Abolitionism Alone Won’t End Slavery & Human Trafficking

So I saw this tweet and it set off a series of tweets about the fallacy of using the failure of police forces to enforce anti-trafficking laws to dispute the prevalence or significance of human trafficking. Human trafficking is a crime that is hard to quantify on a global & national scale b/c of the sheer lack of awareness/sensitivity.

Let’s say that City X is a known hub for human trafficking– specifically labor trafficking or the trafficking of minors into the sex trade. In a year, the police force only makes 637 arrests pertaining to trafficking.  What went wrong here? Local police forces are likely not equipped to identify and address the crime of trafficking. This can be attributed to a lack of political will, which hinders the enforcement of the anti-trafficking laws. That fact is, the number of arrests (or even the number of convictions or the severity of the punishments) does NOT correlate to the prevalence of the crime. Continue reading

Idea: New Governance & Counter-Narcotics in West Africa

Crosslinked from Future Challenges Organization’s blog

The rise of tricontinental drug trafficking between North America, Africa and Europe is directly tied to increased demand for drugs on the European continent. The insufficiency of INTERPOL, the UN‘s Office on Drugs and Crime and other organizations‘ responses to the influx of drug trafficking in West Africa suggests that the political will of the nations of West Africa is necessary. The fact is that drug trafficking is a matter of national security; the business of drug trafficking creates the pathways for illegal weapons dealing and even trafficking in persons. The “Economic Community of West African States” (ECOWAS) is currently well-positioned to be an acting body in the fight against drug trafficking in West Africa.Cooperation between ECOWAS‘ fifteen member states (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte D‘Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinee, Guinee Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo) can address the national security weaknesses exposed by drug traffickers‘ activities: police/military vulnerability to corruption (exacerbated by gross socioeconomic inequalities) and high unemployment.  For example, the “Inter Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa” (GIABA), under the umbrella of ECOWAS, can possibly expand its operations to cover drug trafficking, as it already combats weapons trafficking and the financing of terrorist organizations in West Africa.  Even if West African nations don‘t have the resources for effective counternarcotics operations on the individual level, it is possible that collectively, the resources can be better used. Continue reading

Addressing Human Trafficking on the Continent of Africa

A Boy Harvests Tea Leaves in Kenya (Human Trafficking)

[Cross-Posted at Future Challenges]

Scan the newspaper headlines and you might see the words „white slavery“ or „human trafficking.“  Neither of these phrases conveys the full injustice that is trafficking in persons.   Trafficking refers to the movement of human beings across borders- state, country and continental.  This movement will usually be from a country of origin to a country of destination.  There are links between emigration/immigration and human trafficking- especially where smugglers and traffickers (associated w/ organized crime) overlap. The fact is that there are an estimated 27 million enslaved people on this planet- more than at any point in history.  This is an estimate, as human trafficking is the 3rd largest underground industry- very difficult to track.

In addition to this, the price of a slave is at a historical low- the global average is about $90.  The price of a human being has collapsed at the point when the number of slaves reached historical heights.  Continue reading