Labor and Sex Trafficking: Unequally Prioritized

Globally, labor trafficking convictions accounted for 7 percent of 6,609 total human trafficking cases in 2015, while victims of forced labor make up 68 percent of the estimated 20.9 million human trafficking victims worldwide. The number of convictions pales in comparison to the scale of the crime.

ISSUE: Language Sensitivity in Human Trafficking Advocacy

Survivor video: how language can cause more harm and create barriers for support.

This video clip has been supplied by MCIS Language Services. It was developed as part of their online human trafficking training program.  To learn more about MCIS  and the innovative work they are doing in the counter-trafficking space click here. To take their online training click below for:

English Version or French Version.


"slavery" VS. "human trafficking"

Excerpt from END SLAVERY NOW blog:

"Language is fundamentally how we as humans communicate meaning. We choose specific words to mean specific things. It is also possible, however, to use specific words and be unaware of the meaning that can be (mis)interpreted from them. In the anti-slavery and anti-trafficking movement, there are two key words that we need to inspect: slavery and trafficking. What are we communicating when we use these words? In essence, what is their meaning?" -Minh Dang

Read Full post here


"VICTIM" VS. "SURVIVOR"

The use of the terms victim and survivor are widely discussed in the counter-trafficking space. Which one is correct? The following links are discussions on the topic from various outlooks. You can engage in our earlier discussion on the topic by clicking here.

BEHIND THE LABEL: WHO AM I, VICTIM OR SURVIVOR - Rachel Waddingham

'VICTIM' VS 'SURVIVOR': FEMINISM AND LANGUAGE - Rahila Gupta

WHY WORDS MATTER: VICTIM V. SURVIVOR - Akhila

 

ISSUE: Human Trafficking Vs. Human Smuggling

Trafficking in Persons and Human Smuggling

Laura Barnett, Julie Béchard

Issue | Human smuggling and trafficking in persons are subjects of increasing concern to border officials and law enforcement agencies.

Synopsis | Trafficking in persons and human smuggling are distinct but overlapping problems that involve complex immigration and exploitation issues. Border and law enforcement officials are actively confronted with the realities of these growing phenomena on the ground, while parliamentarians strive to find legislative solutions.

Human smuggling and trafficking in persons are some of the most controversial and challenging modern migration and human rights issues facing the Canadian government today, as demonstrated by intense debate over the issues during the 40th Parliament. Although human smuggling and trafficking in persons are often seen as synonymous, these related activities often involve quite distinct patterns of exploitation and victimization and differ with respect to geographical scope and legal framework.

Definitions

Human smuggling involves a person who facilitates the illegal entry of a migrant into a country, usually for a fee. The term conjures images of migrants being smuggled across the Canada–United States border, or arriving off Canada’s shores by boat. However, human smuggling can also involve the production and sale of false identification or immigration documentation. It is thus an international phenomenon involving illegal migration, and is an issue of concern to border and federal law enforcement officials.

By contrast, trafficking in persons involves the recruitment, transportation and harbouring of a person for the purposes of forced service by means of deception, coercion or debt bondage. Although the image typically associated with trafficking is that of women and children brought into Canada and forced into the sex trade, victims of trafficking also include those exploited as farm, domestic or other labourers. Unlike smuggling, trafficking is not necessarily an international phenomenon: it can occur across provincial as well as national borders, and even between cities.

Of course, the activities of trafficking and smuggling can overlap. For example, some illegal migrants pay a fee for their passage and are forced into service to repay their debt. Consenting migrant sex workers may be forced to operate in unexpectedly exploitative conditions. These points of overlap, where irregular migration begins to entail coercive and exploitative service, lead to a blurring of the lines between trafficking and smuggling.

ISSUE: WHO'S RESPONSIBILITY IS IT TO END MODERN SLAVERY?

It is the responsibility of all: businesses, whose supply chains may be affected; the financial sector, which may unwittingly facilitate illicit transfers of criminal proceeds; the consumer, who has the power to influence ethical business practice; and the police on our streets, who cannot shrug their shoulders and say that this is “too hidden a crime”

ISSUE: Unreliable 'Slavery' statistics and Corrupt Trafficking Reports

Academics and front-line not-for-profits committed to stamping out human trafficking seem to be embroiled in a inter-dependent relationship that is mutually conflicting and supportive.

Front-line not-for-profits (NFP) groan when their efforts are publicly criticized in the media and in academic papers. It sometimes costs them precious support both theoretical and financial. The old adage 'it is easier to criticize than create' seems highly appropriate and yet, those same not-for-profits need the voice of the media to create awareness and study findings provided by academics help support their grant applications and help answer difficult questions and requests for evidence from potential funders. 

In turn, academics who have devoted themselves to careful study of the issues watch in dismay as well-meaning but ill-informed groups launch themselves into providing 'aid' without a basic understanding of the issue or a careful critique of best practices. Academics provide an excellent resource for much needed evaluation that any responsible organization should not only welcome, but seek out.

And what happens when the statistics that NFPs rely on are called into question? For example, the world watches for the release of the US's TIP report each year. This year it has come under immense and seemingly well-deserved attack. NFPs watch in dismay as supporters turn their backs and funding dries up when there's a sudden shift in public perception that a very real problem may not exist or be grossly exaggerated. 

We seem to all agree that there are millions of people being exploited. How many exactly, no one knows. We also all seem to agree that people should not be bought and sold and treated without dignity.  So the question is...how can we work together to help? Are we doing a good job? Do we keep on fighting the good fight? Are there changes we can make to our approach that would benefit the movement? 

Below are some links to recent related articles: 

CORRUPTION STILL TAINTING THE TIP REPORT? - JULY 8, 2016

NEW OUTRAGE AT OLD PROBLEMS IN THE TIP REPORT - AUGUST 11, 2015

DEBASING THE US TIP REPORT - JULY 14, 2015

STOP THE TRAFFIK'S LIST OF STATS 

HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN AFRICA:  STATISTIC NIGHTMARE - JULY 16, 2015

ISSUE: Sex-Trafficking - Are Christian Activists Doing More Harm Than Good?

Trafficking, of course, has become a front-page cause in the Evangelical Christian world (what Ruth Graham calls “Christian Cause Célèbre” in this informative piece). This has resulted in both net-positives as well as some negatives, something I hope my dissertation will speak to on both counts.Trafficking, of course, has become a front-page cause in the Evangelical Christian world (what Ruth Graham calls “Christian Cause Célèbre” in this informative piece). This has resulted in both net-positives as well as some negatives, something I hope my dissertation will speak to on both counts.