The Neoliberalism of Human Trafficking

Topics: Human trafficking, United Nations, Slavery Pages: 8 (2555 words) Published: May 13, 2011
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Human Trafficking: A Neoliberal Problem Requiring a Neoliberal Solution
There are many different meanings to the term globalization, yet the constant throughout each meaning is the fact that globalization creates interconnectedness among citizens of the world that has not been experienced at such levels previously. Globalization as a theory is often applauded because it allows for a diffusion of knowledge as well as an increase in opportunities for most people. It does indeed create vast amounts of opportunities for both genders, yet it is biased to developed and industrialized nations. Globalization is hugely discriminatory against unskilled workers, most prominently women and children. In most countries, women bear the majority of the burdens created by globalization. Women and children are more adversely affected by globalization than men, as this segment faces less social equality. One institution in which this is directly depicted is that of human trafficking. Human trafficking is one of the oldest trades known to man. The rising interconnectedness of the world has created a trade that is impossible to put a stop to. Human trafficking has proliferated in recent years to become a neoliberal concept. Neoliberalism has created a situation in which women and children have become a commodity, thus causing an explosive rise of the human trade throughout the world that is virtually impossible to stop.

Human trafficking is the forceful trade of human beings around the world through means of force, fraud, and deception (Human Trafficking, 2011). Human trafficking is no longer a crime present only in Asia and Eastern Europe. It has become the worlds fastest growing criminal activity, and exists in nearly every country (Human Trafficking, 2011). There are typically supplier countries, and target countries, however both forms of trafficking occur throughout the world (Human Trafficking, 2011). Human trafficking is often thought of as a sex trade, yet many people are also exploited for indentured servitude in often unsanitary and grueling conditions. Human trafficking is currently tied for the position second largest criminal activity in the world, with estimated revenue to be between $5 and $15 billion dollars, which is more than most major global corporations earn yearly (Human Trafficking Statistics, 2007). 80% of trafficked victims are female, and 50% of victims are children (Human Trafficking Statistics, 2007). Major reasons for this is the fact that both women and children are most vulnerable in developing nations, and are coerced into trafficking as a means of providing an income for themselves and their families. Globalization has given rise to human trafficking due to the fact that globalization has forced people to find ways to improve their economic situation. Often, people are deceived into being trafficked under the pretense of finding better pay in another country, or in different cities in their own country.

Neoliberalism opens markets, promotes an increase in trade among countries, and thus creates a free flow of goods, both legal and illegal (Ritzer and Atalay, 102). David Harvey suggests that neoliberalism became a force as a result of the second world in order to restructure transnational relations (Ritzer and Atalay, 103). It is true that neoliberalism is a relatively new force, as it is unrecognized by many uneducated people, and is a term that is not yet even in the dictionary. As relations have been created and strengthened, the desire for cheap labor has expanded. Rich nations now turn to developing nations to produce their goods at a low cost, which is a phenomenon of the past sixty or so years. Nations also turn to poor nations for prostitutes, who there are easier to come by, less likely to be missed due to weaker police forces, and mostly unaware of the situations that they will ultimately face. The fact that neoliberalism is both a social and economic philosophy encourages a...

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"Globalization." Dictionary and Thesaurus. Merriam-Webster, 2011. Web. 30 Apr. 2011. .
"Human Trafficking." United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. United Nations, 2011. Web. 27 Apr. 2011. .
"Human Trafficking Statistics." Polaris Project, 2007. Web. 1 May 2011. .
Ritzer, George, and Zeynep Atalay. Readings in Globalization. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell 2010. Print.
"Victims of Human Trafficking: T Nonimmigrant Status." U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 8 Apr. 2011. Web. 5 May 2011. .
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