Human trafficking and sexual exploitation are significant problems in contemporary society that constitute a violation of human rights. They present a number of issues for law enforcement due to the difficulties in identifying and investigating instances of trafficking.
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The article discusses the role of technology in human trafficking, showing how the perpetrators use various devices as part of their criminal activity. Johnson (2017) then states that traffickers use notepads, laptops, and smartphones for communication, payment, navigation, and security purposes. The present paper will analyze the article and explain its significance to the topic of human trafficking.
First of all, the author argues that technology makes it easier for human traffickers to communicate with buyers and potential victims. There is a great variety of apps that are helpful to the perpetrators, including private messaging for contacting buyers and social media or dating apps for finding victims (Johnson, 2017). Indeed, other sources suggest that dating apps pose a threat of human trafficking, in particular, in the case of sexual exploitation (CBC News, 2019). The author also notes that various security features, such as Voice Over IP, make it easier for criminals to hide their activity from law enforcement.
The second argument presented by the author is that most mobile devices, including laptops, have a GPS feature, which allows tracking victims and ensuring that they do not escape or go to the police (Johnson, 2017). While this is true in some cases, victims might still be able to escape human trafficking without their mobile device, and it would be difficult for the perpetrators to locate them. The GPS function in smartphones can also assist law enforcement in finding the victims who are suspected of being involved in human trafficking. Thus, while this function might be used by the perpetrators at times, it is not always helpful.
Thirdly, the author shows that mobile devices enable traffickers to receive electronic payments. For instance, buyers have the option to pausing electronic funds, a prepaid card, or through a money transfer app on their smartphone or tablet (Johnson, 2017). The author is correct in saying that it is safer for illegal businesses to use electronic money instead of cash. Nevertheless, it could also be quicker for law enforcement to track such payments, so most traffickers are likely to refrain from receiving payment through electronic transfers.
The portable nature of many electronic devices is also discussed in the article. Johnson (2017) explains that portability allows traffickers to use all functions on the go, thus being more mobile. This is a significant argument since mobility is essential for traffickers to avoid being arrested. Using PCs or other non-portable technology would make it easier for law enforcement to locate the offices of human traffickers and eliminate them.
All in all, the article presents some significant arguments that explain how traffickers use electronic devices. This information is vital for addressing the issue of human trafficking as it could be used to create countering strategies. The material also showed me that there are both benefits and drawbacks of technology and that it can be used to harm people. To improve the article, it would be helpful to add references to official publications or news reports and to explore more sides to the issue. For example, the author could have explained whether some of these technologies are used by law enforcement to combat trafficking.
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Johnson, M. (2017). The role of technology in human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Police One. Web.
CBC News. (2019). Trio charged for allegedly using Tinder to recruit women, force them into sex work. CBC Canada. Web.