The United States has always focused on the issue of freedom and liberty for its citizens. These are the key aspects that the country is promoting and working to preserve. These policies have started creating a threat to the United States from their enemies. These states perceive the policies promoted as a possible threat to their efforts in struggling to become economically stable. There has been immigration into the United States by various individuals from different countries in search for jobs and freedom. This results to brain drain in these states where immigrants emerge. This creates envy on the United States and the enemies always seek to destroy the reputation of the United States. Several issues pose a threat to the homeland security of the United States. These include drug trafficking, terrorist attacks, human trafficking, and cyber terrorism among others. All these issues pose a threat to the welfare and the development of America both within and outside the borders. The enduring vulnerability of the United States necessitates the restructuring of the United States security mechanism. Policies and strategies should be developed with the objective of ensuring proper measures are in place to combat the threat of homeland security. Certain security issues have been rampant like the drug trafficking both domestically and internationally. This paper seeks to analyze the threat posed to the homeland security by human trafficking.
The core mission of the United States is to protect its boundaries and citizenry from terrorist attacks. President George W. Bush acknowledged the complexity of ensuring a state that is free from attacks. However, with coordinated efforts from all the citizens combating the security threat is possible. Human trafficking takes different forms and is purposed for different intentions by the propagators of this vice. Human trafficking entails a violation of human rights and exploitation of personality into forced labor. Human trafficking also takes the form of sex trafficking where individuals are forced into commercial sex. Human trafficking that occurs within the borders of the United States is regarded as domestic human trafficking. Women and children form the highest percentage of the individuals involved in sex trafficking. The victims of sex trafficking comprise of both noncitizens and citizens of the United States.
States have always endured to create an environment that is free from crime. Investigations relating to the issue of human trafficking have always been done by various states. Several prosecutions have been made in relation to the investigations made, and culprits awarded the necessary punishment. Most of the states make it illegal for any person to indulge in human trafficking that includes the sex trafficking mostly attributed to the children. States have as a result, devised laws that prohibit human trafficking in an effort to protect its citizens from this vice. Human trafficking is comparable to other crimes associated with security threat and in some states it carries an immense penalty. The rate of human trafficking for sexual purposes is high compared to the trafficking for labor exploitative purposes.
The increased rate of sex trafficking has been caused by various factors. The increased prostitution demand and other forms of commercial sex have led to increased crime. The skyrocketing profits made by sex traffickers have resulted to an increased number of sex traffickers. The traffickers always take advantage of the vulnerable youths and especially the young girls, and they manipulate them to commercial sex. The vulnerability is contributed to such aspects as poverty. In this sense, the young girls indulge in commercial sex with the objective of meeting their basic needs. Poverty is an issue that is propagating human trafficking for commercial sex purposes.
Technology is another factor that has contributed to the promotion of human trafficking. The presence of technological innovations such as telephone and internet connect the buyers of sex and the sellers. The sex traffickers are in a position to connect with their client from all corners of the world. This ensures steady market for commercial sex thus enhancing sexual trafficking activities. A variety of the situation and environmental variables promotes the availability of commercial sex mostly among the children. The existence of commercial sex among the adults is one of the environmental variables that lure the young into sex. Researches that have been done conclude that human trafficking is both demand and supply driven. The monetary benefits received by sex traffickers and the sexual satisfaction by the buyers of sex serve to promote this vice (Finklea, Fernandes, & Siskin, nd).
Effects of Human Trafficking
The vice of human trafficking despite causing security threat to the state has several consequences on the human race. Human trafficking has social consequences on the victim and community at large. These consequences are severe on the part of the community, families, and the individual victim. The human trafficked is often denied the rights of freedom. The victim is also denied the opportunities that may arise in the future in their duration of life and the period trafficked. This causes harm to the individual through the exploitation process. In cases of human trafficking involving children, there is curtailing of the right to education to the children. This may inflict psychological suffering to the culprit and his/her functionality in the society may be severely affected. Adults, who are victimized in the context of human trafficking either for labor or sex exploitation, are often denied the right to marriage and having children. Males trafficked as laborers often fall vulnerable to suffering pain and injuries related to their work. Those men, who cannot send money to their families, often place the family members in a vulnerable state. Men are always regarded as the providers, and the moment they fail to work, they make the family members vulnerable. These devastating social consequences deprives the victims their rights to social coexistence.
The health of the victim is put to risk. Individuals who fall victims of human trafficking are often overworked and are not fed properly. Lack of proper diets may have dire consequences on the lives of the victims. Diseases resulting from malnutrition are likely to emerge. Some of these diseases are contagious and may even spread to the entire community where these victims are held. Those individuals trafficked for sexual exploitation are vulnerable to contacting sexually transmitted diseases. The buyers of sex may be having sexually transmitted diseases and in the event of abusing the trafficked human sexually transmit these diseases. Even if, these humans are released, the pain and harm inflicted on them may haunt them for the whole of their future lives. Health issues may be as a consequence of physical damage inflicted to the culprits in the event of their hard work. Those trafficked for the purpose of labor exploitation is engaged in hard labor beyond their capacity. This may result suffering of physical damage that deters them from proper functionality.
The other consequence of human trafficking relates to the threat it poses to the security of the state. Citizens and especially those vulnerable often feel insecure since they have the risk of exploitation. Security is an essential aspect in the lives of individuals as well as their operations. When the security is at risk, even the economic growth and development of the state is compromised. All these consequences are devastating and often compromising the functionality of an individual and that of the state (Hart, 2009).
It is, thus, considered the sole responsibility of the state to protect its citizens and safeguard the security issue. To achieve these, certain policies need to be put in place together with developing strategies that will improve the existing policies.
Every government advances to provide protection for the rights of it citizens. Certain policy measures and strategies need to be put in place to combat the vice of human trafficking. In protecting the vulnerable citizens to human trafficking, the united States need to come up with measures to abolish the slavery in the modern-day society. The United States is the champion in the role of human rights protection and should thus seek to lead in the fight against human trafficking. The United States should endeavor to fight this vice both within and outside its boundaries.
Several measures have been taken with the objective of fighting human trafficking. A congressional research found out that the existing laws were not concrete enough to offer a solution to this vice. The culprits of human trafficking often escaped full prosecution under the existing laws. These findings resulted to the development of law, Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TVPA) that had its reauthorization in year 2005. The law was harmonized to protect the victim of human trafficking. The law was also intentioned to criminalize the act of human trafficking and set strict punishment measures to sex traffickers. The law tightened the consequences of the culprit by increasing the sentence term.
The law provides minimum standards in the case of eliminating human trafficking. This also makes it possible for the government of the United States to assist other countries in meeting the standards. The assistance is provided in terms of funding the process of prosecution. The assistance is also provided in terms of guidance to the foreign states in developing laws that punish and prohibit the actions of human trafficking. Sanctions relating to non-humanitarian may be imposed on states that fail to act according to the minimum standards set under the TVPA. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provides certain immigration relief to the victims of human trafficking. These include continued presence for victims of human trafficking and who act as witnesses in prosecution of human traffickers.
These measures are, however, not enough to combat the current state of human trafficking. Given that human trafficking occurs both within and outside the borders, United States need to develop strategies to combat this vice in other countries. The United State is the global leader in the fight for human rights. The government should also work in collaboration with other agencies, like the non-governmental organizations, to stop this vice. The various police departments, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the immigration police, should ensure proper measures to combat traffickers. The security departments provide a multidisciplinary approach to solving this vice. Immigration officers are critical in combating cross border trafficking (Murthy & Smith, 2010).
Human trafficking is a vice that poses security threat to lives of people within the state. The consequences of this vice are dire and have far reached effects. In this regard, the government should use all measures within its reach to combat it. The various agencies involved in the promotion of human rights should work in collaboration with the state government in ensuring observance of human rights. The law implementing authorities should ensure proper measures are put in place, and that citizens abide by the set laws and procedures. Although this is not the only security threat, critical attention should be given to human trafficking.