Human Trafficking Practice in Migration
In 2000, states drafted two new protocols to the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (UN TOC) dealing with trafficking and smuggling respectively. The Trafficking and Smuggling Protocols, more commonly known as the Palermo Protocols, came into force on December 23, 2003 and January 28, 2004 respectively.
The Palermo Protocols are framed around a central dichotomy between coerced and consensual irregular migrants. Whereas people who are trafficked are assumed not to have given their consent and are considered to be "victims or "survivors," people who are smuggled are considered to have willingly engaged in a criminal enterprise.
United Nations defines trafficking as:
....the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring 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. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. ...The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation... shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth (above) have been used. The recruitment, transportation, transfers... of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered 'trafficking in persons" even if this does not involve any of the means set forth (above).
Human trafficking, despite of being a crime, has also grown to be a multimillion dollar business across borders of some countries, and indeed, it has grown to a global scale. The illicit activity is organized by a transnational crime syndicates and it has created an ample misery especially towards the human rights.
There are a lot of causes that could result to human trafficking. The lack of consciousness can become a major cause of this crime. Victims are not aware of the real motives used by the criminals. Poverty has become one of the transporters' advantages since more and more people want to find better jobs and better life, which drives them to migrate overseas. Besides, the uneducated people also tend to be conceived and exploited more easily. Thus, the lack of education also plays a major role in supporting the crime.
It is currently estimated that some 800,000 people are transported illegally across borders every year. This number is predicted to increase because of the easier movement of people in this era, as well as the tighter immigration policy which is being implemented by some countries, such as Malaysia, USA, and Australia. This is ironic, definitely. The more these industrialized countries try to limit the number of immigrants, more migrants are resorted to illegal entries and unauthorized paths. And one of the kinds is human trafficking.
Many of those who reached the destination safely will find themselves locked up in violence and abuse, not to mention the exploitation that outlaws the human rights. Below are some works that they are forced to be entitled to:
Smuggled migrants who work as house maids and factory labors are sometimes employed pitilessly without adequate welfare. These people who become victims work with a completely unreasonable working hours and minimum payment. Some are even forced to give money and work for the benefit of the smugglers. They are usually afraid to ask for help because of their illegal status. They might be caught and the consequences would not be easy. Deportation and zero payment, not to mention being thrown to detention jails are enough to freak them out.
Victims are promised labor work, house maids, restaurant jobs, etc. However, they are forced to perform sexual works later on.
- Merciless work
Human trafficking is bad enough with its outlawing the human rights of the transportees, not to mention its impact in destroying a country's immigration law and national defense. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) regional meeting in Switzerland in 2004 stated that the international crime chain has to be broken off. Both countries who send and receive the illegal migrants, especially through human trafficking, need to increase the cost of human trafficking, in such a way that fewer people will dare to commit the crime in the future. Both countries need to be firm and institutionalize migration through migrant labor migrations including their law-enforcement mechanisms and agents.