Monday, December 23, 2019

Humans Trafficking


Hi all. I am back with pretty much posts TODAY. This will be my first post. I actually promised to share this a few weeks back and on my IG story but somehow I did not manage to find a good time to construct it properly. And I decided to share it here due to another reason that my phone lcd is acting up. It is pretty difficult to type especially when I am going to use the side keys, it is hardly detect. New phone? Nah, I don't have much money to buy a new one and not in my priority list too lol. Enough saying, I am about to start my sharing on the first topic for today's post: Humans Trafficking.

I believe many of us are only familiar that all victims of trafficking are abducted. Well that pretty much be conveyed on TVs. However, it is NOT TRUE. The fact is those who migrate legally can be victims of trafficking as well. It is also NOT TRUE that all the victims are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation (which is quite widely familiar to us). Hence, men also can be the victims. Trafficking is a worldwide problem.

It should be noted that humans trafficking is a criminal act. It violates human rights and also a form of exploitation. There are several types of humans trafficking such as:-

  • Forced begging
  • Forced labor
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Domestic servitude
  • Forced, underage marriage
  • Baby selling
Yes, thus it is not only for sexual exploitation as we saw on TVs (in movies mostly). Trafficked persons can be:-

  • Male & Female
  • Adult & Children
  • Foreigners & Nationals
  • A stranger, Family & Friend
  • Migrant with legal migration status
  • Migrant with illegal migration status or having no documents
  • Smuggled migrants
It should be noted that not all trafficking occurs in the same way or situation. The local context and specific situation will determine who is most at risk and how they are exploited. Hence, it is a case to case basis. 

What are the most commonly causes of the root?

  • Poverty
  • Unemployment/lack of opportunities
  • Social and cultural practices such as marginalisation/subordination of women, selling young women by their own families and others. 
There is actually a term which has known to be push and pull factors. What are these factors?

Push Factors

  • Poverty and desperation
  • Lack of education
  • Unemployment
  • Gender discrimination
  • Domestic violence
  • Live with dysfunctional families
  • Impact of conflict or transition on countries
  • Lack of opportunity for legal migration
  • Low salary or sorts
These are among the Push factors that have pushed many people to get involved in trafficking. They have become the victims by their own choice due to the circumstances mentioned above.

Pull Factors

  • Expectation of employment and financial reward including in the sex industry
  • Growing demand for commercial sex with children associated with the tourist trade of Paedophilia
  • Access to material benefits associated with a more affluent country
  • Improved social position and treatment
  • Perceived 'glamour' of a different daily life
  • Demand of 'House Maids' work for women
  • Demand of cheap labour

These are other factors that pull them to be involved in trafficking with or without them realising it. 

What are the consequences for the victims? Well, violation of human rights, no protection of labour laws, sexual and physical abuse or coercion, irregular status in the country of destination, victims treated as criminals, having risk or danger health and serious diseases physically as well as mentally, and last but not least difficult reintegration or stigmatisation. 

Talking about abuse and coercion. It can be other forms like excessive working hours, freedom of movement that is totally or partially denied, verbal or psychological abuse, not allowed to keep earned money or debt, sexual abuse or rape, forced substance abuse, deprivation of adequate food or water and lack of access to health care.

In regards of health risks, it depends. For example, due to physical abuse and deprivation may lead to physical health problems including death, contusions, cuts, burns or broken bones. When it involves threats, intimidation and abuse may lead to mental health problems including suicidal thought and attempts, depression, anxiety, hostility, flashbacks and re-experiencing symptoms. If it is specifically sexual abuse, it can lead to sexually transmitted infections that includes HIV. Others are like pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, vaginal fistula, unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion and poor reproductive health. 

Should be noted that women that trapped in sex trafficking may have sex addiction. The solution is to bring them for a therapy session(s). You know, we all have this kind of 'addiction' when we are used to something. For example, those who smoke. So same goes to these women. "We only smoke, not doing any illegal sex." No issue is worse than another. Look for solutions than pointing out which is worse just to make ourselves to feel better. That is one evil thing a person can do, I must say. Again, just an example. Also, an example of pre-trafficking health risk where a certain condition influence a person's vulnerability to being trafficked is like when a girl has lack of love and hence will do anything for her boyfriend (to get attention and the love she has always wanted) that will then eventually traps in sex trafficking.

To be more specific, the victims may face several reactions. Firstly, as stated above, psychological reactions as follows:-

  • Post-trauma stress symptoms or PTSD
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thought
  • Hostility or symptoms of Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED)
Secondly, the emotional reactions as follows:-

  • Fear of retribution by trafficker, of being criminally prosecuted and punished and of being thought of as a prostitute
  • Guilt for allowing oneself to be deceived, for violating the law and/or religious beliefs, for failing to raise the money needed by the family
  • Anger with themselves for getting into this type of a situation, with those who did not defend them and with society in general
Lastly, behavioral reactions as follows:-

  • Cognitive and memory problems
  • Withdrawal, irritability or aggression
  • Apathy or resignation
  • Helplessness, submissiveness 
  • Dis-empowerment
So, by looking at the consequences we may say that there are some reasons why the victims do not leave. For example, restricted movement like be kept in a restricted area to limit contact with the community and to extract the maximum work. Another example when their passports and documents are taken. So they have fear of be seen as migration (illegal) and of the law enforcement by the authorities in the country. Lastly, might be because of violence and abuse in which they are in poor condition and having lack of access to health services.

Besides having consequences on the victims, this also affects the countries of origin, transit and destination. This leads to the increase of irregular migration, growth and diversification of criminal organisation/activities as well as violation of national legislation on migration, labour and human rights.

In addition, trafficked persons don't self-identify because of the following reasons:-

  • Fear their traffickers
  • May not see themselves as victims
  • May suffer 'Stockholm Syndrome' (developed a misguided attachment to the trafficker)
  • May have post traumatic stress disorder and memory loss
  • May not trust immigration and police
  • May feel responsible for a family debt
  • May not speak local language/cultural differences
  • May be confused with prohibited/irregular migrant
It is hence important for us to identify trafficked persons. They are of the victims of organised crime and may have serious security concerns as well as information about criminal groups that they are willing to share. The victims also may have the urgency in requiring specialised treatment and care. This identification can help to build case data for policy and programming purposes too. 

You know, once a person is identified as a trafficked victim, the person is then offered protection, security and assistance. 

Section 44 of Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants  Act 2007 (Act 670)

Interim Protection Order
(1) An enforcement officer may, on reasonable suspicion that any person who is found or rescued is a trafficked person, take that person into temporary custody and produce him before a Magistrate within twenty-four hours, exclusive of the time necessary for the journey to the Magistrate’s Court, for the purpose of obtaining an interim protection order.

(2) The Magistrate shall make an interim protection order for the person to be placed at a place of refuge for a period of fourteen days for the purpose of carrying out an investigation and enquiry under section 51. 

(3) The enforcement officer shall, upon obtaining the order issued under subsection (2), surrender the trafficked person to a Protection Officer to place that trafficked person at the place of refuge specified in the order.

Section 43 of Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants  Act 2007 (Act 670)

Protection Officers

(1)  Social Welfare Officers or any other public officers to exercise the powers and perform the duties of a Protection Officer under this Act subject to any condition as may be specified in the notification. 

(2) The Protection Officer shall— 

(a) have control over and responsibility for the care and protection of the trafficked person at the place of refuge; 
(b) carry out an enquiry and cause to be prepared a report of the trafficked person as required under this Act; 
(c) have the power to supervise the trafficked person upon order by the Magistrate or direction by the Minister; and 
(d) have such other powers, duties and functions as the Minister may prescribe.

In conclusion, trafficked persons experience the cumulative effects of physical and psychological violence with significant health consequences. Hence, health care is essential to the recovery of trafficked persons. 

All of these information are basically from what I have learnt throughout my duty at Tenaganita (Women's Force), Penang. I hope this post can be a little bit of an eye opening and help many people to understand this issue better. Let us be less ignorant and care on what is happening around the world, closely around us. With that, I shall hope to see a better world for our next generation(s).

Thank you.

:: NN ::

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