation of desperate workers mostlyfrom undeveloped countries. These workers are subjected to a lifetimeof slave-like conditions.
Victimsand Perpetrators: The Usual Suspects
Womenand children are the most the most common victims of humantraffickers who employ them in the in the sex industries. Forcedlabor is a common fate to trafficked people. Men may at times bevictims of human trafficking.
Organizedcriminal gangs are the main perpetrators of this crime. They usuallytraffic their ignorant victims to the sex industries after lying tothem with stories of a better life in foreign lands. Once victimsarrive at their destined country, they are unable to find theattractive job opportunities promised. Unfortunately, it is often toolate for these women to escape the web of deceit they involuntarilybecome entangled into a life of slavery. Through the internet, humantraffickers can now lure people under the guise of attractive jobs inforeign countries through advertisements.
Measuresundertaken to stop human-trafficking
Globalizationhas largely facilitated human trafficking, besides complicatingefforts to fight this vice. State-owned effort to stop humantrafficking is not enough to fight this menace. A joint effortagainst human trafficking that encourages law enforcementcollaboration among countries is more appropriate compared to theindividual prevention of each country. International Institutionssuch as Interpol, the United Nations and NGOs are joining hands tocombat human trafficking. Since the formulation of the PalermoProtocol by the United Nations, most countries have enacted newanti-trafficking laws. These countries have also streamed their lawsin line with the UN laws so as to protect victims and prosecute humantraffickers.
Mostactivists against human trafficking have proposed the implementationof multiple methods to fight human trafficking. These methods assumea pro-active approach instead of a reactive fight againsttrafficking. Most of these approaches aim at deterring humantrafficking rather than arresting the human traffickers. Thesepolicies may include prosecuting people demanding the services oftrafficked people such a sex-workers or corporation linked toslavery.
Criminalshave developed ingenious ways to dodge law enforcers. Well-organizedcriminal like the Chinese Triads, the Italian mafia and the RussianMafia have made human-trafficking very complicated and difficult totrack. These gangs have a wide pool of experts and a lot of financialresources to finance their illegal activities. These gangs are highlynetworked in many countries and as such have developed strategicmoney-laundering schemes where incomes from human trafficking isdeposited to “underground” banks in countries that have weak laws(Lan, 2004).
Therole of technology and media in human traffic
Undoubtedly technology plays a significant rolein the organization and trade from human trafficking. There is noclear evaluation about the costs and benefits of technology on humantrafficking. It is still very difficult to attribute humantrafficking to technology. Moreover, it has not been clearlyestablished whether a case can be established against humantraffickers using evidence gathered from technological devices.However, technology makes many aspects of human trafficking traceablefor law enforcement (Danah Boyd, 2011.) Withan estimated population of 27 million slaves in the world and 42,000identified slaves in 2010 alone, human trafficking is one of the mostpressing yet under reported issues of our time. The media plays therole of a messenger, an educator and an informant to the societytherefore, it is uniquely positioned to inform people on humantrafficking incidences. It can also identify and perpetrators of thiscrime and thus help in avoiding human trafficking.
Media can change the extent of this problem byexposing the commercial and emotional exploitation of the victims.Media can also mobilize people to identify and expose perpetrators ofthis crime. In 2010, the CNN launched the program the CNN FreedomProject. This program exposes the atrocities and slave-likeconditions that a victim of human trafficking experience. People andpower program showed companies that are notorious for committing thiscrime. This show has been successful in highlighting this crime. AlJazeera’s show on public affairs, People& Power, has produced a lot ofinvestigative pieces on the plight of former victims of humantraffickers. In this program, the psychological trauma of formervictims of human trafficking is investigated. The in-depth analysisin this program clearly shows factors that make people victims ofhuman traffickers. A program that featured in December 2011 focusedon Vietnamese children living in the United Kingdom and employed inthe cannabis trade. This program explained how a cycle of debt andpoverty has led to the children trapped in unventilated indoorcannabis farms. These kids are exposed to toxic chemicals andperpetual fire hazards. Worst still, Al Jazeera’s discovered thatafter police stormed and stopped these illegal operations. Most ofthe children were arrested and treated as criminals and not asvictims of human trafficking. The Al Jazeera piece shows that evenafter trafficked persons were liberated their problems are often farfrom over.
Human trafficking issue is a social and humanissue. Human trafficking usually affects the society in trade,justice, international development and social justice. Humantrafficking doesn’t discriminate it affects women, men, children,adults, developed countries and emerging economies. It also touchesall aspects of everyday life from production of goods and services tothe sale of these goods and services. These may include consumergoods such as electronics, carpets, food and household equipments.The greatest challenges that the media faces is connecting victims oftrafficking to the audience, avoiding oversimplification of thisinhuman crime and presenting an accurate account. The effort ofadvocating against human trafficking usually have a many difficultiessuch as inadequate reliable data, lack of experts and difficulty infinding in finding trafficked persons who are willing to tell theirstories. The challenges faced when gathering news about humantrafficking makes it difficult to produce detailed news especiallywhere the journalist has a short deadline to report this news. Thereis also a great risk in investigating transnational organized crimes.
Today media coverage has helped to raise general awareness abouthuman trafficking. Unfortunately, most of the news on human trafficoccurs after a conviction of a trafficker. This reporting makes iteasier for the audience to disconnect with human trafficking issuesdays after the broadcast. Better ways to report on this matter are
Explaining the main issues that promote human trafficking such as globalization, immigration, and migration.
Examining opportunities to prevent human trafficking based on an analysis of the causes.
Finding out the different ways of identifying a trafficked person.
Investigating on the various ways to effectively stop human trafficking cartels.
Inform consumers about products made from forced labor and where they can direct their inquiries.
Emphasize the humanity of trafficking survivors and their lives after liberation.
Describe the existing local laws to prevent trafficking and the challenges of enforcement efforts.
The media should broadcast on the achievements made in fighting human trafficking and highlight on the challenges remaining in the fight against human trafficking.
Offering information to vulnerable populations on the methods they can use to protect themselves from human traffickers.
Highlight solutions that the audience can adopt and support.
Include resources for people to learn more about and take action against human trafficking.
Theeffects of insecurity and civil war on human trafficking
Humantrafficking is a serious crime and an extreme form of exploitationand abuse which enhances insecurity, vulnerability and a lot of humanrights abuses suffered by post-conflict societies. In countries thathave a civil war, there are serious human rights violations andexploitation such as sex slavery, forced labor such as childsoldiers, forced abortion, forced pregnancy and rape and sexualviolations. In most peace-keeping missions by the UN, it is usuallyvery difficult to differentiate between victims of human-traffickingand local prostitutes. Prostitution is usually present due to povertyand the need to earn an income by the poor households. Thesesituations may or may not involve human trafficking however, theyare usually exploitive to their victims. It thus becomes difficult todifferentiate between human trafficking victims, particularly victimsof domestic human trafficking and vulnerable individuals that havehad to resort to prostitution for income. (DPKO policy paper, 2004).
An incidence of post-war human traffic thatoccurred in Bosnia showed that the United Nations has undertaken acover-up of the role of its staff in human trafficking andprostitution in Bosnia. This trade has grown immensely since theestablishment of the Western protectorate seven years ago (Tony,2002).
Human trafficking for labor exploitation:identification and prevention
The Trafficking Protocol notwithstanding formsof trafficking for purposes other than sexual exploitation remainslargely uninvestigated. This section discusses trafficking for forcedand bonded labor in a variety of economic sectors in the OSCE region.Attorney Yuval Livnat fromKav LaOved presented cases of trafficking into the constructionsector in Israel. Debbie Ariyo, the director of Africans United against Child Abuse presented casesof Domestic slavery in the UK. MariaJose Fletcher, who is the supervisingattorney at the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Centre (FIAC) presentedcases of human trafficking in the domestic and agricultural sector inthe US. Marc Paulprovided insight into Chinese forced and bonded labor in France.Finally, Markovic,project coordinator at the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, exploredtrafficking of women and children in Roma for organized begging informer Yugoslavia (SFRY).
1.)Trafficking and forced labor in the construction sector in Israel
Israel has actively recruited thousands ofmigrant workers for the construction industry from countries such asChina, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Two of the main problems facedby these workers were the enormous recruitment fees charged bymanpower agencies and their employers as well as the lack ofpossibility to change employers while in Israel. Until 2002, duringthe period referred to as the Open Sky Policy, Israel government didnot limit the number of employees into their country. Recruitmentfees ranging between USD 5,000 to 10,000 were split between agenciesand employers. It was in the interest of the agencies and employersto bring in as many workers as possible. Consequently, workersarrived in Israel without a specific job and were illegal as soon asthey arrived into the country due to their legal status was tied to aspecific employer. Their purported employers would take theirpassports, refuse to renew their visas and denounce them to theimmigration officers.
The second problem is that of ‘bindingagreements’ this tied the legal status of the worker to a specificemployer. This method put many workers in a situation where they hadto choose between staying with an employer or face deportation. Thispolicy was later amended and allowed employees to change employers.The worker now had to show a ‘release letter’ by the originalemployer or face the possibility of deportation. This rule was usedby employers to extort payments from workers in order to obtain arelease letter. After several legal battles, workers are now allowed,at least de jure ifnot defacto, tochange employers. Since 2005 workers do not work for a specificemployer but instead for one of an approximately fifty newly formedmanpower agencies. Though aimed at improving these employeesposition, in practice this change has only added a new link to thetrafficking chain resulting in higher recruitment fees. (Yuval andKav)
2.)Trafficking and domestic servitude of African children in the UK
Children today are trafficked for a wide rangeof reasons including domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, for usein fraud and various criminal activities and also in a variety ofritualistic practices that can include human sacrifice. Some of thechallenges faced in addressing this issue include the hiddencharacter of many forms of exploitation such as their use in domesticservice. The discrepancies in the definition of who constitutes achild and what constitutes an act of trafficking, and the lack ofchild protection laws and policies makes it difficult to arrest andprosecute human traffickers(Debbie).
3.)Trafficking in the domestic and agricultural sector in the US
In Florida there have been six successfulfederal prosecutions of trafficking in the agricultural sector. Someof the labor contractors involved had been operating for over tenyears. In two of the cases more than 1,200 persons were enslaved, ofwhom 90% were undocumented migrants from Guatemala, Mexico, and otherCentral American countries. Immigrants are not the only vulnerablegroup to human trafficking. There has been noted issues of humantrafficking involving US citizens recruited from shelters for thehomeless and men who might be suffering from forms of mental illnessor who are addicted to drugs (Maria).
4.)Chinese forced and bonded labor in France
From March 1999 to November 2005, (A.S.L.C.)provided services to more than 25,000 Chinese asylum seekers, of whom54% were women and 46% men. The individuals themselves came fromdiverse regions the most of them were married and had children butleft their families behind. All were indebted although the degree ofthe debt varied according to the region from which they came. Once inFrance, most lived in the north-eastern part of Paris, where theyshared cramped apartments and where working conditions weredifficult. Most of them were employed as tailors often at home (46%),in restaurants (21%) or as ‘women of sorrow’ (15%). They weresubjected to long working hours varying from 10 to 21 hours per day(Marc Paul)
5.)Trafficking of Roma women and children for organized begging in theformer Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY)
In the mid 1980s, Interpol and other policeservices from Austria, France, Germany and Italy began reportinglarge groups of children from the former SFRY begging on the streetsor participating in burglaries. Investigations found out that theywere prisoners of well-organized criminal groups, compelled to workand live in slavery. Trafficking in the Roma community today remainslargely invisible. Both government institutions and NGOs have littlereliable data. However, in the streets, most people in Roma say thattrafficking is a danger for Roma children. The presence of “Romamafia” controlling the human trafficking business makes it a verycomplicated matter (Markovic).
The health effects of human trafficking
There are various adverse ailments that aresuffered by the trafficked people. These include:
1.)Poor mental health is the main health effect associated with humantrafficking. Psychological consequences such as depression,post-traumatic stress disorder, and other anxiety disorders arecommon among victims of human trafficking.
2.) Alcoholism and drug abuse especially in human trafficking victimswho were in the sex trade. Intoxicants were used as a coping methodby the victims of human-trafficking.
3.) Imposed social isolation, such as prevention of family contact orrestriction of movement is used to control the victims of humantrafficking.
4.)Economic exploitation is widespread. Trafficked people rarely havedecision making on the income they earn. Those who keep them underforced custody may charge them for the accommodation, clothes, foodor transport that they provide for them. These usurious practicesoften lead to ‘debt bondage
5.)Legal insecurity is common among the trafficked persons. Theiralleged employers may at times confiscate their travel documentsmaking them have difficulty in accessing government services such ashealthcare. Therefore, there is always a risk of deportation andimprisonment among victims.
6.)Trafficked people who return to their countries may go back to thesame hardships they left behind but with new health problems andchallenges, such as stigma. Those who refuse to return home haveinsecure lifestyles such as constant fear of deportation or arrest. The immigrants who remain in trafficked countries face the challengesof asylum seekers (Steel Z et al.). People who manage to flee from atrafficking cartel whether they return to their country or not, areat a high risk of being trafficked again. (Jobe, 2010)
Some of the ways to deal with human trafficking
1.) Policy makers and decision makers
Thegovernment needs to increase awareness of the risks of humantrafficking, among individuals intending to migrate. Laws should bemade to streamline the legal status of immigrant workers to those ofdomestic workers. One of the positive developments is the 2011adoption of the Convention on Domestic Workers, which highlights thespecial measures to protect vulnerable members of this employmentgroup.
2.) For health care service providers
Health care providers who handle victims ofhuman trafficking should increase their capacity and competence toidentify and refer people in trafficking situations. They should alsoprovide sensitive and safe services to former victims of humantrafficking.
3.) Researchers and funders
Empirical research on human trafficking islimited. Particularly lacking are studies on larger and morerepresentative data of trafficked people. There is also no in-depthstudy on the health and welfare of former victims of humantrafficking and inadequate data on trafficking across the full rangeof labor sectors involved (HumanTrafficking, 2008). Rigorous evaluationand studies on human trafficking are needed to identify the mosteffective method to counter human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a very gross andunjustified action on any person. This unjust trade has continued toprosper in the wake of modern globalization. All governments andpersons in the world should join hand to fight this menace. Thoughglobalization is beneficial to people, especially traders, it hasmade human-trafficking a very complicated and challenging affair.Joint effort from all stakeholders and determination in the fightagainst human trafficking can achieve positive results.
Human trafficking is a very grievous atrocityon the basic human right of a person. Today more than 600000 peopleare victims of human trafficking annually. As at 2005 more than 12.5million people were victims of trafficking in the world. With theincreasing inequality in the world, one can only expect this numbersto increase. Some of the primary drivers to this illegal tradetechnology, increased demand for cheap labor and exchange in capitalDiminished trade barriers, high living standards, rapid innovationand spread in technology also facilitate this trade.
Organized crime has been taking advantage offast moving technological changes such as the internet, globalizationand free flow of goods across nations to commit crimes. The abilityto manage trade has become cheaper and quicker, and the financialsystem now operate on a 24hr basis. Therefore, economic globalizationhas contributed immensely to both legal and illegal trade. Thecompetitive natures of the world and the inequality in it have led tothe trade in legitimate and illegitimate goods to regions where theirdemand is high.
The media players have a primary role in thefight against human trafficking and also in the commitment of thesecrimes. On one side, perpetrators of this crime use media such as theinternet to search and trade in human beings. On the other hand,security officers use the media to fight this crime by publiclydisplaying the images of the most wanted criminals and disclosing thehideouts of the human traffickers.
Increased globalization has made the fightagainst human trafficking complex matter. Governments all over theworld should join hands and continuously fight this crime until it isfully eliminated.
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