Making a person slave or selling them to earn money is the most degrading thing a human could do to another, yet this trade, this parasitic practice has been going on for ages. In today’s world too there are approximately 30 million slaves. Children, especially girls are bought and sold like commodities and forced into slavery, prostitution all over the globe. This is not a problem limited to one country, community or ethnicity, this is human problem.
Recently, hundreds of girls were kidnapped from a school in Nigeria by Boko Haram militants and there are reports in media that the girls are being sold to their captors as slaves for $12. Boko Haram is a radical Islamist militant group whose name means “western education is forbidden”. This incident has shocked many, but governments and people in general all over the world are in deep slumber when it comes to fighting the evil of Human Trafficking in their own countries. Canada is both destination and transit for human traffickers. MP Joy Smith who is leading the fight against Human Trafficking says that across Canada we have cases where young girls are bought and sold for money, even today. Being a country of immigrants Canada needs to learn to differentiate between a genuine immigrant and an immigrant brought here as commodity. Joy Smith informs that some cases have come to light where men from Canada get married to girls in their home countries and once the bride reaches here she is trafficked, the so called ‘husband’ earns money of the vulnerable woman who is in a new country and has no support system.
Besides young women, children are another target group for these human traffickers. They deliberately win the trust of their target, wean them away from their friends and family and then push them into slavery and sex trade. The victims have no place to go and are stuck with their captors till they are dollar worth for their trafficker. Many victims who escape this vicious cycle are so damaged in body and mind that road to recovery and assimilating themselves back into the mainstream is an uphill task. Drugs, prostitution have their roots in human trafficking too, infact all three are inter-connected and so is the victim. Across the world the current rules don’t help the victim much, they treat the victim at par with the Human Trafficker (if one gets caught) which is why many victims for the fear of law and imprisonment do not come forward to complain about their captor and keep on living a life of depravity. This has to change. Young men and women who are forced to live is inhuman conditions by criminals need to have faith in the legal system, they need to know that a helping hand is out there, only thing they need to do is to grab the hand and restart their lives.
Canada has come a long way in fighting Human Trafficking but there are miles to go. We need to re-work on the rules that protect the victims from further harassment and punish the criminals efficiently and effectively. It is upon every Canadian to be informed and empowered to act against human trafficking. We want our great nation to be known for its kindness, its warm people and natural beauty. We want it to be a travel destination of the world and not a Human Trafficking destination.
United Nations describes Human Trafficking as “Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.