Human Trafficking as a Modern Day Slavery


Human trafficking refers to the transportation, recipient as well as conscription of persons through the means of force, threat, abduction, fraud and deception. The human trafficking comprises of the abuse of a position vulnerability, giving and receiving of any form of payment or gifts so as to get the consent from one individual to be in control of another person in all ways mostly by exploiting the individual this is referred to as the abuse of power(UNTOC).

This exploitation of power is of a variety of forms: exploitation of prostitution or any other sexual exploitation, unavoidable labour, servitude, amputation of organ as well as slavery. Illegal employment, transportation, relocation, getting an individual by force or any other means for any reason that is taking advantage of the individual just because you have power over them is as well abuse of power. The reason for the trafficking of human varies it can be for contemporary day slavery, forced labour, reproduction as well as for commercial sexual abuse.

The Facts

Human trafficking was at first known as slave trade. In the 1870s the human trafficking took, another turn that led to its abolishment these was due to the many crusades as well as humanitarians campaigns that talked about this crime on fellow human beings. They believed that slavery undermined the basic and most elementary human rights because slaves were treated as objects of fulfilling the purposes that led to them being acquired.

In the today’s world approximate of twenty-seven million individuals are enslaved all throughout the globe putting aside the fact that in every given nation slavery has been outlawed.

The price of human life has decreased significantly in the 19th century when the African slave trade put out. An Indian kid can be bought for a mere $35, a Brazilian agricultural laborer for $100 and an Eastern European woman for $500 in today’s world. Considering that in 1850, an African slave was nominally worth $40,000 these numbers are staggering (Feingold). The fact that people as a commodity have turned out to be expandable has led to human cost going down. Human population as tripled what was there in the late 19th century. In India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh there are approximately 18 million-debt bondage slaves, who are strained into slavery by lend sharks who give loans with unbelievably high interest rates and then claim payments in kind.

Human trafficking being a crime against humanity the United Nations set forth a body to deal with the issue of trafficking of persons. Every country in the world is affected by trafficking, either as a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims. UNODC, as a guardian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the Protocols thereto, assists States in their efforts to implement the Protocol to Prevent, restrain, and rebuke persons involved in human trafficking.

2010-membership register showed that over 100 countries have subscribed and signed the procedure, though translating it into certainty remains tricky (Kyckelhahn, Beck, and Cohen). Very few criminals are convicted and the majority victims are perhaps never identified or assisted. On 6 March 2009, UNODC launched the Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking to curb on the crime. There was an approximated annual profit of $32 billion proceeds from human trafficking globally. United Nations reports in 2009 showed over 2million people from various countries as victims of drug trafficking. Nevertheless, the statistics of human trafficking have inflated thus requiring the sponsorship of NGOs as well as other bodies that campaign against human trafficking. Due to the multi dimensional definition of trafficking being a procedure and the reality that it is a vibrant trend with persistently changing patterns concerning economic status, a great deal of the statistical estimation is faulty.

People smuggling differs from trafficking of persons in the fact smuggling usually call for travel, however, trafficking does not require that. Victims of human trafficking are not allowed to go away upon arrival at their destination rather they are apprehended in opposition to their will through acts of oppression and forced to work or provide services to the trafficker or others. The work given to the trafficked human beings is diversified and against the human rights. This is because most of them are sexually exploited while others are involved in highly abusive working environments. In addition to this, Forced labor involves coercing people to work against their own will, under the threat of violence or some other form of punishment, their freedom is restricted and a degree of ownership is exerted.

Statistics have indicated that men are more vulnerable to human trafficking unlike their female counterparts since they are able to perform better in untrained work. Sex trafficking victims are mostly vulnerable because of the situations they are found in. For instance, a teenage girl with no food, housing, and other basic amenities may be easily ruled by a male for provision of the same, which she will pay through sexual favors. “In 2009, U.S. Department of Justice report showed that there were 1,229-suspected human trafficking incidents in the United States from January 2007- September 2008. Of these, 83 percent were sex trafficking cases, though only 9% of all cases could be confirmed as examples of human trafficking” (Feingold).

Emergence of civil wars like it was in Lebanon exposes the displaced persons more Vulnerable to human trafficking. High vigilance by the United Nations watchdog against human trafficking (UNODC) and other NGOs fighting the vice have helped establish source countries, transit countries and even the consequent destination.Globalisation and the exponential growth in technology have altogether helped to get these facts. Involvement of the general Public and Mass media announcements has also aided combating human trafficking.

The impact of trafficking in persons

Human trafficking has a blow on the individuals it victimizes in all aspects of their lives (Besler 2). Each juncture of the trafficking process can entail bodily, sexual, emotional abuse violence, deprivation, torture, the mandatory use of substances, treatment, economic exploitation and abusive working as well as living conditions. Unlike other violent crime, trafficking usually involves prolonged and repeated trauma. Documentation and research describe how men, women, and children are abused in specific exploitative conditions and the short- and long-term physical injuries, disabilities and deaths that may result.

For a number of specified reasons, trafficked persons are at great risk of HIV infection. The trauma experienced by victims of trafficking includes post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, alienation, disorientation, aggression, and difficulty concentrating. While subject to the same harmful treatment as adults, child victims are especially vulnerable to trafficking because of their age, immaturity and lack of experience, to abusive practices that may for example, stunt their further physical development and to continued victimization because of attachment, developmental and social difficulties. The behavior of trafficking victims can be difficult for third parties to understand, while victims can find it difficult to comprehend what has happened to them, or to discuss it with or explain it to others. The long-term consequences of human trafficking for the individual are complex and depend on many factors, with no guarantee of recovery

Human trafficking is an issue of major international discussion and concern (Haken 4). As human trafficking more often than not involves transnational movement of people, one significant linked area of discussion is migration policy while the other concerns human rights aspect. The relevance of increased border control is noted, as is the status attributed to those who do not enter a State legally origin and destination that can have a direct impact on trafficking in persons are outlined, as the systemic challenges to be addressed so as to know a person trafficked from one country to another.

There is difficulty in quantifying the impact of human trafficking in economic terms. The costs of the crime of trafficking in persons incorporates many elements, including the value of all resources devoted to its prevention, the treatment and support of victims and the apprehension and prosecution of offenders. These costs may be offset in part by the recovery of criminal proceeds and assets of the traffickers. Trafficking in persons also results in loss of human resources and reductions in tax revenue. Further, trafficking in persons redirects the financial benefits of migration from migrants, their families, community and government or other potential legitimate employers to traffickers and their associates. All indications are that the income generated by related organized crime is significant and global.

Given the ongoing nature of exploitation, human trafficking generates a stable and regular source of income for criminal networks, with a consequent impact on other forms of criminal activity as well as legitimate business (Agustin). As a criminal act, trafficking violates the rule of law, threatening national as well as international jurisdictions. Organized crime is one of the most important mechanisms for unlawful redistribution of national wealth, unduly influencing markets, political power, and societal relations. These effects may be acute in countries responding to civil unrest, natural disasters, as well as post-conflict situations.

The corresponding challenges faced by Governments are in stark contrast to the opportunities created for human traffickers. As a complex manifestation of the global economy, organized crime and violations of human rights, human trafficking causes extreme hardship to the suspected millions of people worldwide who have become victims of it and also has an impact on the financial markets, the economies and the social structures of countries where it is allowed to exist.

Impact on the UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a target for men and women, in most cases from South and Southeast Asia, “trafficked for the purposes of labor and commercial sexual exploitation” (Degorge 660). Close to 90 percent of all UAE’s human labor force in the private sector is drawn from other countries that include among others India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, China, and the Philippines (Degorge 660).

People seeking employment head to these states determined from to work as household servants or executive staff, but some later are subjected to conditions in breach of their terms of employment. Trafficking of household workforce is facilitated by the fact that the typical protections provided to employees under UAE labor law do not apply to household workforce, exposing them to the danger of being mistreated.

As a loyal and accountable member of the international community, the UAE has remained proactively engaged in the global Anti-human trafficking campaign. The UAE receives large numbers of temporary contractual workers every year, who have made an important contribution to the development of the country. Unfortunately, criminals have been engaged in recruiting contractual workers and trafficking them illegally into the country.

For the majority of trafficked people, it is only after they arrive in the UAE that they realize that the work they were promised does not exist and they are forced instead to be employed in jobs or conditions to which they did not give their consent (Salvatore and Massey 78). UAE acts as a good attraction site for teenage girls and women from several countries who move there to work as domestic servants, but some consequently face conditions of uncontrolled servitude such as excessive work hours without pay, unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, and physical or sexual abuse among other inhumane treatments. Women from several regions are reportedly trafficked to the U.A.E. for commercial sexual exploitation.

Women are reported to have taken vacancies of secretarial jobs or hotel employees but later they were forced to become prostitutions or appeared in domestic servitude. The U.A.E. may also serve as a transit country for women trafficked into forced labor in Oman, and men deceived into working involuntarily in Iraq. During the last year, there were no new reports of children identified as trafficked for the purpose of camel jockeying, and the U.A.E. repatriated at least three former child camel jockeys from Sudan. Through the ministry of state federal council affairs, the government of UAE set up a national committee to combat human trafficking, which spearheads efforts to curb the crime and releases annual reports on the progress of the same.

Since the criminal activity begins from source countries, creating partnerships with both source and transit countries is now of paramount importance to the national strategy of the UAE. The government also recognizes the importance of addressing the commercial impetus behind human trafficking in any national legislation and policy. Trafficking is a thriving global business that generates billions of dollars and accounts for millions of victims every year (Global Programme against Trafficking in Human Beings). It is also linked to other organized crimes like human smuggling, drug trafficking and money laundering. The majority of transnational victims are trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation and the rest into forced exploitative labor.

The international community has recognized the implementation of the UAE’s legal and social support mechanisms during the last four years of its concerted fight against human trafficking. Although the UAE welcomes constructive help and criticism from international partners and organizations, the government will determine the anti-trafficking agenda. The UAE appreciates that as in many other countries, the challenges that the government agencies face in combating human trafficking are numerous and complex.

A Comparison

“Albania is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution, and forced labor, including the forced begging of children. Albanian victims are subjected to conditions of compulsory labor and sex trafficking within Albania and other states like Greece and Italy among others” (Dudley 1). Approximately 60 percent of the human trafficking victims referred for assistance within the country in 2009 were Albanians; primarily women and girls subjected to sexual abuse.

The young kids were compelled to begging and other forms of forced labor. Evidence show that Albanian men have been into the agricultural fields of neighboring countries, as forced laborers. Human trafficking in Albania is a bit different from the one in the United Arabs Emirates in that in Albania mostly acts as a source of the victims whereas in the United Arabs Emirates it acts as a destination of a majority of the victims who get into forced labor and prostitution or sexual abuse. Several people from a number of countries have fallen victims of trafficking of persons in the UAE in the disguise of jobs or contracts.

Human trafficking is such a great and highly pronounced crime that the government has had to set up National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking in 2006, which gives annual reports on the progress of UAE’s official campaign against human trafficking (Dudley 1). In Albania, on the other hand human trafficking is criminalized in the constitutions and no measures such as setting up of Committee to address the issue an indication that it is not severe as it is the UAE (Lewis). Albania does not only supplies women and girls for the international sex trade, but also acts as a major hub through which women from countries further east are taken to Western European markets. Albanian women and girls are either lured by false promises of marriage or offers of legitimate employment or kidnapped to work as prostitutes. Albania also helps in trafficking of foreign women and girls, the majority of whom are from Moldova and Romania, for sexual exploitation.

They are also brought in via Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, or Macedonia, then bought and sold in Albania before being sent to the port cities of Durres or Vlora for passage to Italy (Giuseppe 278). Initially the Albanian government had denied human trafficking as a serious problem, but at the wake of the new millennium and their wish to join the European Union they criminalized trafficking of women and children. Just as UAE, they embarked on mission of killing this vice through campaigns through TV programs and other media as well as educating the masses on the effects of the same.


As a major component of organized crime, with all its financial power, trafficking in persons has a complex and interlocking negative impact across human, social, political, and economic spheres. The destabilizing and dangerous consequences of human trafficking range from readily recognized violence, direct economic loss and major migration concerns to the less easily quantified, equally serious, but more complex effects of risks and harms to environmental, social, health and safety, and violations of human rights.

Trafficking in persons directly challenges the development of stable, more prosperous societies and legitimate economies, and works strongly against the reconciliation of political interests with humanitarian and human rights obligations. The range of trafficking-related crimes and their broad and interrelated impacts have created a cumulative threat to global peace, security, and stability and have shaped political, social, and economic responses at both national and global levels.

Works Cited

Agustin, Laura. Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labor Markets, and the Rescue Industry. New York: Zed Books, 2008. Print.

Besler, Patrick. Forced Labor and Human Trafficking: Estimating the Profits, working paper. Geneva: International Labor Office, 2005. Print.

Degorge, Barbara. “Modern Day Slavery in the United Arab Emirates.” European Legacy 11.6 (2006): 657-666. Print.

Dudley, Schuyler. “Human Trafficking in the Middle east and North Africa Region”. Topical Research Digest. N.d. Web.

Feingold, David. Trafficking in Numbers. London: Cornell University Press, 2010. Print.

Global Programme against Trafficking in Human Beings. Toolkit to Combat Trafficking in Persons. New York: United Nations, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, 2006. Print.

Haken, Jeremy. “Transnational Crime in the Developing World.” Global Financial Integrity. 2011. Web.

Giuseppe, Calandruccio. “A review of recent research on human trafficking in the Middle East.” International Migration 43.1 (2005): 267-299. Print.

Kyckelhahn Tracey, Beck Allen, and Cohen Thomas. “Characteristics of Suspected Human Trafficking Incidents, 2007-08.” U.S Department of Justice. 2009. Web.

Lewis, Bernard. Race and Slavery in the Middle East. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994. Print.

Salvatore, Coluccello, and Massey, Simon. “Out of Africa: The Human Trade between Libya and Lampedusa.” Trends in Organized Crime 10.4 (2007): 77-90. Print.

Cite this paper

Select style


Premium Papers. (2023, January 15). Human Trafficking as a Modern Day Slavery. Retrieved from


Premium Papers. (2023, January 15). Human Trafficking as a Modern Day Slavery.

Work Cited

"Human Trafficking as a Modern Day Slavery." Premium Papers, 15 Jan. 2023,


Premium Papers. (2023) 'Human Trafficking as a Modern Day Slavery'. 15 January.


Premium Papers. 2023. "Human Trafficking as a Modern Day Slavery." January 15, 2023.

1. Premium Papers. "Human Trafficking as a Modern Day Slavery." January 15, 2023.


Premium Papers. "Human Trafficking as a Modern Day Slavery." January 15, 2023.