Struggle with a Human Trafficking

When it comes to security, it is no longer revolve around the traditional threats such as military confrontations or territorial disputes. Present world’s threats arise from modern, non-traditional threats such as natural disasters and transnational crimes. In the case of transnational crimes, human trafficking is seemed to be one of the most challenging. Human trafficking is a serious crime that has slowly been recognised as one of the most expensive, challenging and gross violation of human rights that is affecting international community. Until today, not a single country is immune to this phenomenon. Especially in the Southeast Asia region, trafficking in human beings is a complicated business that left no countries untouched. Human trafficking is a complicated struggle. There are various types of human trafficking, but the most common is the trafficking in women for sexual exploitation and trafficking for forced labour. These two are the most popular trafficking in human beings within countries in Southeast Asia. In a writing by Emmers (2004), he recorded that majority of illegal immigrants that entered a country, especially women often ended up in the sex industry. In terms of women trafficking for sexual exploitation, the countries in the Southeast Asia played different roles as the transit and receiving state. The Philippines and Indonesia are countries that became the source of woman that is to be smuggled. In fact, Emmers (2004) stated that the government of Philippines encouraged its citizen, specifically women to work abroad. This is where the women became sex slaves, when they did not realise they actually fell into the hands of irresponsible traffickers that forced them to work in the sex industry. On the other hands, Cambodia too is the source country, but slowly became the transit and receiving country. Thousands of Vietnamese girls were taken to Cambodia to become sex slaves and supply the sex trade and industry. The same goes to Thailand, the source, transit and receiving country. Women from Laos, Myanmar or China were smuggled to Thailand and they served as sex slaves to people in Thailand. Besides being the receiving state, thousands women were first smuggled to Thailand for some times before being sent to other parts of the world such as Japan, Europe, Australia or Malaysia. Moving on to the reasons that are feeding the human trafficking machine, according to Yang (2016), factors such as poverty, corruption and globalisation fairly contributed to it. However, for countries in Southeast Asia, poverty is perhaps the most basic reason this issue happened. The poverty suffered by the population in that region leaves people extremely desperate and exposed to trafficking in human beings. Suphanchaimat, Pudpong and Tangcharoensathien (2017) in their work stated that Southeast Asia is believed to be one of the regions with the highest rates of population mobility due to worker migration. However, the high rate of mobility is indeed a result of human trafficking. Apart from the trafficking of human beings for sexual exploitation, countries in Southeast Asia took advantage to smuggle the victims for forced or slaved labour. There are differences between the labour migration and human trafficking for forced labour, but in recent years, complex relationship between these two has emerged in which many of the migrated labour were forced to become labour due to them being tricked by the recruiters. Many children and women were exploited for the purpose of forced labour. Some girls were initially trafficked for sexual exploitation, but for those who did not meet the beauty standard or too young, they were marketed to the domestic labour or factories. Rafferty (2007) wrote that some children as young as three years old have been trafficked to Thailand to peel and sort fish in the fishing industry. Due to the rising demand for fish by the global community, an increased need for physical labour occurred. For the Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia or Vietnam that are world’s largest producers of seafood, these countries often took their labour workers from neighbouring countries such as Myanmar and the Philippines. Most of the times, those trafficked victims were tricked to work on the vessels with little pay or no pay at all.

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