FC: HUMAN TRAFFICKING LEARNING PRODUCT SOWK 201 APRIL 15TH, 2013
1: All that is takes for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing. – Edmund Burke
2: Introduction: Human trafficking is an injustice that is witnessed and practiced on a global scale. It is not restricted by age, race, gender, and social status . Upon investigation into sex slavery it is readily apparent that the scope of issues associated and magnitude of the problem is immense and crosses many borders. It is not an “other world” problem but a problem that exists for anyone who believes in freedom and what being free represents.
3: What is human trafficking and how are we fighting against it in our country and cities today? According to the “National Action Plan To Combat Human Trafficking,” Human trafficking is defined as "Involving the recruitment, transportation, harbor, control, direction and/or the influence of the movements of a person in order to exploit him or her sexually or for the purposes of forced labor”.( Toews, 2012). It is often described as a modern form of slavery. Human trafficking does not require the crossing of borders or any movement at all. Exploitation is the key element of the offense. (RCMP) In order to combat human trafficking national protocols are being developed, implemented and enforced on an individual country by country basis. Anti-trafficking activists like MP Joy Smith, are developing new bills that prosecute the traffickers, and securing federal funding to combat trafficking in the aboriginal community. These new bills provide longer prison sentences for child traffickers, and the prosecution of trafficking offenses that occur outside of Canada.
4: MP Joy Smith has created a website containing a long list of non-government organizations combating human trafficking. Each of these organizations is reaching out to the victims and bringing awareness across the country and world (Joy Smith’s Link). There are also a lot of non profit organizations that are providing any help that the victims need to get out of the life of being prostituted. The level of attention and awareness of this global issue is being raised in the public eye through the education systems and the general public via not for profit organizations. These non-profit organizations provide victims with the necessary assistance to find a new life away from prostitution and sex slavery.
5: Women and children that are trafficked are usually persons living in poverty, of aboriginal decent, socially or economically disadvantaged, migrants or new immigrants, run away teens, and/or girls and women who may be lured to bigger urban centers. They may be lied to and given false hope as to what the trafficker has in store for them. Such individuals may not have a support system in place that could help reduce their vulnerability to this type of crime. Further, many of the girls and young women targeted are from low income families that would not have the money to fund a search for their loved one. In some cases a person's family may even sell its own members in the hopes that she or he will earn an income the family can use. Traffickers may tell their captive that once she or he has paid off his or her debts, they will be set free to live their life. However, he or she is often simply sold to another trafficker.
6: What social status and conditions are contributing to the entrapment of women and children into human trafficking for sex trade purposes? Women and children that are trafficked are usually persons living in poverty, of aboriginal decent, are socially or economically disadvantaged, and are migrants, new immigrants or run away teens. Individuals are lied to and given false hope as to what the trafficker has in store for them. Many of these individuals may not have a support system in place that could help reduce their vulnerability to this type of crime. Girls and young women are targeted from low income families, that would not have the money to fund a search for their loved one that have previously gone missing. In some cases a person's family may sell its own members in the hopes of generating a source of income for the family. pimps further creating and reinforcing methods of control. The added cost of supporting the manufactured drug habit is another method to increase the size of the debt and subservience.
7: Traffickers lure many young women and girls into servitude by offering the money required for them to follow their dreams and seek a life within an occupation or location they deem desirable. The costs associated with creating the necessary paperwork for employment, transportation and food/lodging is a debt used by traffickers to leverage against victims in order to gain control over them. Victims are assured that once their debts have been paid, they will be set free. The reality is quite to the contrary and all too often they are sold to another trafficker. Women are forced to use drugs by the traffickers or pimps further creating and reinforcing methods of control. The added cost of supporting the manufactured drug habit is another method to increase the size of the debt and subservience.
9: “Enslaved” , a documentary about human trafficking, describes the conditions and stories of women living a life in the sex trade. It follows them through anticipation of seeking a life of hope to the descent into a life of desperation and an emotionless, disconnected existence. The video includes a firsthand victims story of how she was promised a good job in Canada but ended up being enslaved in prostitution. With few other options than to obey her captors, she shares her trials and tribulations associated with a life filled with heartbreak, sadness, deceit and a story of courage to rise above it all. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. –Margaret Mead
10: Not For Sale Handbook tells that "There are many different areas victims can be exploited in. Traffickers use an array of tactics to ensnare their next target including: - direct contact with the person - direct contact with family and relatives - agents who scout for potential victims in source regions, - sometimes representing themselves as a potential sponsor or love interest - misleading advertisements promising jobs and opportunity - contact on the Internet More abusive methods are also used and range from: - coerced compliance - extortion - kidnapping - servitude - violence, including physical and emotional abuse "(RCMP)
11: How are these women and children kept in the trade of sex trafficking? Victims are first subjected to a breaking in, “they start by breaking their spirits, this whole process starts during the transportation and continues once the slave is sold. More torture and rape and humiliation await slaves as their owners do everything possible to ensure they will service their clients submissively and never try to escape “(2009,Kara) “Captors will instill further levels of fear by beating and murdering other sex slaves in front of them. By “breaking in” the victims a high level of mental control can be established and ensures that victims will not fight a life of sex servitude and prevents the desire to attempt an escape. Sex slaves are raped tortured, starved, humiliated and drugged during transportation; both for the pleasure of traffickers and also to break the slaves to make them more submissive upon sale. “ (2009,Kara.p 12)
12: The psychological damage inflicted on the victims is so profound that many of them end up forming a trauma bond with their captors. A trauma bond is a defense mechanism that in victims of this nature utilize as a method of coping with the ongoing harm that they are suffering. The women develop a false sense of loyalty to their exploiters because they represent the only constant people in their lives. (Perrin, 2010) For a lot of these women their options for a bright future seem very bleak. With little to no education many of them women do not have the background or knowledge to know that they do not have to live in the life that they are in.
13: How are we as Canadians fighting against this silent crime? In 2010, the government of Canada released a national action plan to combat human trafficking. The plan proposed to educate the public and offer support and justice for the victims of human trafficking. Victor Toews, Minister of Public Safety, discusses how Canada is supporting the current efforts, both locally and internationally, and offers new ideas to the issues at hand. Canada's national action is in line with internationally accepted best practices, outlined in the Trafficking Protocol, “Canada focuses on four core areas, known as the 4-Pillars (the 4-Ps): The prevention of human trafficking. The protection of victims. The prosecution of offenders. Working in partnership with others both domestically and internationally. “ (Toews, 2012)
14: Prevention is taking place in Canadian schools, where teachers are talking to children and youth about human trafficking. Youth are being provided with material that alerts them to recognizable characteristics of the human trafficking trade. Educators are seeking to create a level of knowledge beyond recognition and equip students with the knowledge of how to protect themselves, others and what to do if they suspect a potential problem could be in existence. The resource manual found on the website is able to be downloaded for anyone to present to groups of students, and/or adults. It gives the history of modern slavery, its evolution and how an end can be put to this major human rights issue. The RCMP have also published a booklet called “Not for sale”, for children and teens that reveals the truth about how it can all start and how easy it is to find yourself trapped in a situation you do nott know how to get out of.
15: How can we, being in the social work field, better understand each of these victims and encourage them into a life of freedom? It is important for members of the community and social workers to know the risks that exist for families of victims. In doing so, we can help the victims and their families out of the world of human trafficking. Subsequently, the importance of housing services available for victims during this shift cannot be overstated. When moving to a life of freedom, victims often fear for their safety. They are ashamed to go home and fear the consequences returning to a family that sold them. The information available in working with these cases highlights techniques employed in dealing with child abuse and sexual abuse are beneficial, however it is difficult to find information that specifically identifies the process a social worker can use to assist a human trafficking victim.
18: Social workers need an awareness that they will be working with individuals from foreign countries. Women and children are transported out of their home country where they have little to no understanding of their languages,policies and laws. When working with cases, it is important to recognize the individual differences that are present. Individuals are victims of such brutality that they need to be dealt with on a case by case approach. Each person will have a different story, ethnicity and culture. Being sensitive to these characteristics will help form a bond and relationship with the victims. The author of Social work in Canada talks about how our role in a personal setting would be to ensure the safety of our clients, convey the message that the violence is not their fault, and use an empowerment approach so as to provide the support and education clients may need to make their decision (Hick, 2009).
19: One of the key characteristics that can help victims begin to build trust and see the social worker as someone who they can rely on for help is to begin breaking down the language barrier. Language barriers assist traffickers in keeping victims silent. Being unable to communicate to the people around you and ask for the necessary help or direct attention to the deplorable conditions they have been forced into tightens the slavers hold. Part of a social workers role is to provide after-care for victims including skills training, counseling, and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Educating women with the native language of the country they are currently residing in allows social workers the means to communicate with the victims and provide these services in a means and method that victims can understand. It also helps to build the trust required to show victims that social workers are individuals who are there to help and provide assistance in the transition to a new life.
20: The list of reasons why a trafficked person does not come forward is long. A prominent factor is fear of deportation. Deportation is almost a sure ticket directly back into the clutches of the traffickers and the life they are trying to get away from. Due to police officers, UN officials and lawyers being among the solicitors of their service, trafficked women often do not trust the very people that are supposed to be helping them, creating a difficult barrier for a social worker to gain trust in this regard. The groundwork laid in the early stages of empowerment is vital to making it through this stage of support. Social workers can then begin assisting victims in the process of applying for citizenship papers and seeking asylum, bringing them even closer to living in a new life. Similar approaches are being carried through by the UN Trafficking Protocol and non government organizations Many of the non government organizations that provide additional support are smaller human rights groups that lack the funding necessary to provide a large scale difference.
21: Due to the infrequent occurrence of human trafficking cases in Canada there is not a lot of readily available material or resources. Why is it so difficult to put an end to trafficking of women and children? The list of reasons why it is difficult to put an end to trafficking women and children is lengthy and multifaceted. In order to put an end to this atrocity it would take the combined efforts of numerous groups, governments and public support. According to Kara (2009), "The other problem to combating sex trafficking lies in society, it fails due to, being poorly understood, organizations dedicated to combat trafficking are underfunded and uncoordinated internationally; the laws against sex trafficking are anemic and poorly enforced" (p. 201). Kara found, "there is large profitability with minimal risk for traffickers and even with our increases in policy and law enforcement, and media attention this industry continues to thrive"(Kara, 2009 p. 38).
22: The National action plan discusses the same challenges listed above that these women and children are facing trying to escape their life of being prostituted. “The number one factor alone is the global demand for purchased sex by men. These men believe that they need to have sex. They think it is a biological imperative that must be satisfied, buying sex therefore is a natural activity. It is a perfectly logical alternative to a nonexistent relationship. As long as they have the cash, they are entitled to satisfy their sexual urges. Nonetheless, voicing this male sexual need, along with the common belief that prostitutes are dirty and impure, makes it easy for the johns to defend their actions. To them, prostitution is nothing more than a commodity exchange and they are simply behaving as any other consumer would. Their belief is that if you do not purchase the service, the next man in line will and the line is very, very long”(Kara, 2009 p. 79).
23: If examined from the perspective of the victims, we are able to narrow this list down to a personal level rather than a global scale problem. There are many reasons for victims not to leave. At the top of this list is a fear for their own lives. The women and children involved are mentally, physically and emotionally abused. They have been reduced to nothing more than a human shell and stripped of every element of humanity. Victims may not understand that they are victims, thus not seeing a reason to escape. A life different than what they are currently living in is not something they can afford to entertain as the hope of salvation is something that requires them to be in touch with their emotions and leave the safety of the distance they have created from them. It requires them to feel and to feel makes them vulnerable. Many fear for family or loved ones – often the perpetrators may threaten a victim's loved ones in order to maintain control over the victim.
24: They remain in order to protect those that they love, even in cases where the very people they are protecting have placed them in the situation they find themselves in. Many victims come from a life of poverty and have no other options to support themselves or their families. Their continuance in the trafficking industry ensures that their family receives what little support they can from the traffickers. Further, there may be a language barrier between the victim and the local population, and/or mistrust of local authorities. In many countries the police systems are corrupt; victims may choose not to risk their lives by escaping when they know the police will not help them anyway. Finally, there is also the embarrassment of living a life in the sex trade. Some women cannot bare to face their families again. They face the risk of being disgraced and rejected upon going home, so many choose not to do so. "To compound the issues of trafficking, the Internet has turned the already blistering global sex market
25: into a red hot inferno. While the international flesh trade has flourished for decades, the Internet is the match that has set the sex market ablaze."(Kara, 2009 p. 81) What are some reasons the traffickers are not being brought to justice and victims are not being freed? In Eastern European countries the single largest hurdle in the fight against sex trafficking is the corruption of government, judicial and law-enforcement. Incarceration of traffickers and pimps is rare. In instances where they are brought to justice and faced with infractions of anti-trafficking legislations, sentences often end with early release or justice is withheld by bribing judges and prosecutors. Lack of man power and funding for anti-trafficking units in these, and other countries, helps perpetuate the corrupt system. Anti-trafficking agencies receive ten percent less funding then anti drug trafficking. Kara found that police take bribes in every country he visited to allow sex slave establishments to
26: operate by warning brothel owners when raids were to take place and permitting the exploitations of minors with impunity. In these countries it is very dangerous for the victims to testify. They are intimidated by the traffickers and lack of witness protection. Ineffective laws that have little economic effect on sex traffickers Government tolerance for the violation of human rights and exploitation and discrimination against lower socio economic groups and minorities lowers the chance of prosecutions of traffickers. (Kara,2009). What organizations are at work on the fight against human trafficking and what are some of their success stories? Different Canadian groups, people, and members of parliament are working against human trafficking. MP Joy Smith is one of Canada's' leading anti-trafficking activists. From her website progress can be witnessed in the form of developing bills that help charge traffickers for their crimes.
27: She has created a list of anti-trafficking groups that has provided a stepping stone for social workers dealing with individuals within this global dilemma. A few of these groups, such as Alliance Against Modern Slavery, ACT Alberta, Beyond Borders, Hope for the Sold, and Defend dignity, are all combating human trafficking by raising awareness across Canada and protecting the victims. As previously discussed, "Enslaved" is a anti-trafficking documentary, produced in 2010, which sheds light on Canada's human sex trafficking. It talks about how awareness is part of the prevention and supports for anti-trafficking initiatives. It includes stories told by the survivors themselves and how the women are lured and controlled by their captors. It also has a well known anti-trafficking activist and author, Victor Malarek, discussing the situations of women he is helping and the tortures they have endured.
28: Timea Nagy, a survivor of human trafficking and tells us some positive things that Canada is doing to end trafficking: “For those of you who are police officers, be encouraged. Though human trafficking has been going on for a long time, only now awareness is spreading far enough for you to get equipped and trained to deal with it. Regardless of what you may have missed in the past, you are now in a unique position to find victims and spot traffickers. I cannot thank you enough for your efforts. I am grateful that this police officer had the courage to share his heart with Timea. I can only imagine how hard that must have been, but how much relief he must feel today. I feel so blessed to live in a country that is taking this issue seriously, and that there are many in law enforcement who have both compassion and courage on the front lines.” Taken from the hope for sold website
29: The Government of Canada published a National Action Plan to Combat Human trafficking and is working towards ending human trafficking on both a national and international level. The National Action Plan has a lot of potential directions it can take shape in, but did not go into detail as to how some of the initiatives are being carried out. The Plan clearly shows that Canada is pledging to work together with other professionals, law enforcement, and civil society that are presently engaged with initiatives. Canadian statistics on prosecuting the traffickers is quite low when looking at the volume of people trafficked into Canada yearly. This evidence suggests and supports that human trafficking is an organized crime and difficult even within our “advanced and civilized” system to prosecute traffickers. Prior to 2006, trafficking of persons was not in the Canadian Criminal Code and therefore was not tracked by the Government of Canada. (Enslaved video)
30: Conclusion: The level of brutality and atrocities that the human race commits upon itself is one that has spanned the ages, taking on many different forms and following countless medians. Human trafficking is a form of brutality by which the human race has shown characteristics of unyielding and unmerciful self serving behaviors. However, even at the human races darkest hours, it is individualism, resiliency and positive attributes cannot be denied. The fight against human trafficking may be in its infancy but it is a fight that is alive and well. Countless individuals, organizations and governments have begun recruiting and mobilizing to combat this global epidemic. The individuals involved, in the fight for a free life for all, have inspiring levels of passion and commitment. It can be viewed in their writing, experienced in their discussions and public addresses. It is difficult to continue remaining silent and apathetic after glimpsing such selfless action and dedication to a cause. Sometimes a problem can seem to large and our impact as an individual too small,
31: but the more individuals that can band together and rise to that challenge, the better the probability of defeating it. In order to minimize the barriers to remaining apathetic individuals looking to make a difference need to start close to home focusing on how they can help improve the situation in their own environments and countries rather than trying to solve the problems of the entire world. Individuals who are looking to get involved need to begin their work at a grass roots level and then graduate to the world around them. Once working on a smaller piece of the puzzle becomes more manageable, then bigger pictures and problems can be viewed, approached and a solution can be reached for. While there is no shortage of available information regarding human trafficking, it is difficult to find specific roles of a social worker within it. However, there are many parallels that can be drawn between different types of abuse and the abuses suffered by the victims of sex slavery. Although the area does need development, a foundation has been laid that provides a platform to begin creating specific strategies and methods of assisting those affected.
32: The following video depicts the level of apathy that we see in the human populace, that continues to allow situations such as human trafficking to continue. The passing of responsibility is easier than shouldering the burden of sparking change. This is not someone else’s problem and it is not someone else’s responsibility. It is all of our responsibility and each and every one of our problem. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N0A2-HIbZ0&feature=youtu.be
33: Emergent Questions: What are the contributing factors that causing the human trafficking problem to escalate? How is the sex trade changing? How much is the Internet affecting human trafficking? How is gendercide directly related to sex trafficking? What is driving the johns and how is society try to change that?
34: Interesting statistics: Enslaved reports that: RCMP estimate that 800-1200 people are trafficked in and through Canada annually. Gendercide is directly related to sex trafficking In both China and India, as a result of sex selection, there are far more men living today than women. In China, there are currently 37 million more men than women and over one million more boys are born than girls each year. In India, there are entire villages in some regions where there has not been a single female birth in a generation. These severely skewed sex ratios have resulted in an epidemic of sex trafficking. In China, 70,000 girls are stolen from their families every year to be sold to other families who would otherwise have no hope of finding brides for their sons. United states is a significant destination country for forced labor and sex trafficking, with an estimated 14,500-17,500 victims brought in every year
35: across land borders with Canada and Mexico. There is sufficient information indicating that at least 2000 victims per year are trafficked through Canada into the U.S. Domestic sex traffickers across North America consult play books on how to control and manipulate victims. Some are even available for purchase on popular websites like Amazon.com (Perrin, 2010). After the bloody civil war that ripped apart Yugoslavia, criminal organization established a strong foothold in the Balkan route; now an influx of United nations peace keepers and international humanitarian aid workers, their presence has provided a valuable, ready made market for local brothels.(Malarek, 2003,p.21) In the area of E -55, and Dubi ( between Dresden and Prague),Every year dozens of unwanted babies are born and abandoned at the local hospital. 3 prostitutes give birth each month, many of the babies are born with syphilis or are HIV – positive, some are drug addicted, In fact a steady stream of clients come specifically to have sex with the
36: clients. Nearby in an orphanage, seventy five babies are on display, awaiting adoption. Human trafficking is an organized crime, unlike trade of guns, and drugs, the risks for criminals are minimal and the profits extremely high.(Malarek, 2003 p.45) Interpol estimates that each exploited woman can bring in $75000 to $250,000 a year. According to European wide police intelligence agency Europol, the trade in human beings earns up to $12 billion euros worldwide every year. (Malarek, 2003, p. 46) Head of UN Office of Drug control and Crime Prevention in 2001, observed that trafficking in human beings is “one of the most globalized markets in the world today one that almost no country in immune from it is now the third most profitable business for organized crime, behind drugs and arms” . Canadian and US police intelligence reports also reveal that control of the trafficking trade in north America remains for the most part, in the hands of smaller émigré gangs that are loosely connected to
37: considerably more powerful organized crime syndicates abroad. (Malarek, 2003 Pg 50) The gangsters involved in the trade have two very powerful weapons at their disposal: an army of muscle to instill fear, and lots of money to influence and corrupt.(Malarek, 2003 Pg 51) Canadian and US police intelligence reports also reveal that control of the trafficking trade in north America remains for the most part, in the hands of smaller émigré gangs that are loosely connected to considerably more powerful organized crime syndicates abroad. (P. 50) The gangsters involved in the trade have two very powerful weapons at their disposal: an army of muscle to instill fear, and lots of money to influence and corrupt. (Pg 51) massive profits have also attracted gangs such as Hells Angels in Germany, and in a short time they were controlling 200 east European women in brothels and hour- hotels, after a successful arrest of several members of the gang, german police estimated that the bikers sex proceeds totaled 17 million dollars. (p.51).