Human trafficking is a mode of slavery used in the modern-day society. This is done forcefully, using fraud or even being coerced into it. Over the years, millions of adults and children have been trafficked into different countries around the world. Trafficking is a business that generates billions of profit every year. However, it is a form of crime that cannot be observed since the victims of this act rarely step forward to get help, this is mainly because of the language barrier, the fear they have towards the traffickers or even the fear of law enforcement officials. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to forced labor or into sexual exploitation. Traffickers target susceptible people who are economically and physiologically vulnerable. These victims go through a harsh inhumane condition that causes trauma; as a result, rarely view themselves as victims hence they cannot ask for help (Rudolph, 2017).
The act of human trafficking is categorized into two; one is sex trafficking whereby people are unwillingly forced into commercial sex as a form of trade. The trade includes prostitution, pornography shootings, and exotic dancing (Rudolph, 2017). Children are at a greater risk in this form of trafficking. Labor trafficking is another form of human trafficking whereby; people are recruited and transported involuntarily to provide cheap labor. These slaves are subjected to all forms of labor in industries, domestic, servitude and large scale or small scale farming by use of violence, deceit, and threats.
San Diego is one of the leading regions in human trafficking as indicated by statistics from the FBI. The human trafficking industry is wide; it generates millions annually that contribute to the rapid growth of San Diego’s economy (Rudolph, 2017). The underlying factors causing human traffic are poor broader enforcement system that allows race and sex discrimination. In addition, the capitalism concept has influenced the exploitation of specific communities for profitable purposes.
San Diego being a town between the State of California and Mexico border is a perfect area for human trafficking. Conflicts and economic problems among others have largely led to immigration worldwide. The victims of immigration fall prey to the human traffickers. San Diego accounts for a high number of immigrants; therefore, identifying human traffickers is a tough task. Hence, traffickers take advantage of the fact that it is difficult to identify them. This makes it easy to smuggle most victims using legal documents (StephanieFahy, 2013).
It is disturbing to note that, human trafficking happens in broad daylight, making it harder to investigate and apprehend the perpetrators; several initiatives have been put in place to combat the act. Internationally this problem is combatted using measures like the publication of the report of trafficking persons that are made annually (Carpenter, 2016). The publishing helps in shaming countries that have been ranked highest in the number of cases and also to eliminate this scourge. The United States has enacted the Trafficking Protection act that protects victims and punishes perpetrators. They implement it by embracing three policies which include; Prosecution of human trafficking culprits. This approach prosecutes guilty offenders and prevents them from doing the same acts.
Prosecuting culprits includes imprisonment and heavy fines (Carpenter, 2016). This is done after proper investigation; after which one is convicted and sentenced.
Protection is another vice that U.S. government has employed in combatting this illegal act. In instances like sex trafficking, the government has done away with the initial ways of arresting these young women who present themselves as a prostitute and treating them as criminals. These young women are removed from the streets and offered protection as they help law enforcers to find the perpetrators. This makes the victims feel protected from these dreadful crimes
The third is prevention; to make this effective the government and non-governmental organization have put in place mechanism that creates public awareness such as campaigns, adverts among others. Apart from creating public awareness against human trafficking, the government has amended laws that disregard the reality of trafficking. One of the prevention techniques is to make sure hotel owners train employees on how to identify and report perpetrators since hotels are the perfect grounds for sex trafficking (Carpenter, 2016).
Victims of human trafficking need a safe haven which has proved to be an uphill task. However, it can be implemented if we all embrace the process and inform the public that it is important for the victims (Davis, 2017). In addition, the citizen needs to be made aware that they can support the process by linking the victims to law enforcement officials. It will encourage unauthorized workers to feel persuaded to report abuses in their workplaces to authorities without the fear of being deported.
Law enforcement actors and other stakeholders intend to eliminate human trafficking in the near future. The victims should be aware of their plight and available channels that can be used to get help. The perpetrators will be investigated, arrested, sentenced and punished as guaranteed in the law. This will make sure that justice is served to the victims and offenders. People should unite and work together towards ending this menace that has been around for a long time. By everyone taking it as a personal responsibility to fight it then it stands no chance of prevailing. Law enforcers should engage the public by educating them on ways of avoiding being a victim and encouraging them to report in case they suspect the act around them.
- Carpenter, A. (2016, April). The Nature and Extent of Gang involvement in sex traffiking in San Diego County. Retrieved April 2, 2018, from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/249857.pdf
- Davis, K. (2017, October 14). Slow but steady progress being made against sex trafficking in San Diego. Retrieved April 2, 2018, from http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/sd-me-sex-trafficking-20171013-story.html
- Rudolph, J. P. (2017, November 10). San Diego home to thousands of human trafficking victims. Retrieved April 2, 2018, from http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/commentary/sd-utbg-human-trafficking-san-diego-20171110-story.html
- StephanieFahy. (2013, November 4). The problem of human trafficking in the U.S.: Public frames and policy responses. Retrieved April 2, 2018, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047235209001159#!