How Globalization Has Led To The Spread Of Sex Trafficking In Asia
Globalization is the interconnection of state and continental economies to facilitate the free flow of goods, capital, and services to create utility where there is a deficit or surplus accordingly. Such policies are effective due to the geopolitical and economic agreements formulated in the late 1980s resulting in trade agreements that opened up state boundaries permitting international trade . However, these agreements are not void of technical or functional errors exploited by criminals in the conduction of sex trafficking with the disguise of legal trade activities. Social inequalities, political conflict, and economic disenfranchisement in Asia have contributed to the growth of sex trafficking of women and children who are prone to abuse under the stated conditions. Despite the institution of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), political, economic, and policy interventions have to be initiated to tackle this challenge . Therefore, sex trafficking in Asian countries is possible due to the conditions created by economic marginalization and political unrest that place vulnerable communities at risk. Additionally, loopholes in regional and international trade agreements are exploited by criminals to violate the human rights of the victims.
The issuance of business permits in most countries is done superficially without a thorough examination for veracity of the business activities carried out among countries. Consequently, this laisse faire conduct of operation places communities that are vulnerable at risk. For example, one of the main resources in Asian countries is labor. Due to the economic challenges, agreements such as the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) allow the movement of skilled labor in the regional market . However, crime organizations abuse this agreement to offer applicants false employment opportunities eventually coercing the successful ones to participate in sex work. There is hardly an evaluation for veracity of these opportunities and follow up monitoring to ensure that immigrants are not coerced into sex work.
Crime networks laisse with propagators of political unrest to conduct clandestine business activities that allow the criminals to capture and transport women and children for sex work in regions in the same trade agreements. Political unrest contributes to the growth of sex trafficking in these regions due to unrest that permits the continuity of these activities . Social and economic issues, such as illiteracy have contributed to the growth of this trend in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Thailand . The lack of effective educational systems in rural regions make children prone to the risk of sex traffickers as they seek meaningful employment opportunities . Such sex trafficking networks generate revenue for the propagators of political unrest that often hinders the cessation of such conflict.
Sex trafficking involves the coercion of victims to perform sexual work, which is an abuse of human rights. In 2017, UNDP reported a prevalence of HIV and STIs among sex trafficking victims and compared to their non-trafficked counterparts. Consequently, sex tracking poses health risks that are fatal to victims. Further, the dignity of each individual is compromised when they are forced move contrary to their will and coercion to perform sexual work. These challenges not only affect the victims but also led to an increase in the number of people who are exposed to the HIV epidemic as well as economic and social welfare in these societies.
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