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International Human Rights Law

Write an essay on Exploitation, Forced Labour & Trafficking.

Sample Answer

In the modern times, the world is facing certain critical situations regarding the human trafficking, exploitation in various fields and forced labour. The purpose of this essay is to focus on the various issues that the world is facing for the numerous incidents of human trafficking, forced labour and exploitation. This paper discusses various aspects of exploitations, forced labour and trafficking and provides some recommendations to eliminate these global issues.

Exploitation is the act of taking unfair advantages from a person. There are various forms of exploitation such as, labor exploitation, child exploitation, exploitation of women and others (Lee 13-37). The world is facing a serious challenge regarding social and workplace exploitation. In the economic sector, labors are trafficked and exploited in a various ways. Individuals are subjected to trade for the purpose of slavery, forced labor and commercial and sexual exploitation. It is not only the problem of the third world countries. Human trafficking is an everyday issue even in the countries like U.S. It has been considered that approximately 800000 people are being victimized for trafficking every year (Lewis and Dwyer). Forced labor is the situation where individuals are forced to work by the use of intimidation and violence.

All over the world, the problem of human trafficking for exploitation and forced labour has been detected. Director of Africans United against Child Abuse, Debbie Ariyo, presented the scenario of forced labor in the UK. He observed that children are exposed to trafficking for various reasons like child labor, domestic slavery, sexual exploitation, social exploitation, removal of organs and so on (Weitzer 223-242). Children who are from streets or indigent families, subjected to war and conflicts, or orphaned by AIDS or HIV are mostly used for exploitation purpose. Again, the supervising attorney of FIAC (Florida Immigrant Advocacy Centre), Maria Jose Fletcher provided an insight into the exploitation in agricultural and domestic sectors in the United States. Though US had signed the Trafficking Victims Protections Act in the year 2000, there have been several incidents of human trafficking in the agricultural sector for labor exploitation (Akee). Almost 1000 out of 1200 persons, who were enslaved in the workplace, were reported to be undocumented migrants from Central American countries. Exploitation of forced labor has another form that is the organized begging. In the absence of attention and care from the parents, children are trafficked from the Roman countries. Criminal groups forced the vulnerable and discriminated children and women to participate in burglaries. As per the report of ILO, today, there are over 12 million people who are the victims of forced labor. Out of them almost, 2.4 million victims are trafficked for the purpose of forced labour (“Hrw.Org”). In Asia only the majority, that is almost 9.5 million people are found to be victims of forced labor. The number of women and children facing sexual exploitation is as much as 98% and in o9ther forms the number is 56%. Among all the forms of forced labour across the world, 50% of the exploited victims are under the age of 18 year (“Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov”). Apart from the sexual trading and entertainment industry; exploitation takes place in the construction, agriculture, textiles and catering industry. As per the report of U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Person, a huge number of women and children are trafficked from Egypt for the purpose of exploitation and forced labour (“Loc.Gov”). Over a million of children per year are hired for the cotton pest management in Egypt between the age ranges of seven to twelve years and are forced to work for eleven hours a days for seven days a week.

The UN Convention on Organized Crime and its Trafficking Protocol was introduced in the year 2000, following which several countries have taken a step towards to prevent and prosecute the incidents of human trafficking and forced labour (“Humantraffickinghotline.Org”). This protocol was followed by EU Framework Decision in 2002 on fighting human trafficking (Ventrella). In 2005 the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings were introduced ("Osce.Org"). A noteworthy amendment was made in Belgian Criminal Code to adopt the international requirements. The amended legislation makes a distinction in the smuggling and trafficking, and also covers the exploitation of Belgian and foreign workers. The new law considers undermining human dignity to be an offence. In Italy, the criminal code provides special protection to the exploited workers. The case of Kelvin Cosmetics deserves a mention, where the illegal exploitation of Romanian worker by an Italian Company was identified (Hepburn and Simon). Police arranged that the workers are taken care by an NGO and investigation was started. It was alleged that the company used to pay arbitrary sums and the workers were forced to stay in the same building they used to work in. In another case where eight Romanian workers had witnessed murder of one the co-worker by their employer, Article 18 of the criminal code was also applied. In France, a couple was convicted for abusing a 15 year old girl from Togo, who was exploited as a maid. The couple did not provide her a human living condition and also was accused of obtaining free services from her. France, in the year 2003 has amended their legislation and increased the penalties for human trafficking. Victims of exploitation and forced labour are protected under the Criminal Code and the Labour Code in France. Egyptian constitution under Article 80 and 89 prohibits trafficking of person. State is required to provide care and protection for the children from all kinds of abuse and violence. The Egyptian National Security Committee approved the anti human smuggling Bill which was drafted by the National Coordinating Committee on Preventing and Combating Illegal Migrants, which penalizes smugglers with life imprisonment for assisting undocumented migration out of or into Egypt. The committee had also created an action plan to fight against human trafficking.

To prevent the trafficking in various institutions and combat the practice, it is necessary to identify the root of the problems. Various methods needs to be applied for creating the workplace practices secured. As this is a global issue, the measures to be taken fopreventing it, should be globally embraced and accepted (Campana and Varese 89-105). Marieke van Doorninck stated that trafficking and exploitation of person has an economic component and should be provided with economic remedies. A question should be posed whether tools used for combating trafficking is efficient enough for fighting against the issue. She also suggested that the economic and political commitments should also be considered for addressing trafficking in different sector. Beate Andress claimed that there are certain operational and conceptual difficulties in identifying the victims. Coercion can be identified as violence, threats in workplace, withholding or non-payment of wages, retention of necessary documents, debt bondage and confinement. Every type of coercion of force should be treated differently from others. Nick Garlick, highlighted that the victims are not only exposed to threats, but they also suffer from physical violence which can result into death. Mirela Shuteriqi pointed out that child abuse and exploitation is a serious concern throughout the world because of their vulnerability. Various conventions and protocol has been introduced to fight against the issue. Palemo protocol is one of the most important instruments which require the states to illegalize and criminalize trafficking. The International Labour Organization focuses on defining and abolishing forced labour (“Osce.Org”). The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a significant instrument to prohibit some practices like trafficking and slavery. It also makes forced labour, servitude and slave trade illegalize. The International Labour Organisation’s Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention was held to restrict using of children under the age of 18 years in the workplace. Children are prohibited from all types of slavery, forced labour and trafficking under this convention (“Ohchr.Org”).

From the aforesaid discussion it can be observed that, the trafficking in human being is a major concern for all the countries throughout the world. The victims involved are forced and coerced into exploitation. They are mostly dumped into the exploitation by the promise of job opportunities. They are treated with physical and non-physical violence into the trade. It infringes the right of freedom of the victims (Waite et al). The victims live in continuous threat and fear and end up being compromised psychologically. The alarming rates of trafficking of women and children as well as men are a serious threat for the nation. Though there are several conventions and protocol to fight against the practice, the issue is so widespread throughout the world that it remains in a various prospects. The unclear international norm makes a gap in implementing the instruments.  The states should take necessary steps to fulfill the requirements to eradicate this problem by criminalizing exploitation and trafficking for every purpose as stated in the UN Protocol. Forced labour and exploitation is to be distinguished when identified as provided by the ILO convention on Forced Labour (“Ioe-Emp.Org”).

From the discussion of the situation of various countries regarding the issue of human trafficking, forced labour and exploitation, some recommendations can be made, such as:

The countries should be careful while identifying exploitation of workers and forced labour. Undocumented migrations should be checked by the state and legal framework should be created to be followed by the employer.
The state should actively examine that the workers are not subjected to any coercion and are provided with a human condition while working.
If there is a traffic chain identified, it is required to be reported to the appropriate authority. The state should stress on the gravity after receiving such report and start investigation.
Nations should take measures for implementing the legal obligations and political commitments.
There is a need for making public aware of this issue and design programs, workshops and conference for the purpose of spreading the awareness.
The victims should be provided with necessary assistance as to immediate and long term help. Compensation scheme and support mechanism should be developed in countries.
States should establish certain measures for victim assistance, such as legal assistance, medical assistance, reporting and monitoring of incidents.
States should focus on creating NGOs, trade unions and government organization for combating the issue at every level.
Proper access to education and training should be provided to the subjects of the state.
Special laws should be adopted to differentiate traffic related violations and ensure victim assistance.
"Osce.Org". Osce.Org, 2018, https://www.osce.org/odihr/34289?download=true. Accessed 19 Sept 2018.

Akee, Randall, et al. "Transnational trafficking, law enforcement, and victim protection: A middleman trafficker’s perspective." The Journal of Law and Economics 57.2 (2014): 349-386.

Campana, Paolo, and Federico Varese. "Exploitation in human trafficking and smuggling." European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 22.1 (2016): 89-105.

Hepburn, Stephanie, and Rita J. Simon. Human trafficking around the world: Hidden in plain sight. Columbia University Press, 2013.

Hrw.Org, 2018, https://www.hrw.org/topic/trudovye-migranty/exploitation-forced-labor-trafficking. Accessed 19 Sept 2018.

Humantraffickinghotline.Org, 2018, https://humantraffickinghotline.org/type-trafficking/labor-trafficking. Accessed 17 Sept 2018.

Ioe-Emp.Org, 2018, https://www.ioe-emp.org/policy-areas/. Accessed 17 Sept 2018.

Lee, Maggy. "1 Introduction: Understanding human trafficking." Human trafficking. Willan, 2013. 13-37.

Lewis, Hannah, and Peter Dwyer. Precarious lives: Forced labour, exploitation and asylum. Policy Press, 2014.

Loc.Gov, 2018, https://www.loc.gov/law/help/human-trafficking/egypt.php. Accessed 17 Sept 2018..

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5699819/ [Accessed 19 Sep. 2018].

Ohchr.Org, 2018, https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Women/WRGS/OnePagers/IntInstrumentsconcerningTraffickingpersons_Aug2014.pdf. Accessed 17 Sept 2018.

Osce.Org, 2018, https://www.osce.org/cthb/31923?download=true. Accessed 17 Sept 2018.

Ventrella, Matilde. The Control of People Smuggling and Trafficking in the EU: Experiences from the UK and Italy. Routledge, 2016.

Waite, Louise, et al., eds. Vulnerability, exploitation and migrants: insecure work in a globalised economy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Weitzer, Ronald. "Human trafficking and contemporary slavery." Annual review of sociology 41 (2015): 223-242.


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