What if one day a stranger came into your life and offered you a better lifestyle, a promise, that you believed but instead, it is just a trick to enslave you into human trafficking? Human trafficking is when a person is abducted and most likely used for forced labor; the most common being sex slavery/prostitution. Crimes like organ trafficking, young marriage, and children subjected to sex labor happen almost daily in Egypt. Egypt’s consequences on human trafficking are light and not as harsh as they should be. Egyptian government and laws do not meet the standards and therefore most get away with the crime. I believe that the government should work harder and advocate human trafficking than what some believe and the government say they are.
Generally speaking, human trafficking is a huge problem for every country worldwide. There are almost 40 million victims of human trafficking globally. Historians aren’t sure when human trafficking first began, but the first movement against trafficking was launched in England by Josephine Butler (1828-1906). She aimed to annul the Contagious Diseases Acts (CDAs). The CDAs demanded women in prostitution to be registered and frequently examined for sexually-transmitted diseases. And in Egypt, human trafficking has been around for many, many years and is even the main transit destination for human trafficking. In Egypt, men and women from Asia may be exposed to forced labor. The most common kind to be trafficked in Egypt are African and Asian females migrators. They move willingly to Egypt in hopes of finding a better life and are more than likely put through forced domestic work instead.
Research shows that there are many different kinds of trafficking, such as organ trafficking, forced prostitution, and forced marriage. Traffickers most times provide false visions and dreams to victims to make them believe certain things. These false images and dreams include modeling contracts or persuading them that they can help turn their lives around. They give vulnerable migrators hope, but realistically, the migrators are only being tricked to lure their victims and make it easier for them. The victims face situations such as; sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, no time-off, and restrictions of certain movements.
Research also shows that almost all human trafficking movements originating from Africa are from region-to-region. As a result, Egypt is an essential part of the trafficking process because it is a transit country for nationals like Middle East, North Africa, and even Europe. But publications regarding Egypt’s response to the growing problem of human trafficking is not really put out there as it should be. Because of this, I feel it is necessary to explore Egypt’s governance of trafficking and the work put into human trafficking by traffickers and discuss what could be done to stop or prevent human rafficking in Egypt.
Human trafficking is done in many different ways and forms, globally. The most common form of human trafficking is in young women and girls; trafficked for prostitution. They are prostituted in countries where there is a bigdemand for workers in the sex industry. Only recently, however, it is argued that human trafficking is not a new problem and is actually a prolongation and repetition of the historic practice of slavery.
Ever since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi affixed a second term in an unfair presidential election in March 2019, his security forces have brought violence, intimidation, and unfair arrests on political opponents, activists, and many others who have voiced opinionated but civil criticism of Egyptian government. There are a lot of people and sources that agree that Egypt is a gross ravisher of human rights. Authorities have successfully banned any kind of freedom of expression like protests. Egypt imprisons its opponents and has expanded its anti-terrorism powers.
The heart-breaking horrors that are experienced by the victims of human trafficking in Egypt are almost unspeakable. Some are held in something called a ‘torture camp’ where they are subjected to physical and sexual abuse by their captors and gang leaders. Many die of illness or murder. Victims attempt to escape and are rarely successful. Many attempt to escape only to be captured and obtained by Egyptian security forces. The victims are held in detention facilities and are deported to their home country.
Egypt does punish human traffickers and criminals as such but to a certain extent. The punishments are not as cruel as they should be. Egyptian government has passed laws making all the types of human trafficking illegal. The type of penalties traffickers receive are three to 15 years of imprisonment, and possibly life imprisonment if any signs of abuse or aggravated events are present. The fines range from $9000 to $36,000 for certain offenses in human trafficking. Trafficking is everywhere you are. Every city, state, country, region has human trafficking and it will continue happening if people do not speak out.
The deconstruction and fall-out of human trafficking cannot simply happen overnight. Even with the toughest penalties and/or legislation, it would be inefficient without help and support. This is why I believe that both government and non-government officials should bring in global and local cooperation and participation to put an end to human trafficking. The measures that have been taken by the government are international and national anti-trafficking laws, rehabilitation programs for trafficking victims and the prevention of trafficking. However, it is clear that more needs to be done and raising awareness for preventing human trafficking should be on the top of the list of anti-trafficking initiatives for Egypt’s government. I believe that having more aggressive campaigns advocating against human trafficking would really help get the certain attention we need.
The great thing about today’s society and technology is that you do not need to be in a certain country to help that country out. If you are informed and care enough to help the country, you would do anything you can. Small ways you can help with human trafficking are to be informed on the measures of human trafficking, volunteering and supporting anti-trafficking efforts, and organizing fundraisers and PSAs. Being informed with human trafficking and the measures they take can help in the long run because it can help you identify victims, inform you on the kinds of companies you are supporting, and can help advise you to not fall victim for human trafficking yourself. Volunteering and supporting anti-trafficking efforts overseas could be done in the comfortable walls of your own home or even in your very own community.
However, with a scheme as heart-breaking and sickening as human trafficking, it may seem or feel as if this fight against it cannot be won. With the actions and attempts already taken by Egyptian government to eliminate trafficking, it has only reduced the problem and has not officially stopped it. If we were able to abolish slavery worldwide in the 19th century, I am sure we can make it happen once more with today’s human trafficking. With the support of locals and government officials globally, the dream of officially abolishing human trafficking may soon be done.