Human trafficking has been noted to be the act of transporting, recruiting, and transferring people to different areas by using fraud, force, or deception to exploit them to gain profit. It is practiced in different parts of the world, and statistics present that approximately over 27 million people are usually trafficked to different areas globally within a given timeline. Even though human trafficking does entail all genders, as the numbers of men and boys being trafficked are common, it has been observed that the majority of individuals who are mostly trafficked are women and girls. Women and girls tend to have a higher tendency to be trafficked are they are used for both commercial sex and labor. It is obtained that for every 10 people trafficked globally, it is always composed of two girls and five women, which shows that the higher proportion of individuals being trafficked is women and girls. Even though the majority of cases present that women are the victims of human trafficking, there are other arguments that show that both genders are equally affected and should not rely on one side. Therefore, this paper will present an effective argument to show that women are the most victims of human trafficking.
From the hidden nature of human trafficking, it is usually hard to have an adequate understanding of its scale and scope. However, studies have shown that there are different changes that have occurred in modern slavery as it does not discriminate and affects all genders of all ages (Brooks & Heaslip, 2019). Despite it, it should be noted that women and girls make up 71% of the total people being trafficked worldwide, whereas boys and men make up 29%. The issue of women having a higher proportion rate in human trafficking is brought by gender inequality (McCarthy, 2020). It found that most countries have gendered poverty as women do not have viable employment opportunities that allow them to explore and work in different sectors to support their livelihood. In the same case, it is found that women and girls are limited from having control of their financial resources. The inability of women to control such resources makes them vulnerable to trafficking because they will tend to opt for new areas where they can be employed in total control of their finances. Moreover, studies show that the majority of the nation has not enhanced effective gender equality in the education sector, and that has given women limited access to education (McCarthy, 2020). Lack of knowledge makes one easily deceived and conned, thus increasing their susceptibility to being transported to other countries to be exploited. Therefore, these factors have been the main causes of exacerbating the vulnerability of girls and women in human trafficking.
Consequently, gender-based violence has been another issue that has led to an increased number of women and girls in human trafficking. Studies show that among children who find themselves to be victims of trafficking, three-quarters of them are composed of young girls. This is because different cultural norms exacerbate the issues of violence against women and girls, thus making it a normal thing in their surroundings (Brooks & Heaslip, 2019). The increase in gender-based violence has been marked by the increased cycle of violence against girls and women, and that has made them find a way of escaping from cultures that do not enhance their well-being in the community. This has led to an increase in their numbers in human trafficking, thus aligning with the statistics that show that three-quarters of people who are trafficked around the world are composed of girls and women.
Furthermore, scholars present that several nations have imposed discriminatory migration or labor laws and some gender-blind policies (Brooks & Heaslip, 2019). Because those migration and labor laws do not adequately consider human rights, it affects women’s well-being in such nations. These approaches are shown to be gender-sensitive and have a lot of restrictions on women to have a free environment of moving from one nation to another or from one job to another (McCarthy, 2020). This tends to increase the issue of women looking for employment and new areas for living in some informal sectors that are unregulated. As a result of that, it makes the majority of women the victims of human trafficking because they can be lowered by human traffickers who tend to offer them lucrative promises to have the opportunity of doing better jobs in other nations. That makes women and girls victims of cases like sexual exploitation as they do not know which kinds of jobs they will be offered in their new environment (McCarthy, 2020). This issue is supported by the report offered against trafficking humans that presents that the harms that girls and women that have been trafficked do undergo are known to be severe because they are exposed to exploitations like violence, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, and domestic servitude. Therefore, it shows that discrepancy in the formulation of policies has led to an increase in the number of women and girls trafficked.
Another issue that has stimulated and increased the number of women who are becoming victims of human trafficking is the humanitarian crises, conflict, and post-conflict cases that do arise in different nations. When there is no effective rule of law in a nation, it increases the vulnerability of girls and women to be exploited in different forms (Brooks & Heaslip, 2019). It is because girls and women can be highly targeted by armed groups that are trafficked to different parts of the world for forceful marriages, sexual slavery, and free labor. Therefore, nations that have been victims of political instability have led to an increase in cases of women that are becoming victims of human trafficking.
Even though the majority of sources present that women tend to be most victims of human trafficking, it should be noted that victims of human trafficking do affect all genders of any age and any part of the world. The report obtained that the number of boys who are being trafficked has increased in the past 15 years (Barron & Frost, 2018). This is because they are trafficked to be used for forceful labor in different farms and factories. Therefore, it is shown that the alteration of the workforce demand of the people being trafficked has led to an increase in the number of male victims from 10% to 20% by the year 2018 (Barron & Frost, 2018). Another finding presents that 63% of victims in human trafficking are men who are trafficked for forceful labor, whereas 82% of them are trafficked for organ removal (Trounson & Pfeifer, 2020). Therefore, this data refutes that analogy of women having a higher tendency to become victims in human trafficking because they are mostly needed in sexual exploitation and forceful marriages and not in cases of forceful labor that needs people with energy.
Besides, it is obtained that men are currently most affected by human trafficking as the majority of them are victims. From the study executed to assess the reason why most men find themselves as victims of human trafficking, the majority of them narrated that poor economic status in their country and the necessity to get quality work to offer support for their children and families left behind are the ones pushing them to migrate to other nations in search of new ventures (Trounson & Pfeifer, 2020). Therefore, most men are usually recruited with promises of work based on personal contracts and via advertisements on billboards and newspapers. In most cases, they believe they are involved in legal activity with verified employment agencies, companies, and recruiters (Barron & Frost, 2018). Therefore, this data refutes the notion of women being mostly affected by human trafficking as it is shown that men have become the most victims following the poor economic status of their nations.
Conclusively, it has been found that women are the most victims of human trafficking. It is because there is the majority of cases of gender inequality in different nations that make them vulnerable to trafficking as they cannot access the same opportunities as the opposite sex. Moreover, gender-based violence, which has been made to be a cultural norm in some nations, has also led to an increase in the number of women being trafficked. The study also found that discriminatory migration and labor laws have exacerbated this issue because women tend to be restricted from having a free adventure in different fields, making them opt for getting shortcuts to move out of the country. Lastly, conflicts and humanitarian crises have also increased the vulnerability of women to different forms of exploitation, as armed groups can easily corner them in nations where the rule of law is ineffective. Therefore, nations should strive to develop effective interventions and policies that eliminate cases of human trafficking.
Barron, I. M., & Frost, C. (2018). Men, boys, and LGBTQ: Invisible victims of human trafficking. Handbook of sex trafficking: Feminist transnational perspectives, 73-84. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-73621-1_8
Brooks, A., & Heaslip, V. (2019). Sex trafficking and sex tourism in a globalized world. Tourism Review, 74(5), 1104-1115. http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/30603/3/Final-Sex-Trafficking-Sex-Tourism-in-Globalised%20World-19.3.18.pdf
McCarthy, L. A. (2020). A gendered perspective on human trafficking perpetrators: Evidence from Russia. Journal of Human Trafficking, 6(1), 79-94. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/23322705.2019.1571302
Trounson, J., & Pfeifer, J. (2020). The human trafficking of men: The forgotten few. The Palgrave international handbook of human trafficking, 541-555. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/978-3-319-63058-8_32.pdf