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Human race is characterized by the issues of varied nature. These maters arise usually as a result of the efforts of every human being trying to better his or her standard of living in different aspects. It includes such areas as physically, mentally, socially, economically and spiritually. The dynamics associated with human activities and the complexities in people’s backgrounds would in most cases raise social problems. Among the social issues that are confounding to mitigate are human trafficking. Human trafficking is an exploitative trade in which human traffickers use people as commodities in exchange for money. These individuals are usually trafficked to be utilized for providing forced labor especially in farms and industries, for commercial sex exploitation, sexual slavery and/or for domestic servitude in the countries where demand is high. This illegal trade may occur within a country and/or between different states. Being classified as a crime, trafficking of people has been widely condemned by the international conventions for violating the victims’ fundamental rights for commercial purposes. Thailand and the United Kingdom are ostensibly the most notorious countries known for human trafficking in the world. This problem is significant to these two states because of their strategic economic and geographic configuration; the conditions that highly favor the illegitimate trade. Some of the stimuli which attract human traffickers into this trade comprise intensive commercialized sex, industrial and agricultural labor jobs, and domestic servitude among others. The fact that they are the transit countries that provide a link between other states in the world also contributes towards the perplexity of the problem. The lingering nature of the issue of human trafficking in these two states had become a big concern for the international community. It figures out the ways to exterminate the menace.
The Extent/Magnitude of Human Trafficking in Both Countries
How Pervasive the Problem Is in Each Country
The problem of human trafficking has reached the alarming proportions in Thailand and the United Kingdom. The reason is that the two nations are classified under tier 3 countries, according to the US department of State. At the moment, Thailand is a leading community in the world followed by the UK in cases of human trafficking. It is majorly motivated by the fact that the two states are very stable economically and politically. Therefore, they can automatically attract vulnerable people from neighboring states and even from far countries who may migrate there to seek employment or refuge. Due to the aforementioned favorable conditions, other individuals have also taken it as an advantage to commercialize the vice to their own convenience by acting as brokers who transfer victims of trafficking forcibly or with their consent to destinations of demand in exchange for money. The process is purportedly lucrative. That is why perpetrators have the courage to venture into it despite harsh penalties coupled with it in case of a conviction. There are majorly two kinds of migrants. They are those who usually enter a country through an unrestricted border and lack any documentation. Besides, these are those migrants who come from far and are usually recruited and transported by intermediaries through airplanes, ships, trains, and vehicles to far destinations from their home states.
Structural Factors That Account for This Problem in Each Country
Human trafficking in Thailand is mainly motivated by the availability of informal employment in commercial fishing, factories, low-end garment production as well as in domestic work. The prevalence of these employment opportunities has triggered an increased demand for migrant workers. Most of them come from the neighboring countries such as Burma, Cambodia, and Vietnam, to name the few ones. Due to the proximity of their destination from their home countries, some migrants simply navigate through the borders on their own and finally find themselves in the labor where they later come to succumb to varied forms of exploitation. Others are often brokered and brought courtesy of professional traffickers who earn their living through this trade.
Another factor is the lack of a legal status of most migrants. Thailand is very reluctant to make certain enforcements regarding the welfare of such employees. Therefore, it opens a large window for sly people to conduct this illegal trade of trafficking human. Due to this leeway, most of migrants especially from Burma, Vietnam, and Bangladesh are undocumented. It equally makes the government agencies to intervene in their situation even if they later find themselves in a plight. Besides, the reports reveal that the majority of children being trafficked are usually forced to urban areas by their poor parents of brokers to sell flowers, beg or work in domestic services in exchange for money. Their parents or brokers collect these sums on their behalf. This situation is prevalent in rural Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia where living standards are said to be appalling. Therefore, people resort to using their children as commodities of trade to secure their ends.
Similarly, due to its strategic location, Thailand is a famous hub for foreign tourists most of whom provide a huge demand for commercial sex. This requirement usually lures many women and young girls into falling prey of trafficking. Some of them would be enticed by promises for a lucrative employment only to find themselves in brothels. Meanwhile others would just move their contently to take part in that immoral trade for the aims of earning a living. Furthermore, a number of studies have shown Thailand as a transit country for the victims of trafficking especially from North Korea, China, Vietnam, and Pakistan. There they are usually subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor in the destination states such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Russia, South Korea, the US, and the UK. Sometimes even children are tactfully recruited as scouts only to be trafficked and used as arsonists in these destinations. Lastly, the prevalent extraordinary impunity for trafficking related corruption has been rated as one of contributing factors to human trafficking in Thailand since it impedes the government’s efforts in combating the vice.
On the side of the United Kingdom, human trafficking is prevalent. The reason is that just as Thailand, the UK too is a tier 3 country and transit nation of migrants to other destinations. Due to its strategic location, many intermediaries would prefer to base their operations there as they link their products to their ultimate clients within the UK or even other territories. Furthermore, the UK too has a huge demand for men and women to work in an informal sector to provide cheap labor. Some of women are also recruited to serve in the widespread brothel in assorted cities of the UK where they generate a lot of money for their clients and brokers.
Another factor which makes human trafficking prevalent in this country is less security surveillance at the terminal points. Through this process, brokers and migrants find it easy to navigate and get to their destinations easily. Common areas in the UK that attract trafficked victims are such as agriculture, domestic servitude, food service, construction, and food processing. There victims are usually lured into vulnerable situations by promises for good jobs with high remuneration.
Finally, because of the UK lengthy and complicated legal procedure, many migrants fear reporting cases of abuse for fear of plunging into a trouble. The reason is that most of them usually do not have authentic documents that warn them being there. Therefore, they would rather remain silent than raising an alarm, in a case of an abuse.
Efforts to Reduce/Eliminate the Human Trafficking
Steps That Have Been Taken in These Countries to Tackle Human Trafficking
As a way of mitigating this problem of human trafficking, the two countries have opted to strengthen their law enforcement processes. These activities are determined to crack down traffickers and apply punitive measures against them. The UK, for instance, has enacted aggressive anti-trafficking laws being aimed at uncovering traffickers as well as identifying the victims of trafficking. The UK government has further intensified the work of the National Vigilance Association (NVA) to investigate the means and ways of trying to curb the problem of human trafficking. It has undertaken some prosecutions of persons found culpable for trafficking humans and alerted police about those who violate the Criminal Law Amendment Act.
Moreover, since trafficking of persons has become a global menace, the international community has been obliged to enact stringent measures. They are geared towards eliminating the issue through prosecution of human traffickers. With the help of the international law, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crimes as well as the United Nations Protocol against Smuggling of Migrants by various means have been instigated. According to these conventions, the treatment of traffickers and the guidelines on human rights and trafficking are clearly stipulated. The international community also lay down harsh penalties to criminals of human trafficking including long sentences and forfeiture of property that would have been accumulated through this trade.
The Thai government has also put some necessary measures in place including some improvement done on its anti-data collection unit. It has also stipulated robust anti-trafficking law and its related statutes. These ones will govern all sectors of economy through which trafficking is perpetuated.
The Extent to Which These Efforts Have Been Successful
These efforts have begun yielding fruits though some measures are still in their infancy stage. A good number of traffickers have been uncovered and a significant amount of victims repatriated back to their countries. Those traffickers found culpable have also been sentenced to a period long enough to teach a lasting lesson and serve as an example to others propagating the same vice.
However, there are still a number of impediments, which have to certain extent hampered the implementation of these measures. Many of victims live in fear having been intimidated by their clients and/or brokers. Therefore, they find it hard to go the authorities and report abuse against them. Furthermore, the fact that most victims of trafficking have fake or no documents at all feel the following thing. Raising an alarm would only lead to them being recognized as illegal immigrants that would attract a punishment. Others, due to language barriers or isolation that detached them mentally and physically from the entire society, do not know that they are the victims indeed. It makes the work of vigilance difficult.
On the side of the government, it has also been very hard for the police to uncover even a single case of trafficking. Some police reports in the UK have in fact have reported that there are nil cases of human trafficking. However, the UK is among the leading countries in trafficking. This situation, according to NGOs and media reports, is indicative of the underground nature of human trafficking, which can hardly be detected the way drugs and illegal arms are. The government is, therefore, devising a new measure to app their game.
The Thai government has also demonstrated few efforts in addressing the trafficking crimes by failing systematically in its investigative and judicial roles, especially to ship owners who carry out trafficking downrightly. The police have also been reported to take bribes at the border lines. Therefore, they can allow the criminals to go scot-free.
Prediction of What Human Trafficking Problem Will Look Like in the Next Ten Years in Each Country
According to the current trends in human trafficking in the UK and Thailand simultaneously, ten years to come the statistics shall be overwhelming unless drastic measures are taken. Reports have indicated that the UK has often made attempts to declare this issue as a national disaster but declined for a lack of actual facts and figures. It would peg it declaration on. It means that even the government acknowledges the multiplicity of the problem and how deep rooted it is.
Thailand is still grappling with inundating figures of migrants from the neighboring states as well as from far countries, which do not have any documentation. It is, therefore, unable even to establish the best way it can use to approach the mater. Furthermore, the already stipulated laws do not seem to function as they are internally sabotaged by the same law enforcers through corruption. This process makes the projections obvious that in ten years the situation may be out of hand in both countries.
Examining the two countries, i.e. Thailand and the UK, and the manner in which they are handling the issue of human trafficking, one can draw a number of lessons. First, it has been established from these two states as follows. The security state of many nations could be quite volatile. The reason is that looking at how migrants have been managing to circumvent immigration regulations depict that the surveillance of those countries is in a bad state. Anybody can take an advantage of that situation to cause a felony in the country. It has always been believed that the UK is one nation with proper functional systems. However, the fact is that traffickers could freely pass through their terminuses unnoticed. It shows how negligent their officers are in their prime duty of arming the people.
Besides, the research has revealed how corruption can compromise the efficiency of fundamental systems in the state. The case of Thailand is just an example of many nations where the police are highly implicated in corrupt practices. Because of their greed, a lot of perforations have been created along the borders through which migrants pass scot free and without any identification of travel documents. In addition, the police cannot take a legal action against industries that perpetuate unlawful practices of human trafficking. These activities may involve such as the fishing and ship owners who use men to provide them with cheap labor. They exploit them by giving them meager remuneration and subjecting them to tough working conditions, i.e. working between eighteen and twenty hours a day. Through corruption, the police are seen to be rewarding the vices.
Finally, assessing both countries, one can learn that they have a big challenge of inconsistency in their law enforcement. The lack of consistency is what usually creates loopholes through criminal find a leeway to propagate their heinous acts. The two countries seem to have very good laws enacted by the Act of Parliament. However, they do not seem to be yielding the expected results. The reason is that laws are not consistently applied. Instead they tend to give them a break and almost forget about them completely. Through this situation, criminals in the UK have discovered the weakness of the police and managed to circumvent the law without the police having any slight notice of their tactics. Even when the report depicts alarming rates of human trafficking in the country the investigative wing of the police tries to get to the bottom of the matter. However, they still could not uncover anything. It is, therefore, a good lesson to all those who are in the government to reexamine their roles and make self-appraisal as to whether they are meeting the expectations of the wider society or they are merely serving their own interests.