Human trafficking shows up as prostitution, baby sales, debt labor, and yes, actual slavery.
Most victims come from Southeast Asia — Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. They can also be from Africa, Europe, and any other place.
How many victims are there? The number has exploded with globalization.There’s no solid count. But at least ten million is a common estimate.
Human trafficking couldn’t exist without corruption (which is never a victimless crime). Corrupt police protect traffickers. With protection in place, the chances of arrest and prosecution are low, and the profits high. The U.N. said trafficking is the third biggest source of revenue for organized crime, after drugs and arms.
Transparency International’s 2011 working paper describes the link between human trafficking and corruption this way:
Corruption allows the trafficking process to remain protected from prosecution and facilitates the victimisation of innocent people. Corruption assists the victim’s movements within a country and across borders. When trafficking is discovered, corruption results in laws and judicial processes being disregarded. Corruption undoes institutional safeguards, rooted in basic human rights and other international norms, which should legally protect the victim. Corruption also helps criminals and their accomplices to hide the profits generated by human trafficking.
Download TI Working Paper # 03/2011 here.
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