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Human Trafficking: A Threat to All


Human trafficking can be defined as the transportation of a human being into a situation or event that exploits them in one way or another. By this definition, it is arguable that many people have been trafficked over the last decade. Kushubekova et al. argue that on average 30 million people are in slave labor today around the world (1). Indeed, whereas there are different reasons why people are trafficked, the three most common are due to forced labor, sex, and debt bondage. All forms of human trafficking involve money for the person selling the other person. Additionally, a majority of the people who are trafficked are women and girls who are described as more vulnerable (Nielsen, p. 3). It can be argued that whereas a significant majority of human trafficking cases are forced, some are desired. This can be attributed to factors such as poverty and the desire for a better life. This essay analyzes the three mentioned types of human trafficking, proving that they are a threat to all of humanity.

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Forced Labor

Efrat notes that forced labor is the largest form of human trafficking in the world today (34). It occurs when people are trafficked for purposes of providing cheap and often free labor (“What is Human Trafficking?”). Initially, slavery was a form of labor trafficking as Africans were forcefully put in boats and transported to other parts of the world to work. One can argue that today, the most vulnerable people who are trafficked for this purpose are the poor and, often, desperate. It is important to note that today, it is not only people of color who are trafficked but anyone who might be in a situation that allows other people to take advantage. Arguably, there are people who are forced to work as domestic workers and do not live in their “owners” households at all (“Labor Trafficking”). Additionally, labor slaves are often found in agriculture and manufacturing industries where they are either paid too little or nothing at all (Hopper and Gonzalez, p. 178).

One reason as to why this form of labor is a threat to humanity is the fact that it degrades the people affected such that they come to believe that they are not worthy of better. In such a scenario, the affected see their role as laborers as their primary definition point and become accustomed to this life. It is plausible that this comfort in ideally being a labor slave will affect how future generations will see themselves and their place in society. Secondly, labor trafficking is a threat to all of humanity as it encourages inequality. This is both in terms of pay and social status.

Sex Trafficking

Kempadoo et al. reveal that this type of trafficking affects mainly women and children (19). Sex trafficking can be defined as any form of transportation of human beings to be exploited in any form of sexual way. Often, these victims are fully dependent on the person who trafficked them, making it difficult for them to seek alternatives. Nielsen explains that it is considered one of the largest businesses in the world as clients pay to have sex with these women and children yet they are not paid themselves but rather depend on the trafficker for food, shelter, and other basic needs (p. 219). According to the International Labor Organization, approximately 4.5 million people are victims of sex trafficking (Kushubekova et al, p. 1).

As mentioned, trafficked victims are fully dependent on traffickers and rehabilitation, especially for children, is difficult and takes time. This is one reason why this type of human trafficking is also a threat to humanity. Additionally, in the US, members of Prostitute Anonymous have been vocal about the fact that the majority were indeed trafficked and this is the reason why they are in the business of prostitution (Smith and Mac, p. 7). This goes to show that the impact of sex trafficking is felt even after the victims find a way to escape their captors. Due to the dependency angle, the victims are often poor and vulnerable so even when they escape their captors, the vicious circle of poverty continues.

Debt Bondage

According to the International Organization for Migration, debt bondage involves forcing someone to work to pay off a debt (“Debt Bondage”). This type of trafficking mainly affects children. It is interesting to note that a significant majority of children trafficked to pay off debt are put in the said situation by their parents. Arguably, there are victims of both sex and labor trafficking that are in their situations due to debt bondage as well. The International Organization for Migration states that traffickers might at first tell the victims that they will transport them to find work in a different country (“Debt Bondage”). However, on reaching the said country, the traffickers inform the victims that they have to pay back money that was used to transport them. This then takes years for the victims to “pay” up. Using this premise, it is arguable that some of the most vulnerable people who are trafficked in this manner are immigrants.

Just like the other two types of human trafficking discussed, debt bondage is a threat to all of humanity. One reason for this is the fact that a significant percentage of the world population is middle or lower class. The expansion of globalization makes it easier for these people to seek a better life for themselves and their families in other countries. This has led to an increase in recruitment agencies that have benefitted from taking advantage of people in such situations. Additionally, debt bondage, as mentioned, increases inequality, which, in turn, affects future generations.

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In conclusion, human trafficking is a threat to all of humanity as it creates a high level of dependency on certain people, enhances feelings of irrelevance among the victims, and increases inequality. There are three main types of human trafficking, namely, sex trafficking, labor trafficking, and debt bondage. Sex trafficking affects mainly women and children and is considered one of the most lucrative businesses in the world. Similarly, labor trafficking, which also includes slavery, is mainly found in agriculture and manufacturing industries. However, there are several cases of domestic labor trafficking where domestic workers are forced to work for no pay. The third type of human trafficking is debt bondage where people are forced to work to pay a debt. Each of the said types of human trafficking has dire effects on the affected victims and their future generations. Individual countries and human rights organizations have implemented policies that help curb the menace that is human trafficking.


  1. Efrat, Asif. “Global Efforts against Human Trafficking: The Misguided Conflation of Sex, Labor, and Organ Trafficking.” International Studies Perspectives, vol. 17, no. 1, 2016, pp. 34–54.
  2. Hopper, K. Elizabeth, and Laura. D. Gonzalez. “A Comparison of Psychological Symptoms in Survivors of Sex and Labor Trafficking.” Behavioral Medicine, vol. 44, no. 3, 2018, pp. 177-188.
  3. Kempadoo, Kamala, et al, editors. Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered: New Perspectives on Migration, Sex Work and Human Rights. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2016.
  4. Kushubekova, Saikal, et al. “Sexual Marketing of Women: Sex Trafficking From Former Soviet Union to Turkey.” WEI International Academic Conference, 2016, Boston. Lecture.
  5. Labor Trafficking.” National Human Trafficking Hotline, 2019. Web.
  6. Nielsen, Rachel. Domestic Sex Trafficking and Prostitution: Implications of Stigmatization. Graduate School of Professional Psychology: Doctoral Papers and Masters Projects, University of Denver, 2018. UOD, 2018.
  7. Smith, Molly, and Juno Mac. Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers’ Rights. Verso, 2018.
  8. What is Human Trafficking?Human Rights Commission, 2019. Web.

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1. StudyCorgi. "Human Trafficking: A Threat to All." December 30, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Human Trafficking: A Threat to All." December 30, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Human Trafficking: A Threat to All." December 30, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Human Trafficking: A Threat to All'. 30 December.

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