Human Trafficking and Ethical Behavior Breaches | Free Essay Example

Human Trafficking and Ethical Behavior Breaches

Words: 1667
Topic: Sociology

One of the serious crimes known to violate human rights is human trafficking. Idang (2013) defines human trafficking as “the forced transfer, recruitment, and receipt of people for purposes of mistreatment or exploitation” (p. 50). More often than not, the victims are compelled to engage in prostitution, offer forced labor, or donate their body organs (Idang, 2013). According to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), over 80 percent of trafficked persons are usually exploited sexually while 18 percent are offer hard labor (Gerassi, 2015). The organization also estimates that the world has over 20 million enslaved persons today. Most of the affected persons are children and females. Law enforcers have been implementing various measures to arrest individuals who attempt to traffic others, participate in the malpractice, or direct others. The nature of this crime presents numerous moral concerns that must be analyzed using a number of ethical models such as utilitarianism, deontology, and ethical egoism.

Thesis statement: Ethical theories such as deontology and utilitarianism guide human beings to condone specific actions such as human trafficking because they are unacceptable and fail to uphold the moral principles of the society.

Ethical Issues in Human Trafficking

History shows conclusively that human beings have been oppressed, tortured, and murdered for very many centuries. For instance, slavery was one of the greatest crimes against humanity (Todres, 2017). The Holocaust is another unforgettable occurrence that claimed the lives of many Jews during the Second World War. This kind of cruelty against human beings is still evident today. The only difference is that modern criminals do not oppress their victims openly. Human trafficking has become a serious problem that affects the welfare of many global communities society. Victims of trafficking have become slaves whose rights and liberties are abused. They are also forced to sacrifice their self-worth and happiness. This analysis shows conclusively that human trafficking is a big problem that amounts to ethical misconduct.

Every human being “has an inherent dignity” (Todres, 2017, p. 18). Additionally, the worth of an individual should be respected and taken seriously by others. It is the duty of human beings to treat their relatives, friends, neighbors, and community members equally. Any form of oppression is unethical and does not support the liberties of the affected victim. The loss of a person’s happiness and human rights is something that presents numerous ethical concerns.

Breaches of Ethical Behavior

Human beings should always be treated with dignity. Women and girls should also be respected because they have their unique rights as human beings. Forcing a person to do something without being paid is a form of slavery. These malpractices are therefore unethical in nature. Human trafficking is therefore a serious ethical issue because it contributes a lot to human oppression. A report released by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in 2014 indicated that more girls and women were trafficked from one region to another (Idang, 2013). The organization also placed human trafficking at number three in terms of revenues (Idang, 2013). This is a clear indication that more people might be trafficked in the future. Girls below the age of sixteen are forced to join the global sex trade.

These behaviors have continued to affect the welfare and wellbeing of many people across the globe. Many people believe strongly that trafficking human beings for sex trade or labor amounts to unethical behavior. Governments across the globe have been encouraged to implement new laws and strategies that can deal with this misbehavior. Unfortunately, the involved of organized crime groups and governments in the illegal trade makes it hard for the global community to record positive results (Todres, 2017). The final paper will therefore use the ethical theories presented below to analyze the issues surrounding this illegal practice.

Applying Ethical Theories and Perspectives

The proposed paper will focus on several ethical concepts in order to understand why human trafficking should be categorized as an unethical practice. Ehiakhamen (2014) believes that human beings should act in specific ways that are consistent with the values embraced by their respective societies. The key principles or moral attributes that support ethical behaviors include fairness, honesty, dignity, individual rights, and equality (Todres, 2017). With this knowledge, it can be easier for people to understand how different theories treat the issue of human trafficking.


This moral theory has been embraced by many ethicists and philosophers because of its ability to dictate (or guide) human actions. According to the concept, moral actions should be able to make people’s lives better. Such actions should be ethical if they contribute to human happiness while unethical ones maximize suffering. Utilitarianism focuses on the consequences of a specific action in order to understand its goodness (Gerassi, 2015). An action “will be right if it eventually maximizes happiness for the greatest number of people” (Ehiakhamen, 2014, p. 148). This means that human beings can engage in different actions that will result in happiness for more people.

The complexity of the theory makes it hard for human beings to determine the unique attributes of a moral action or decision. Additionally, some skeptics have argued that every person has his preference or definition of happiness (Todres, 2017). This argument explains why the theory might not offer concrete answers regarding the acceptability (or unacceptability) of human trafficking. This is the case because someone might accept to be trafficked and eventually become a sex worker. At the same time, the practice might corrupt the ethical foundations of the society. Todres (2017) goes further to argue that utilitarian arguments or decisions might maximize the happiness of more people while at the same time ignoring the rights of the targeted individual. However, the final paper will go further to argue that human trafficking is a serious offense that fails to fulfill the utilitarian principle. This is the case because the malpractice injures the emotions and rights of the victims. It also corrupts the moral values of the society such as respect for human rights and dignity.


This moral concept focuses on the wrongness or rightness of a specific action (May, 2014). Deontologists believe strongly that the acceptability of a situation depends on the wrongness or rightness of the action that caused it. Immanuel Kant, for instance, argues that it will always be wrong for an individual to lie. The ethical theory is therefore consistent with absolutism. This is the case because it argues that unacceptable actions are wrong no matter the emerging consequences (May, 2014).

Deontology is therefore a moral principle concerned with rights and duties (May, 2014). Human beings, according to the theory, should follow various moral principles if they are to act ethically. They should do so without focusing on the nature of the outcomes. People should follow existing moral rules in order to engage in acceptable actions. That being the case, the nature of an action plays a critical role towards determining its acceptability.

The issue of human trafficking can be addressed and analyzed using this ethical theory. Using the rule principle, human trafficking becomes an immoral action that is wrong from the very beginning. The absence of an acceptable system in the society that allows human trafficking justifies why the practice is unethical. The use of slaves for personal gains or desires would definitely affect the rights of more people in the society (May, 2014). This means that the problem will affect the welfare of the society and eventually result in the loss of human rights. Deontology is therefore a powerful moral theory that criminalizes human trafficking.

Ethical Egoism

The third concept is a perspective that can guide people to think about what constitutes moral behavior is ethical egoism. According to this concept, human beings should act in such a way that they satisfy their personal interests. The ultimate goal should be to produce happiness. The theory goes further to argue that no one has moral obligation to another individual (Todres, 2017). An act will therefore be right if it is the last option capable of producing happiness. More often than not, ethical egoism has been criticized because it fails to consider the happiness of the greatest number of people. Additionally, human beings tend to be motivated by their personal desires such as avoidance of pain. With this kind of knowledge, it will be possible to understand why the morality of human trafficking is interpreted differently by many people. Some individuals might embrace human trafficking in an attempt to maximize their happiness (Gerassi, 2015). On the other hand, the victims will experience immeasurable pain. When interpreted from different perspectives, ethical egoism can be used people who want to analyze the issues surrounding human trafficking.

Completing the Final Paper and Targeted Sources

In order to complete the final paper successfully, credible sources from journals will be used. The main objective of the final paper is to analyze the ethical issues surrounding human trafficking. Different theoretical views and ethical perspectives will be carefully discussed. This approach will present constructive inferences that can be used to support the above thesis statement. Deontology theory will be used to explain why human trafficking is a crime that threatens the rights and liberties of more people. The trafficking of a human being is wrong and illegal. This means that the consequences of human trafficking should not be used to determine its appropriateness. Utilitarianism will also be used to explain why human trafficking is unethical. This is true because the malpractice maximizes human suffering instead of promoting happiness. Persons who engage in trafficking abuse the rights and civil liberties of their victims (Idang, 2013). Finally, ethical egoism will be used to explain why moral theories should not be interpreted lightly. Such models present different viewpoints that can be accepted or rejected depending on the targeted question. The most important thing is to analyze the foundations and facts of human trafficking in order to address the malpractice for once and for all. The sources listed below will be used to complete the final paper and present evidence-based arguments.


Ehiakhamen, J. (2014). Between care and the ethics of utility: Towards a better human social relationship. Open Journal of Philosophy, 4(1), 144-150.

Gerassi, L. (2015). A heated debate: Theoretical perspectives of sexual exploitation and sex work. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 42(4), 79-100.

Idang, G. (2013). Eliminating human trafficking. Studies on Home and Community Science, 7(1), 49-54.

May, J. (2014). Moral judgment and deontology: Empirical developments. Philosophy Compass, 9(14), 745-755.

Todres, J. (2017). Physician encounters with human trafficking: Legal consequences and ethical considerations. AMA Journal of Ethics, 19(1), 16-22.