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The Effectiveness of Anti-Human Trafficking Lawsprofessional writing services near me

Amber Miles

Savannah State University

Project Proposal: The Effectiveness of Anti-Human Trafficking Laws

Project Background

Human trafficking (HT) is considered and criminalized by the United Nations as a form of modern slavery. It is also considered to be a major human rights challenge for authorities both in the developed and developing economies. The crime manifests in the form of sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Early perceptions of human trafficking tended to view it as entailing sexual exploitation of women and girls. Today, the United States categorizes human trafficking as encompassing wide arrays of crimes and affecting boys and men as well (Federal Anti-Trafficking Laws, 2019). The federal government recognizes that human trafficking in the United States predominantly takes the form of domestic servitude, forced labor in construction industries, brides trafficking, and coerced working in agricultural plantations.

The United Nations defines trafficking in persons as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation” (Zimmerman & Kiss, 2017). While a lot of human trafficking takes place within the country, a recent trend in international trafficking has created cartels across the world that facilitate illegal movement of people mainly from poor, low-income countries to developed economies (Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 2014). Countries such as the Netherlands, Romania, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone have been cited internationally as major origin and transit countries for human trafficking.

The impact of HT on individuals and economies cannot be understated. International human trafficking (IHT) is known to encompass drug trafficking. Trafficked persons are forced under threat to their lives to traffic narcotics across international borders. The risk posed to victims is immense since it not only impairs their mental capacity but also exposes them to punitive sentences if caught trafficking drugs on behalf of their controlling masters. Besides cognitive impairment and potential memory loss, victims of HT are exposed to despicable physical abuse including rape, sexual slavery, servitude, and aggravated assault resulting in bodily harm. In other instances, victims are abused and killed. Analysis by the U.S State Department of recent cases of HT indicate that a significant number of victims are children who are duped under the pretext of finding a better life abroad or in large urban centers where they cannot be easily identified.

Despite concerted efforts by the international community, HT continues unabated. The U.N reports that HT is one of the most lucrative crimes in modern times only second to drug trafficking. The human rights organization assessment of IHT shows that the criminal industry earns approximately $150 billion annually to traffickers (Human Trafficking by the Numbers, 2017). The United States has instituted stringent laws to curb the vice while working with international partners to strengthen the legal framework to combat HT.

This capstone research project seeks to evaluate gaps in the human trafficking legislation within the United States that may undermine the fight against HT. The research question is: how do gaps in legislation undermine the fight against human trafficking in the United States? Furthermore, the researcher aims to evaluate how different anti-human trafficking laws between countries could contribute to the escalating cases of HT in the United States and the developed economies. First, the researcher will examine the current state of anti-human trafficking laws in the United States. Secondly, it will examine the legal steps taken by the international community in the fight against HT. Thirdly, the researcher will document ways in which international policy developers can enhance efforts toward fighting IHT by integrating international legislation agenda and policy frameworks aimed at combating IHT.

Project Background

The investigative and prosecutorial powers on human trafficking in the United States fall primarily on three federal government agencies. The Department of State (DOS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are charged with fighting human trafficking and dismantling trafficking cartels not just within the country but also internationally in collaboration with investigative agencies in other countries (Federal Anti-Trafficking Laws, 2019). The agencies are also charged with supporting victims of human trafficking by integrating assistant experts at all levels of investigations and eventual prosecutions. The DOJ works in collaboration with the Department of Labor and the DHS to develop complex training programs aimed at streamlining coordination of multi-agency government efforts in combating human trafficking. Government agencies work under the Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam) Initiative.

The United has instituted a range of laws aimed at combating human trafficking. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000was designed to comprehensively address all forms of trafficking of persons (Federal Anti-Trafficking Laws, 2019). Besides the preventative and protection elements of the law, the TVPA also strengthens prosecution of perpetrators of human trafficking. In 2013, the act was reauthorized under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). The law recognizes severe forms of human trafficking as encompassing labor trafficking and sex trafficking.

The 22 USC § 7102 defines sex trafficking as recruitment, transportation, and soliciting of persons for commercial sex through coercive or fraudulent (Federal Anti-Trafficking Laws, 2019). It also entails any form of sexual exploitation of a person aged below 18 years. On the other hand, the 22 USC § 7102 refers to labor trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, and obtaining persons through fraud or coercion with the intention of subjecting them to servitude or debt bondage. Zimmerman and Kiss (2017) note that most countries view HT as a national security issue. The immediate strategies adopted to respond to such categorization have been to enact national laws that criminalize illegal immigrants. Such strategies have yielded little benefits toward fighting IHT.

The international nature of HT requires broad strategies that involve collaboration between security agencies investigating suspected cases of the vice. Rebecca Harris et al. (2017) argue that international efforts should be broad based targeting sources of human trafficking. The United Nations statistics suggest that a majority of victims of human trafficking within the Netherlands originates from East Asia, Africa, and Europe. In particular, Bulgaria, Nigeria, China, the Philippines, Hungary, and Romania are considered to be home to elaborate international syndicate dealing in trafficking in persons (Trafficking in Persons Report, 2018a). In the United States, victims are transported from across the world but many come from the Philippines and South American countries. The focus of the international community should encompass understanding the pathways to HT especially in the country of origin, the common means of contact between traffickers and their victims.

Policy makers should only develop a comprehensive response strategy once this relationship is understood (Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 2014). The legal framework adopted by the international community in the fight against HT should communicate a strong message of zero tolerance toward the vice. The seriousness of the offense should be seen in the criminal codes of punishment upon conviction of the offender. Given the vulnerability of the victims, laws must also recognize the helplessness of the victims. Zimmerman and Kiss (2017) notes that some of the existing anti-laws in many countries inherently punish victims while traffickers escape. Poorly developed laws undermine the delivery of justice to victims and their families. Rebecca Harris et al. (2017) argue that victims of HT should not be punished for being victims of a syndicate they understand very little about. Such laws only favor traffickers while disadvantaging the victims. There is a large body of published articles and books that will be useful in this research process.

The researcher will utilize official government records and published reports to gather sufficient evidence to support the research process. Official reports released by the U.S State Department and other agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be crucial to this study. Other valuable sources will include reports from the U.N agencies on human trafficking and other international crimes. In particular, reports from the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime will be of immense help. Yet these are the most authoritative voices on HT and provide an objective analysis of crime without having to worry about country political implications or selfish interests (Lamber & Lambert, 2012). These reports are accessible from the official website of the concerned organization and also accessible online through reputable sites such as Google Scholar and JSTOR. The researcher will rely on journals and online repositories to make an informed analysis that responds to the aims and objectives of the research.


My research methodology is influenced to a great extent on the ability to access and store information about IHT. As mentioned earlier, the purpose of this research is to evaluate gaps in the legislation within the United States and other countries and how these gaps contribute to the abetting human trafficking. The research question is: how do gaps in legislation undermine the fight against human trafficking in the United States?

This research will rely on secondary data available through online scholarly repositories. These articles will be accessed through Google Scholar and JSTOR. An online search was performed online using key words “human trafficking”, “international human trafficking”, “trafficking in persons.” The inclusion criteria covered articles published over the last 10 years. The exclusion criteria included articles touching on HT but whose publication dates exceeded 2009. A sample of 15 articles was chosen based on purposive sampling method. This method is allows personal judgment of the researcher to guide determination of the most appropriate articles consistent with the objectives of the research question. The method is most appropriate for this research given the need to ascertain articles that are most relevant to the research from among a large pool of articles.

This research will adopt a descriptive qualitative design. This method is most appropriate for this research since the researcher is interested in understanding the relationship between the laws of the land and the impact on human trafficking. Qualitative descriptive research design is idea when an exact description of research outcomes is most desired (Lamber & Lambert, 2012) since it avoids complex interpretation of research findings (Kim et al., 2016). Acquisition of data on human trafficking depends greatly on information collected from state actors making secondary data appropriate for this research. Research results will be tabulated according to their similarities and analyzed using descriptive methods to determine the relationship between effective laws and prevalence of human trafficking.

Expected Outcomes and Conclusion

A possible outcome of this research paper is to demonstrate that many countries have not strengthened their legal framework to deter and combat increased human trafficking in the world. As mentioned earlier, some countries have adopted the culture of tolerance for some forms of human trafficking such as forcing young girls who move from one region to another in search for employment opportunity into sexual relationships. While some countries criminalize such behavior, other cultures around the world consider such practices as customary and a way to marriage. Importantly, while laws in some countries recognize the vulnerability of victims of human trafficking and their victimhood, others treat victims as offenders and consequently do not secure them as important state witnesses. Victims, through their experiences, can offer valuable information about major cartels in human trafficking that facilitates the investigative process necessary in curbing the scourge. Victims who can recount their experiences and testify in the judicial process as considered key witnesses and component in successful investigation and prosecution. Psychologists argue that victims are socialized to fear the law enforcement agents, to not tell a complete story when caught by telling rehearsed responses, not identifying themselves as victims, and identifying with the trafficker. This reality comes from the controlling nature of the trafficker over the victims. Where laws do not appreciate this connection, states will end up jailing the victims while traffickers continue their trade wrecking in billions of dollar every day.

Another possible outcome would be the legalization of commercial sex without putting in place sufficient structures to protect innocent women and girls who may be coerced into the practice. A culture that legalizes sex for money tends to view women as properties are inherently predisposing them to dehumanization. Sex traffickers could take advantage of the culture that commoditizes women since society is unlikely to react to cases of sexual abuse. It is important that states that legalize commercial sex establish mechanism to protect vulnerable demographics such as domestic workers who may be at the mercy of their employers resulting in sexual abuse and servitude. The Netherlands is regarded as a major source, destination as well as a transit state for human trafficking syndicate. The country has developed some of the most accommodative laws in commercial sex with its red light districts considered among the most active worldwide. A significant number of women of Dutch origin continue to be trafficked within and beyond the country’s borders. It is possible that the culture of commercializing women could be impacting on the national narrative on human trafficking. The research will be limited by the difficulties in obtaining primary data from the victims and offenders given the legal and practical difficulties involved.

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