Women And Child Victims Of Human Trafficking

The term "global market" generally refers to legitimate commerce between countries, however there is another kind of trade that has infected the global market: illicit people trafficking. 

This trade is known as "human trafficking," and it mainly affects women and children, as I noted in my discussion of the feminization of poverty. 

  • Women and girls are enlisted with the promise of a big monetary reward, sold into slavery by their parents or guardians, or kidnapped from their homes. 
  • Women are targeted by human traffickers to be exploited for prostitution, mail order brides, or domestic servitude. 
  • Children are targeted for the same reasons as adults, as well as for illegal adoption and recruitment as child soldiers. 
  • Humans may also be trafficked for the purpose of organ harvesting. 

Human trafficking, according to postcolonial feminists, is a kind of neocolonialism or a continuation of colonial pasts. 

People trafficking utilizes the human resources of these now-former colonies, while the colonialism that characterized so much of European history from the fourteenth through the twentieth century utilized the natural riches of the colonies. 

Global feminists examine the causes of human trafficking and female exploitation and propose a number of solutions to protect women and girls from being trafficked. 

They also provide specific suggestions for prosecuting human traffickers and rehabilitating and reintegrating women into non-exploitative societies. 

Global feminists argue that, in addition to practical steps such as providing alternative sources of income for women and legal prosecution of traffickers, there must be: 

(1) explicit condemnation of human trafficking as a human rights violation by the UN and other regional and international governing bodies; 

(2) social and cultural transformations. 

When some people are exploited as things for the enjoyment of others, all people are degraded. 

The first of these stages has already begun. 

Both the United Nations and the European Union have particular laws, as well as offices and specialized people, to combat human trafficking. 

Despite this, shady travel agencies continue to arrange "sex holidays" and promote the possibility of having sex with a virgin or an underage girl. 

Clients may even do activities that are prohibited in their own countries, according to travel brochures. 

A societal and cultural shift that appreciates all women for who they are is taking longer. 

Even in nations where women seem to be the most free, there is still enough oppression or dominance that certain women – particularly impoverished women – are susceptible. 

Of course, various schools of feminist thinking would suggest different methods for altering the dominance ideology and achieving a more equal situation for women. 

Marxist and socialist feminists may emphasize the necessity for decent-paying employment and other social system changes to keep women out of poverty – and to prevent huge wealth inequalities. 

Liberal feminists may argue that the legal measures put in place to prevent human trafficking and punish traffickers are sufficient to bring about a societal shift in how we think about women. 

Some radical feminists may even argue that correctly applied severe forms of punishment for traffickers, such as castration, would not only discourage future would-be traffickers, but would also have considerable symbolic significance. 

Liberation has always been seen by feminists as more than an individualized goal. 

It is insufficient that just a few women can "succeed." Human trafficking highlights the need of broadening the definition of freedom. 

Human trafficking is an issue that combines race, class, and gender oppression. 

However, when other people are bought and sold for their sexual services, bodies, or body parts, all people are degraded. 

We become simple things, and we submit ourselves to the same destiny by treating others as objects. 

Furthermore, since human trafficking is so common, we are all responsible in some manner. 

While we may not actively participate in human trafficking, we indirectly condone it when we fail to prevent the commercialization of others. 

Pornography and prostitution, as well as the exploitation of women as sex objects in advertisements, are lesser kinds of human trafficking, according to certain radical feminists. 

If they are correct, human trafficking is an issue in every town. 

Recognizing our linkages may lead to coalitional politics, as women and men from all walks of life battle the same issue from various perspectives. 

In Thailand, mothers may discover methods to thwart recruiters who visit their homes. 

In Thailand, professional women and men may attempt to educate the girls and families that are most susceptible to recruiters. 

Young and elderly women might combine their resources and skills to form a weaving cooperative, which could give families with the financial stability they need to avoid having to sell a daughter into slavery. 

Women in other countries may help by pushing vigorously government measures to punish human traffickers. 

Other women from other countries could help in similar ways, such as providing start-up funding for the co-ops, researching the effects of small businesses on traffickers' recruitment capabilities, and scrutinizing their national ideologies to uncover implicit ways those ideologies condone sexism and exploitation. 

Although some collaboration among these initiatives is beneficial, collaboration and coordination are not always feasible or desired. 

The last part of this chapter looks at some of the opportunities and challenges that coalitional politics or global feminist political solidarity provide. 

Another issue with human trafficking is how to rehabilitate children and adults if and when they are rescued from human trafficking enslavement. 

It's frequently tough to reintegrate them into their native communities. 

Again, cultural norms are a major impediment. 

When recruiters visit a Thai hamlet, for example, they are drawn to the community because of its poverty. They entice females away with the promise of regular employment at a high salary performing domestic chores. 

But it isn't always, or even generally, the females who are deceived – and it isn't always a question of deceit. In certain cases, parents and guardians may sell their daughters or female charges into indentured servitude or sex slavery. 

These guardians may even return a girl to the recruiter or trafficker if she escapes and returns to her community. 

Despite the fact that I chose Thailand as an example, it is essential to remember that women are kidnapped from virtually every country, including affluent Western nations. 

Because she is no longer pure, some cultures may shun or even murder a woman who returns to her society. 

Rehabilitation and reintegration into the community need the transformation of whole communities. 

To keep recruiters at away, the transition involves social and economic adjustments, as well as ideological shifts that may drastically alter men-women, parent-child interactions. 

The phrase "the personal is political" was popularized by second-wave feminists. 

Many activists have coined the phrase "think globally, act locally," which is embraced by global feminists. Human trafficking is an example of this expression in action. 

Theorists and activists must consider how their local behaviors affect women across the world. 

Feminists are compelled to acknowledge women's rights problems outside their local concerns when they think internationally. 

We can see that global feminism is a vital endeavor in this sense as well. 

It is critical of conventional Western feminisms that fail to recognize the day-to-day challenges of women throughout the globe as essential to feminist theory and practice, not only of social structures and global institutions that hurt women.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

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