Trafficking of Children and Human Organs
Child trafficking is the illegal procuring and transportation of children for sexual mistreatment or using them as a labor force. The trafficking of children may also involve any force of restraint such as kidnapping, deceit, fraud, or the abuse of authority. Other acts of this crime include offering payments to obtain the victim’s consent. Children are trafficked and exploited as domestic servants, street beggars, and prostitutes or even used in wars as child soldiers. On the other hand, the trafficking of human organs involves their trade as well as the sale of tissues for transplantation. The two activities are illegal in most countries in the world but are still practiced secretly by traffickers. Child trafficking, which is caused by poverty, ethnic conflicts, prostitution legalization, and social media, as well as the trafficking of human organs, are dangerous phenomena in society as they lead to families’ defragmentation, which also becomes a problem for society; therefore, such crimes should be dealt with at all levels, including local, national, and international ones.
Families’ Fragmentation due to Child Trafficking
Various studies have explored the widespread crime of child trafficking. However, not much is known about its magnitude. There exists a relationship between the issue of family fragmentation and child trafficking. According to Gibbons and Stoklosa, the majority of victims of child trafficking come from low-income families (717) because many of these low-income families have no other choice but to abandon their children. Thus, traffickers offer these families some money and promise that their children will have better lives. However, in almost all cases, this is a lie. Moreover, the majority of these children become engaged in prostitution, especially girls, and they are often used in the labor force.
Over the years, the number of orphaned children has rapidly increased due to poverty, especially in Third World countries, where these children are the main victims of child traffickers who always promise better working conditions and lifestyles in another country. Once they arrive in their new country, where the environment is completely unfamiliar, traffickers take control of these children’s lives. To decrease the chances of children becoming the victims of trafficking, various organizations, specifically UNICEF, aid governments in implementing proper laws and policies that enable to set labor standards and support the access to education for these low-income families. More to say, these organization works together with communities to change the practices that exacerbate the vulnerabilities of children to traffickers.
Recently, the issue of child trafficking and its association with ethnic conflicts has caused a significant concern internationally. Ethnic conflicts, resulting from either social, political, economic, or religious issues, lead to the displacement of individuals from family and community networks, which affects these individuals’ access to economic and social safety nets. Due to wars in different countries, the number of orphans and street children rises, which subsequently increases the incidents of child trafficking as such children are the primary targets for traffickers. Thus, conflicts lead to children being removed from their families and put into the hands of human traffickers. People flee from their homes either to escape the ongoing wars in their country, natural disasters, economic hardships, or due to political instability.
With hundreds of millions of people all over the world being active on different social platforms, child traffickers have access to a huge number of people to them their victims. The majority of these criminal activities are made online since on the internet, traffickers can hide their identity and prevent themselves from being caught. Thus, they use different social media platforms to find potential victims (Fraser 100). At the same time, there is also the dark web that gives access to a wide range of black markets with trading avenues for child and human organ trafficking. Therefore, governments should implement comprehensive solutions to tracking such criminals through online channels to protect victims and enforce laws in dealing with child traffickers.
Legalization of Prostitution
As mentioned earlier, child trafficking can result in victims being sexually exploited. Many girls, who become victims of this crime, are also exploited for commercial sex, especially in the countries where prostitution is legal and traffickers earn revenues from this. Research indicates that 82% of the 25,000 federal trafficking cases between 2008 and 2010 were apprehensive over sex trafficking, with a big number of victims being underage - under 18 years old (Banks and Kyckelhahn 12). For example, traffickers approach low-income families, offering them to sell their girls for money and promising a good job for them. However, as soon as the latter leave their home country, things become the opposite of what the traffickers had promised. Therefore, girls are forced into prostitution and sex slavery, which exposes them to many risks such as diseases and even death. Research shows that countries that have legalized prostitution have more cases of child trafficking than in those states, where prostitution is illegal (Cho et al. 70). Therefore, the first category of countries is where many of these girls arrive. However, as some of them might be underage, this business is conducted illegally, without the knowledge of the concerned officials, even though prostitution is legal,
Causes and Effects of Human Organs’ Trafficking
The problem of human organ trafficking is another disturbing issue that the modern world struggles to fight. The sad reality is that such activity occurs in many parts of the world. The main victims of this trade are the uneducated and people from such countries as China, India, and Nepal. According to Makei (91), the human organ trafficking trade occurs in three major categories. The first one is the case when victims are forced or deceived into allowing to remove a particular organ. In the majority of cases, such people are kidnapped and drugged, so the organ is removed without their consent. The second case is when people agree to sell their organs for a price, and their agreement is either formal or informal. However, quite often, they do not receive any payments or the payment is much lower than what they had originally expected. Lastly, the victims of organ trafficking may be tricked into thinking that they have certain disorders or illnesses that may or may not exist. Thus, their organs are harvested without their knowledge. However, in most cases, giving up the organs in exchange for money is what makes people become the victims of this criminal business.
The illegal trade of organs and their trafficking is not restricted to a specific age as people of all ages can be victims. Most commonly traded organs are the kidneys, heart, liver, and any other organs that can be transplanted into another human being (Watson 229). The high demand for human organs around the world has caused a disheartening but rather familiar dynamic. Thus, body organs from the poor go to the rich buyers, especially in the United States, Israel, Canada, and Europe. In other words, these organs are used to save the lives of rich people, but this practice destroys the lives of poor individuals.
Kidneys are the most transplanted organs; therefore, they are the most trafficked ones. Traffickers look for potential victims who willingly or unwillingly wish to part with their kidneys and sell them to the rich people who need them.
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Apart from Iran, the practice of selling human organs for money is illegal everywhere else in the world. Despite this, the organ trade on the black market keeps developing quite successfully. The Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group, formed in 2008, is an example of organ anization that has been established specifically to fight traffic. This organization seeks to curb the worldwide trade in human organs and minimize the travel for commercial organ transplantation (Jafar 1150). The Declaration of Istanbul offers ethical guidelines for policymakers and medical practitioners, working in the field of organ transplantation. Other countries, such as India, Egypt, and Pakistan, have enacted new laws that disallow the trade of human organs. Moreover, Capron and Delmonico add that countries should take full responsibility for meeting their own organ transplant needs by pursuing dependency (60). These efforts can be quite beneficial in stopping this global menace.
Despite child and organ trafficking being significant vices that continue to demoralize modern society, there is a positive side to them. For example, child trafficking helps low-income families improve their financial situation after they sell off their children to traffickers. These children might also actually find a better life through good luck. Moreover, child trafficking might help reduce the number of street or homeless children. The same case applies to organ trafficking. Those who sell their organs willingly do so because they need money. Therefore, this becomes an advantage for them. Consequently, since these organs are traded to be transplanted to other people in need of healthy organs (Jafar 1151), the trafficking of human organs is beneficial to the recipients of these organs since they help save such people’s lives.
Child and organ trafficking are not acceptable in many societies. Therefore, this problem might become too difficult to solve if not taken care of. Resultantly, families are at risk of being broken apart. Thus, it is every county’s responsibility to ensure that the laws that are concerned with dealing with human and organ trafficking are fully implemented and enforced properly. Furthermore, since poverty is the main cause of both human and organ trafficking, the global community should take a stand in addressing the extreme poverty in the countries where trafficking is prevalent. However, as long as there is global inequality, the issue of child and organ trafficking will continue to be a problem.
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