WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

HUMAN TRAFFICKING DEFINITION

Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of persons by means of coercion, abduction, fraud or deception.  Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and exploit them. They look for people who are susceptible for a variety of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters, or political instability. 

Exploitation comes in many forms, including: 

  • Exploitation of children for prostitution;
  • Subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude;
  • Compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography; and
  • Deceiving victims into debt bondage.

Overall, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labour exploitation. 

HOW BIG IS THE PROBLEM?

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, human trafficking is tied with illegal arms dealing as the second most lucrative crime globally, surpassed only by the drug trade. 

Each year, over $150 billion is generated by human traffickers.  According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “After drug dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second largest criminal industry in the world, and is the fastest growing.” Millions of souls are trafficked across international borders as well as within their own country each year. The International Labour Organization estimates that 55% are female and a quarter are children. 

IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN EVERY COUNTRY?

Trafficking of children has been documented in every region of the world. The most reliable figure regarding the prevalence of this practice is provided by the International Labour Organisation, which estimates that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year; this estimate includes cross-border and internal trafficking. 

According to UNICEF, more than 2 million children are subjected to prostitution in the global commercial sex trade. The victims are often forced, deceived or coerced with the offer of good jobs, and are then subjected to some of the most horrific things imaginable, especially for a child.

Victims of trafficking suffer devastating physical and psychological harm, but due to language barriers, lack of knowledge about services, and the frequency with which traffickers move victims, law enforcement and service providers face significant challenges in helping victims and bringing traffickers to justice.

ARE AUSTRALIANS INVOLVED IN THE SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN IN TRAVEL AND TOURISM?  

According to ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes), sexual exploitation of children has become a global problem.

"In 2017, almost 800 registered child sex offenders travelled overseas from Australia, about half went to Southeast Asian destinations" Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

In simple terms, sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism (SECTT) is when someone travels with the primary purpose of paying for sex at the intended destination. Both adult sex tourism and SECTT exist. The former involves consenting adults, and often prostitution, whether or not legal in the country in question, but with the laws not enforced in practice. It usually involves an organised element, such as specialised tours, and recognised red light districts. Bangkok is one of the best-known sex tourism destinations.

“There's most certainly deep concern among countries in our region about the number of registered child sex offenders in Australia engaging in the child sex tourism industry,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Australia has attempted to crack down on Australian travelling perpetrator of child sexual offences by adding a new criminal offense punishable by up to 25 years in prison for Australian citizens or residents who molest children overseas.

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Sources  

[1] Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (2000). Public Law 106-386. Retrieved February 9, 2011 from: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/10492.pdf.
[2] Special Action Programme to combat Forced Labour Newsletter, Issue 2 (2011). Retrieved October 7, 2012 from: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_norm/—declaration/documents/publication/wcms_151537.pdf.
[3] Anti-Trafficking in Persons. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement. Retrieved October 7, 2012 from: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/programs/anti-trafficking-in-persons.
[4] ILO 2012 Global estimate of forced labour: Executive summary (2012). International Labour Organization. Retrieved October 7, 2012 from: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_norm/—declaration/documents/publication/wcms_181953.pdf.
[5] Human Rights Report: Thailand (April 8, 2011). U.S. Department of State. Retrieved October 7, 2012 from: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm#wrapper.
[6] Clawson, Dutch Solomon & Grace. (2009). Human Trafficking Into and Within the United States: A Review of Literature. US Department of Health & Human Services. Retrieved May 2, 2011 from: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/07/HumanTrafficking/LitRev/#Trafficking.
[7] Human Trafficking of Children in the United States A Fact Sheet for Schools. Department of Education. Retrieved October 31, 2012 from: http://rems.ed.gov/docs/ED_HumanTrafficking_FactSheet.pdf.
[8] Clawson, Dutch Solomon & Grace. (2009). Human Trafficking Into and Within the United States: A Review of Literature. US Department of Health & Human Services. Retrieved May 2, 2011 from: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/07/HumanTrafficking/LitRev/#Trafficking.
[9] Street Prostitution. The Polaris Project. Retrieved February 9, 2011 from: http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/sex-trafficking-in-the-us.
[10] What is Modern Slavery? U.S. Department of State. Retrieved February 9, 2011 from: http://www.state.gov/g/tip/what/index.htm.
[11] The Traffickers. The Polaris Project. Retrieved February 9, 2011 from: http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/overview/the-traffickers.
[12] Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. Child Prostitution FAQs. U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved February 9, 2011 from: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/ceos/childprostitution_faqs.html.
[13] The Victims. The Polaris Project. Retrieved February 9, 2011 from: http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/overview/the-victims.