“human trafficking” (labor)

Alejandra Caudillo

English 130P

16 February 2015

First of all, I don’t know what ways to go about the whole concept of “human trafficking.” I looked into articles that brought me up to the topic of child labor, therefore I don’t know if I want to look more into depth on a specific topic.

In the world we live in today, human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, and is a federal crime since the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). Many may think that slavery is vanished or not big of an issue as the past, but it still exists, just in different forms. It is known to be the sale, transport and profit from humans who are forced to work for others against their will. Many people in the United States don’t realize how big of an issue this is; yet don’t seem to notice that they are a part of this whole issue. Does anyone in the U.S ever think about where the products they buy are from? Does one ever think about who made the products? Or how much the workers are being paid? Some common goods that are often produced by traffickers are cotton, tobacco, coal, rice, bricks, garments, coal, etc. This doesn’t seem to be an ideal or interesting issue for many; well that’s what I think. Human trafficking is among one of many growing criminal industries in the world. There are different forms of human trafficking that fall under the categories of labor exploitation and sexual exploitation.

An article by Monica Alexandru called, “Labor Exploitation, aForm of Child Trafficking in Romania”, talks about how  one can tell the difference whether any kind of child work may be defined as exploitation and forced labor, that is, child trafficking. “ Child labor is defined by criteria of age, duration of labor and type of economic activity. Light work is globally recognized as an activity suitable to be performed by children, whereas heavy work and forced labor in particular are elements of human trafficking (Alexandru, 37). Also this article shows or explains about how child trafficking can embody a bad form of children rights violation, which can be life threatening, and can affect children’s development and future. The whole idea of this article is to point out that children can be affected by this sort of exposure to the work labor.

In an article by Stephanie Hepburn called, “Hidden in Plain Sight:Human Trafficking in the United States”,  I found an interesting section that was labeled “Lack of Understanding of the Realities of Labor Trafficking.” This really caught my attention and as I read, it really made me realize that labor trafficking isn’t really paid much attention to as it is with sex trafficking.  “Since the general activities such as domestic work, farming, factory work, or restaurant work are all legal activities, there is a perception that ‘it’s not as bad as sex trafficking’, because in sex trafficking people are being forced into an illegal activity.”  The point of this article is to show how less attention is spent on labor trafficking, while sex trafficking has more attention.

The third article is based on labor trafficking in the United States. “The core of human trafficking is exploitation;trafficking does not necessarily involve movement of individuals across borders.” An example would be that the undocumented workers may get taken advantage of and can pay lower wages, or discrimination  in the work place.

Overall, the articles don’t seem to connect to each other but they do have something in common, and that is the word “trafficking.” The differences in the articles is that the first source includes the discussion of children being in the “trafficking” issue and the third includes talking about adults in the “trafficking” issue.

Works Cited

Alexandru, M. L. (2013). Labor Exploitation, a Form of Child Trafficking in Romania. Social

Work Review / Revista De Asistenta Sociala, (3), 37-45.

COUNTERACTING THE BIAS: THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR’S UNIQUE

OPPORTUNITY TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING. (2013). Harvard Law Review,

126(4), 1012-1033.

Hepburn, S., & Simon, R. (2010). Hidden in Plain Sight: Human Trafficking in the United

States. Gender Issues, 27(1/2), 1-26. doi:10.1007/s12147-010-9087-7

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cati312
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 23:45:33

    First I think this is a great topic, it is a large topic and there are a lot of areas that you can go with it. Tafficking both sex and labor are closely related but unfortunately I think on many levels that slave labor is harder to define and harder to find, some of the people caught in this cycle do reveive compensation for the labor but it is generally not enough. Looking at wages might be antoher way to find more information about this topic.

    My first question would be to ask what is your topic? Are you just wanting to look at how sex traffic over shadows labor trafficking in the media? I think this could be a great direction but you could elaborate further on it looking at how maybe migrant labor operates in the United States and how those who do not have the right documentation are exploited this would link closely with sex trafficking because they are both illegal, both exploitation, and both causing harm. You could also look at fair trade items and food and what those companies are doing to advocate for fair labor and your could look at some of the companies support trafficked labor or don’t do anything to stop it.

    a great soucre is Free2work they grade and show how each company (food, appearal, agriculture and a bunch more) either works to stop or enable human trafficking.

    http://www.free2work.org

    My next question would be in the first paragraph you site some great infomation but I am not sure where it comes from and it might be helpful to add some actual satistics to give your reader a gage as to the amount of slavery there is in the world today.

    International justice mission is another great soucre they have statistics and work with any and all human rights issues around the world. (they also have a facebook page where they post articles and information all the time.)

    https://www.ijm.org

    Another film or documentary could be helpful, though it does deal greatly more sex trafficking is
    Nefarious: Merchant of Souls.

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    Reply

  2. Sara Murphy
    Feb 18, 2015 @ 05:19:55

    Alejandra-
    I completely agree with everything Catherine has to say in the previous comment. She has a lot of great feedback. You have a great topic and your interest in the subject is admirable. You need to narrow down your topic and just choose one thing. When you chose one specific topic it will become easier to have a conversation between your different sources. You should pick a specific type of trafficking and a specific place–it will make this assignment easier and will help yourself and everyone else determine what your exact topic is.

    Like

    Reply

  3. Sara Murphy
    Feb 20, 2015 @ 17:21:11

    Reply

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