Women: The Most Vulnerable Trafficking Victims
The most susceptible and most vulnerable victims of the global human trafficking enterprise are women. It has nothing to do with gender weaknesses, physical frailty, or any of that. Instead, this has everything to do with job opportunities. A lot of women are ready, willing and eager to do menial labor, whether domestic labor or garment industry labor, just to support their families back home.
Accordingly, there is no shortage of human trafficking cartels operating in developed countries trying to fill a low-cost labor vacuum. The big paradox with developed countries is the more developed they become, the higher their wage rates go. The higher the wage rates for menial labor, the less people want to do them because there seems to be a stigma developing for any kind of work that involves people using their hands or sweating.
Not surprisingly, there are still parts of the developed economies that require fast garment assembly. These clothes cannot be outsourced to places like Bangladesh, Pakistan, or parts of Africa. Instead, they have to be done right in the backyards of their markets.
What do you do in that situation when there’s a huge stigma among native-born populations for that kind of work? This is where women come in, namely non-English speaking women from rural backgrounds from developing countries this. This creates the perfect storm of exploitation, abuse and sexual degradation.
You have to understand that rape and other forms of sexual abuse follow a very closely to labor exploitation. You don’t have to search far in the news for situations where women who are being trafficked for labor are also forced into improvised prostitution. While they don’t necessarily work for brothels or massage parlors, one of the forms of labor they are forced to supply is sex on either a regular or irregular basis.
This is why it’s really important for anti-human trafficking activists, organizations, governmental authorities and anyone else concerned should pay attention to women first and foremost. If all we did was focus on preventing women from being exploited as far as immigration is concerned, we have eliminated close to 90% of the problem. This obviously requires a tremendous amount of coordination across borders, as well as organizations.
Subsequently, notrafficking.org has been set up to provide an information clearing house for global activists of all stripes and backgrounds. Whether you are a graduate student putting together a program in your country, or a government official looking for the latest and greatest information on this particular problem, so you can craft the necessary and legislative solution, we have the resources for you.
Most importantly, we would like everybody visiting this website to network together, so we can put up a united front. You have to understand that human trafficking, especially involving females, takes certain predictable forms. They may not be obvious at first, but these but there’s a predictable pattern. Working together, comparing notes, as well as sharing resources, we would be able to put together action plans to work with our particular set of circumstances to take care of this problem sooner rather than later.
We cannot afford, as a global community, to let this problem fester on. This is no time to sweep it under the rug or assume “not in my backyard” mindset. Keep in mind that given the global interconnectivity of the world marketplace and labor markets, one part of the international community is a problem for the rest of the world. This requires concerted and coordinated action.