Human Trafficking refers to the recruitment or transporting people into a situation of exploitation through the use of violence, deception or coercion and forced to work against their will. It is the process of enslaving people, inflicting a situation on them with no escape, and exploiting them.
Forced prostitution, forced labor, forced begging, forced criminality, domestic servitude, forced marriage, and forced organ removal all fall under the list of purposes of Human Trafficking.
“When I was 15, a woman who initially helped me sent me to England. On the first day in England, a man came, raped me and beat me – I was terrified. He forced me to have sex with lots of different men he brought to the house. It was horrible. “
- A woman from Nigeria
Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They look for people who are susceptible for a variety of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters, or political instability. The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings.
Contrary to the popular belief, people do not necessarily have to be transported across borders for trafficking to take place. In fact, transporting or moving the victim does not necessarily mean trafficking.
When children are trafficked, no violence or coercion needs to be involved. Simply bringing them into exploitative conditions constitutes trafficking.
People often confuse human trafficking and people smuggling. People smuggling is the illegal movement of people across international borders for a fee. On arrival, the smuggled person is free. While Human trafficking is different. The trafficker is moving a person for exploitation. There is no need to cross an international border. Human trafficking occurs at a national level, or even within one community.
- 51% of identified victims of trafficking are women, 28% children and 21% men
- The most common form of human trafficking is sexual exploitation
- More than 50 percent of trafficking victims are sexually exploited
- 72% people exploited in the sex industry are women
- 63% of identified traffickers were men and 37% women
- 43% of victims are trafficked domestically within national borders
- There are an estimated 24.9 Million people trapped in forced labor via human trafficking worldwide
- Traffickers can be women too
Human Trafficking in Pakistan
Human Trafficking is a substantial problem in Pakistan, and very little has been done by the Government so far to eradicate it. People are trafficked in the country for motives that include forced labor, sexual slavery or other forms of commercial sexual or physical exploitation. This involves forced marriages and illegal removal of organs for transplant.
Pakistan has been under surveillance of the US Department of State on human trafficking for the past five years, mainly because the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of the country has failed to investigate and take any measures to tackle the issue. The FIA acknowledges that even if the organization was provided with the legislative tools, it still would not be able to cope with the additional work since it is already dealing with external human smuggling issues.
The problem is in large yet it is dismaying to see that none of the agencies of the country have Human Trafficking within the country prioritized on the list of issues. And although some efforts are done, they are not enough to properly combat the problem. With the absence of data gathering and Anecdotal or little evidence, it is hard to determine the scale of the matter, but given the known breadth encompassing a spectrum from child brides to forced labor it may be reasonably assumed that there are tens of thousands of occurrences in any given year. Laws without implementation are useless and remain nothing but paperwork.