For the last six weeks during my summer classes one particular class has stood out so far form the others for me. This class is a special topics course on Transnational Organized Crime that focuses on many of the different facets of organized crime groups and their activities on a global scale. Our topic of discussion for the next couple of weeks, including our last class, is on human trafficking.
We have several readings that cover a wide verity of points on human trafficking, including human smuggling and various types and forms of illegal immigration. It was not until I started into the readings that I soon realized just how vast this topic really is. The reading only give a glimpse of what is actually happening because of the underground nature of these illegal activities so only cases that are met with some form of police or governmental intervention are capture into statistical data that can be documented. The rest is based on field research data that is qualitatively gathered and documented through peer review articles.
In the last class we were given some printed readings to be taken home and studied, one of which is called, “Human Trafficking: The Facts,” Written for United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, through the “Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking.” This article is written a story format where three stories are told about some individuals and a group of people, taken from three different countries where they are exploited in various ways. Although each story ends with the rescue of some of the victims, justice for the exploiters is somewhat ambiguous or extremely lacking. I urge you to take the time to read this document if you can because it says a lot about global conditions that do not get printed on the headlines of our daily media sources. In fact, this sort of crime seems to me to be rarely talked about in Canadian media unless it involves a dramatic investigation by police or some huge sting operation from multiple international police forces that touch our border.
Some of the types of human trafficking are: sex slaves, prostitution, forced labour, child trafficking, domestic trafficking, and so on.
To read the PDF version of the article, please go here: http://www.unodc.org/blueheart/en/campaign-tools.html, and click on the English version of the “Testimonials” for the stats and the three stories that I’ve read.