Human Trafficking in Africa

Many dimensions of human trafficking are still poorly understood even though it is now a priority of many African countries. Information about the problem is still limited. While existing bodies of knowledge like the United Nations are working hard to raise public consciousness about human trafficking, it is still not enough to support the programs for action which addresses the problem. There is still no clarity on where migration stops and trafficking starts. This is the major concern of this research as it seeks to answer questions on differences between smuggling and trafficking. This research also explains us who are the traffickers and reasons why women and children are the ones at risk of trafficking.

Trafficking has turned human beings into goods of business that get bought, sold and resold. The forces of supply and demand of the markets even apply to them as products of the business. Human beings become looked at in terms of who is most valuable, who will fetch the highest price and who is useless at the market. The physical and mental torture that these acts cause for the victims and family members is the most degrading things to a human being. Therefore, immediate and rapid measures should be taken to put a stop to this evil trend of human degradation and man’s evil to man.

Human trafficking qualifies as the modern day slavery. By definition, human trafficking involves transporting recruited people from their country of origin to the destination for their exploitation. The people being trafficked are exploited for different purposes such as prostitution, labor, domestic servitude and far more forms of forced labor without worthy payments. Internal trafficking happens when recruiting, transporting and exploitation, on the whole, occur within the country of origin. Trafficking greatly violates an individual right. The rights range from violating the earning capacity, the freedom of movement and control over liberty. Trafficking takes advantage of disasters and the vulnerability of individuals affected by the disaster.

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Human trafficking is associated with various vulnerabilities faced by the women and children in their country of origin. These vulnerabilities expose them to life hardships making them easy targets. Reports have it that between 600,000 and 800,000 people are trafficked across the international borders. It represents the third world largest organized crime worldwide.

Therefore, human trafficking in Africa is growing by the day, and with the facts on the table, there is the evidence that not much is getting done. Some countries even consider it to be the most lucrative business for their economy and would not imagine a day without it. Over 90% percent of nations in Africa that operate in human trafficking do it on the trio which means they are the source, the transit points and the destinations for the trafficked ones. If almost all countries participate in trafficking including middle economy countries like South Africa, then the question is who will stop it.

Unemployment, poverty, increase in prostitution, social-cultural practices undermining women, gender imbalances and the demand for sex workers and for cheap labour are the main causes of trafficking in Africa. Human trafficking includes forms such as pornography, the marriage of convenience, forced marriage, sex tourism, and forced labour and illegal adoption. In Africa, countries like Kenya and Lesotho, women and children are the main victims of human trafficking. In many countries people who fall prey to trafficking ordinary women, men and girls living normal lives in their houses, street children and sex workers.

Many organisations have come together to deal with human trafficking together with the governments and the United Nations. Many of them provide funds for victims of trafficking to regain their lives after this ordeal while others put in laws to protect people from being trafficked. The United Nations has come up with various conventions to protect the women and children from being trafficked as well as those who have migrated to new countries. There are also bodies that are making an initiative to educate people on the risk factors of human trafficking and how to avoid being trafficked. Governments have put in the measure like the prosecution of traffickers so as to help reduce the instances of trafficking. Much still has to be done, however, in terms of educating the public and preventing the practice instead of reacting after trafficking having happened, which so far is the common trend of most African nations.

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