The practice of slavery is a worldwide disease. A many-headed and ever mutating monster, the system is known by a multitude of names. While the problem doesn’t have any particular nationality or gender, the underdeveloped or developing countries form the major targets. On the other hand, the developed countries of the western world, like the United Kingdom for instance, are the biggest market for human trafficking and slavery in consequence. However, contrary to common conception, certain European countries are also plagued by the trafficking of its citizens, with Romania being a prominent name on the list.
The Statistics of the Situation
Human trafficking and slave trade is one of the ugliest forms of organised crime in the world. Most of these organisations operate on a global scale, while a few strike within their respective cities or countries. According to recent reports published in the United Kingdom, there are around 92 organised rackets running the business of human trafficking simultaneously in the country. In 2011 alone, the human traffic cabinet of the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group in the UK reported the referral of 946 potentially trafficked victims to the national referral mechanism.
What Makes Detection Difficult?
Insider reports suggest that it is practically impossible for the border guards to detect which of the immigrants are being trafficked into the country because of the simple fact that many of the latter are not even aware of the entire scenario themselves. A huge percentage of the trafficked population are duped into believing that a better life awaits them in whichever developed nation they are smuggled into, with promises of a bright and economically stable future in the entertainment and hospitality industries. They are then sucked into a life of slavery, forced to work in sectors like prostitution, domestic servitude and/or other unskilled labours.
The Head and Limbs of the Organisation
- Poverty and the ‘Saviour’: Unfortunately, the problem lies in the fact that the people who are trafficked and sold into slavery are often hoodwinked by trusted individuals. In many cases, it can be a friendly neighbour or even a helpful family member. The requirement of money also acts as a catalyst in involving blind faith, even in a stranger; the more the desperation, the easier the job is for the traffickers.
- Major Criminal Gangs: The flesh trade rackets are often controlled and operated remotely by well-placed individuals in the organisation. These groups use as bait women who themselves were forced into the profession; this way, it is easier to gain the trust of the victims.
- Militant Groups: A major percentage of this unfortunate lot is forced into coerced into working for the rebel military groups. Termed coercive recruitment, this is a regrettably common trend in parts of the Latin America, Africa and some pockets in the Caribbean.
- Drug Cartels: Quite a few drug cartels and organ harvesters are also involved in human slavery, looking at the enterprise as a profitable side business that can be carried on at no extra cost.
- Small Organisations: Small groups operating on national scales form a lion’s share of the trafficking industry. Catastrophic situations are utilised by these groups, coming to the ‘rescue’ of orphaned and homeless children in the garb of non profit organisations.
The Flaw in the Plan
According to the director of the anti-slavery international, Dr Aidan, the problem lies in the fundamental policies implemented by the government as well. The most basic error, he stresses, is the way in which trafficking is viewed: the victims are given the latitude of slipping from the ‘best practices’ as an implementation of the lax ethical norms practised in the case of immigrants. His opinions coincided with those of the immigration minister, who agreed that there have been instances of associating and identifying the victims as the problem itself.