In the book ‘Sex Trafficking Inside the Business of Modern Slavery’ there are a lot of breakdowns and concepts explaining what sex trafficking and other trafficking are and what comes along with posing some ethical issues and problems dealing with trafficking. In the opening of the book, there is a nineteen-year-old girl by the name of Maya Gaunt who was a sex slave four years in two main red-light districts, Kamathipura and Falkland Road. Maya was born in the Sindhupalchok region of Nepal, which is one of the poorest stretched lands in the entire world. Maya parents were desperate to make ends meet, so her parents decided to sell her to a local agent for $55, The agent promised the parents that their daughter would have a job working at a carpet factory, from which she could send $10-month home to help her parents out.
The night Maya left home the agent her parents sold her to, resold her to a Dalal known as a trafficker who took her to Butwal, a town sharing a border with India. Maya then ended up in Mumbai which she and another girl were sold to a Malik known as a brother boss in Kamathipura. Upon the brother’s boss buying Maya he told her that she owes him thirty-five thousand rupees which in Mumbai is $780. Maya had to have sex with any gentleman who she met and if she refused, her brother boss men would then rape here along with not providing her with food or water until she agreed to follow the rules. Maya would have to sell herself to twenty men a day. One day Maya decided they she wanted to escape, and she did, finding a police station to complain and they did nothing to help at all. Following a second time, she tried to escape being that she was very ill but finding the strength to get away she then found a shelter that took her in, and they informed her she had HIV.
The shelter helped Maya contact her father, but he wrote her off telling her not to come home because she would bring shame to the family and it was no way she could ever get married having HIV. If Maya had not escaped, the continuing of slavery would’ve never ended. The amount of magnitude that young women and children like Maya that are raped for profit are beyond a disgrace, and for trafficking of any kind whether it’s sex trafficking, slavery, slave trading or organ harvesting. When it comes to defining sex trafficking or any kind of trafficking, there is a lot of confusion on whether the definition of trafficking is the process of recruitment, transportation, and transfer which includes exploitation utilizing lies, violence, rape, threats, coercion, debt payouts, and even deception. Policymakers are still debating on what the term trafficking means.
The United Nations Trafficking Protocol of 2000 decided to accept the definition of trafficking as the recruitment, transfer, harboring, transportation or receipt of an individual utilizing a threat with the use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception of the abuse of power or benefiting to achieve the consent of a person having any control over another person for exploitation. Which exploitation includes at minimum prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labored services, slavery or practices like slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. Sex trafficking violates every aspect of human rights and ethical beliefs.
Sex trafficking is one of the most known forms of trafficking a human being. Around 800,000 people are taken from around the world due to trafficking, 80% are women and half of that percentage are minors. Many laws and programs against trafficking focus more on the movement rather than the exploitation because of the wording content portion of the trafficking chain. However, after reading the book trafficking is not about movement, it’s more about dealing with slavery. There was a slave trade during the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries that involved the trafficking of eleven million Africans across thousands of miles across the transatlantic to work as slaves on many plantations. Most of the focus is put on movement across the border than shutting down the slave plantations to which all those slaves are being moved. The modes of transportation come in numerous ways whether it’s moving them by ships, vehicles, planes, trains and even on foot.
The cost of transport is very small and the source with slave labor is very slim to none. All sex-trafficking crimes have two components, slave trading which is the supply side of trafficking and slavery represents the demand side of trafficking. Slave trading can be defined as the process of recruiting, harboring, receiving, acquiring or moving anyone through and for any distance, into a condition of slavery or something exactly like exploitation. While slavery is defined as coercing labor or other services after taking an individual including the exploitation of a person’s body or body parts. Sex slaves occur in five different ways. First, deceit which entails the false offer of a job, travel, or other income opportunities to look for slaves. In many countries’ marriage is the only way a woman can secure social acceptance, basic rights, and even false marriage offers. False promises of marriage to a wealthy man would often lead to the trafficking of thousands of females each year. In the book there was a former sex slave name Pira, she was married, and her husband sold her to slave traders who shipped her to another country, and she was sold to an owner of a sex club. Pira was forced to have sex with hundreds of before she was able to escape. In the trafficking ring after young girls are sold to an owner, their parents are sent a sum of money with letters attached from their daughters, providing information that they’re happy and enjoying their marriage. When dealing with deceit the most effective location for recruiting slaves would be in refugee camps.
Across the world, 32.9 million individuals are misplaced due to genocide, civil wars, world disasters or any other major crisis. Right now, 9.9 million of these people are in refugee camps, 72% belonging to women and children. The condition of the camps was horrible. They were crowded, filthy, and depressing. The individuals in the camp weren’t allowed to leave nor look for employment and at this point, they felt they were stuck and had no other options. Second, sale by a family which wasn’t always an easy decision for a family to make when selling their child into slavery. These were the same conditions of families who were living in poverty, desperate and displaced. Slaves traders could sniff out the most desperate individuals and address families with job offers they couldn’t turn down, in exchange for their children. A young woman by the name of Bridgitte, who was pressured into staying being a sex slave for many years because of money that was being sent to her parents. Bridgitte said, “We are just like slot machines to our families.” To know that parents would sell their child just for money or for greed is beyond me and it’s sickening. But, believe it or not, this is still going on in the world today but there isn’t much talk about it because the government isn’t looking at it as an important issue. Third, abduction which is not as frequent as the media wants us to believe.
Not only are abducted victims naturally unwilling to travel, but the slave would also try to escape at any opportunity. Many might think this doesn’t happen, but it does we just don’t hear much about it. The book also mentions a young woman name Ines from a town in Albania. She was abducted by three men in broad daylight and exploited in many clubs and brothels. Fourth, seduction or romance which focuses on victims being forced into prostitution. Which the women are told someone would fall in love with them if they were to do the things they were forced to do. The agents the young women are assigned to are offered undying love, given extravagant gifts and even tricking them into moving to another country where they could build a family together. A prime example of seduction is the Carreto family from Mexico who spent many years trapping women, marrying them along with fathering kids with the slave before sending them to other homes based in Queens, New York, where they then were forced into sexual slavery. Fifth, recruitment by former slaves, which is the process of sex traffickers picking out the young women they feel would be a great candidate. In this process, the young women are recruited through rituals that bind them with an obligation to repay any debts after being transported to another country. Failure to meet these requirements will result in some deep trouble, as in harming a loved one of the slaves.
Sex trafficking comes in many other forms that today’s society has no clue about because we aren’t educated as citizens to know about it or it isn’t brought into awareness. Many might wonder why sex trafficking isn’t talked about much and why it continues to thrive more and more every day. After reading the book, my theory is that there is major confusion on what trafficking is which allows more focus on the movement rather than the exploitation of trafficking. Sex slaves are moved from country to country until they are transit into a destination country. Many victims are transported by boat, cars, buses, trains and even ferry. Bribes are then paid to border patrol and false passports are being used to transport these victims all around the world. When victims find out that the job offer, they have been given or the promise of a false hopeless love affair isn’t going to happen, then they are then drugged or beaten until the transportation process is done. That also makes it difficult to get help because when a young woman escapes from her agent and goes to the law enforcement for help and she isn’t given any, it shows just how much corruption is with the judicial system and why it’s so easy for trafficking to linger off the radar as it has done for many years. There is no protection for victims even when they know who did this to them and is willing to give their testimony but is afraid to testify because they aren’t given any protection from the government. Law enforcement corruption and investigating sex trafficking crimes are at an all-time low because countries have created some sort of alliance with other countries to create a police unit that has a part in the sex trafficking process.
Many police units are told not to conduct investigations or raids on anything dealing with sex slaves, sex trafficking or even slaves who have escaped. This made it hard for victims to file a complaint or even testify against their exploiters was because none of their complaints went as far as the officer took in the complaint. The absence of political power to enforce the law along with corruption, allows slavery and sex trafficking to take place in broad daylight. The so-called laws that are put in place for sex traffickers have little to no effect on them what so ever. The ethical issues play an important role in the fight when it comes to trafficking. Everyone must do their part from stopping sex trafficking from happening, by doing what they know is the right thing. Whether it’s having a zero-tolerance policy with international governments, implementing certain codes of conduct that must be followed or having government regulations. These young women are faced with many health obstacles, being that they are having sex with multiple men a day and when it comes to making decisions dealing with the health of the public, there is no ethical way to address the society’s perspective of public health problems. Being that unsafe sexual interaction is happening which increases the chance of that young girl having any kind of disease that’s out here in the world, miscarriages, unplanned pregnancies and even their private area being affected.
Following that the mental mindset they are now put through, dealing with depression, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress. This shows that there is a wide range of challenges in dealing with sex trafficking. It’s happening in our backyard; yes, human trafficking has been documented in many parts of the United States. It has been seen in San Diego, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, Atlanta, San Jose, Miami, Boston, Washington, DC, and even Philadelphia. This was research shown back in 2006, and I’m sure it has spreader even further in other cities and states. I can say it has even made its way to Mississippi, because lately we have had a few incidents that have happened, but no one is aware of them because the news doesn’t tell us or for no one of that matter unless you go and do the research yourself. North America has a percentage of 0.9% of sex trafficking victims. Sex trafficking has four components: the victim who is the product, the trafficker who is the wholesaler, the slave owner who is the retailer and the consumer who are the individuals who’re paying for the girls. Here it is almost a hundred and fifty years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed and in the United States, there are still many slaves.
As Americans, we seem to sweep things like this that are very serious under the rug, until it happens to us or someone close to us. This book has opened my eyes a lot to many things I wasn’t aware of. Many individuals see things sometimes and don’t even say anything because they fear something might happen to them but what they don’t know is, they could be the one who saves a person life or even start the trail of others wanting to speak up. Only we as the people can break this horrific chain of events, it starts with us. The two things that stood out to me that needs the biggest change is what the parents do to their children just for a little money to go into their pockets. I could only imagine how that child felt going into that kind of situation and knowing that the individuals that are supposed to protect you, put you there. Secondly, is the corrupt police officers and even higher commanders being officiated with such a thing as sex trafficking that ruins many people’s lives. To know that many girls come to them for help and to find out that the government in some aspect is playing apart in this terrible situation.
Sex trafficking has grown throughout the years and is continuing to grow even larger. No one should ever be held against their will to be sold, beaten, sexually assaulted, drugged or killed. We all should have the choice to do whatever it is we want to in this life and not forced into it. As I explained it starts with us speaking up and becoming aware and educated on sex trafficking.