Globalization is described as the interconnectedness of people and places. While there are pros and cons to this ideology, it has been proven to create a sense of a global community. Globalization has been said to be both voluntarily and involuntarily responsible for the rapid growth of human trafficking.
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Human trafficking is described by the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation (UNODC, 2018). The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that there are 2.4 billion people in the world at any given time involved in forced labor and subjected to exploitation as a result of trafficking (ILO 2008).
The more globalization progresses and integration flourishes throughout countries, the more successful human trafficking becomes. Human trafficking heightens with the help of globalization just like in the old days. Slave trade in the past was a main import and export for countries at that time. By analyzing slave trade in the past, it can be predicted that human trafficking will also heighten economic globalization today. The ILO estimates that human trafficking is responsible for a profit of around $32 million globally (ILO 2008). A new idea of a fourth world has been introduced by Erika Polakoff. Millions of homeless, incarcerated, impoverished, and otherwise socially excluded people come together to make up the fourth world (Polakoff, 2007).
Majority of human trafficking victims are derived from this group of the population. As the social gap between economic classes grows, it can be assumed that human trafficking will only heighten. The bigger the gap gets; the more exploitation occurs. The more exploitation occurs, the bigger the gap gets. The two go hand in hand and either grow or minimize together. Naturally, a growing gap will reduce opportunities to those of the fourth world. Multinational corporations are able to easily exploit and traffic people for this cheap labor. Often times, the exploited against are aware of their conditions, but stay anyways because it is better than the alternative.
The idea of human trafficking is hard to prevent and avoid due to the fact that the traffickers themselves are always planning further ahead than those trying to prevent it. It is hard to find a way to prevent human trafficking because organization are normally centered around one country and cannot control what goes on in other countries. Many activists have tried to use a multi-tiered approach to fight against trafficking with a proactive stance instead of a reactive stance. This approach would stop the trafficking before it even develops.
There are education programs put into place by Vanessa Baird to keep men from soliciting women (Brewer, 2018). This program is supposed to help prevent trafficking from occurring as often as it would otherwise. Another action of this proactive approach is to watch and monitor raw materials from slave to marketplace to try to find which multinational corporations participate in trafficking.
As previously discussed, a large social gap contributes to human trafficking due to the decreasing opportunities in the lower class. A lack of work in less developed countries plays a major role in trafficking. Once the trafficked are exploited, it is extremely hard to leave that system. Trafficked victims are at a high risk of being trafficked again due to the fact that they are unable to find work in their less developed countries. Promoting education, training, and employment can help to fight against human trafficking.
Empowerment is definitely a strategy that can be implemented throughout Athens county. Given that it is a predominantly liberal county, there are a lot of people that are for globalization. The next step is to promote a positive idea of globalization. As a population that encourages integration, we need to be aware of possible dangers to globalization and how to prevent them from happening. A good way to prevent this activity is to implement vocational programs. Athens County is one of the poorest counties in the state of Ohio. Having knowledge on basic jobs and having opportunities could work to close the gap between classes.
Human trafficking plays an important part in economic globalization. The bigger the social gap is, the more the human trafficking grows. There are many different forms of prevention and protection that can be implemented to better the situation. The most beneficial system to prevent human trafficking in Athens County is implementing vocational programs. By working together and helping to provide opportunities, human trafficking can eventually start to diminish, while globalization continues to flourish.
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