Human Trafficking in the Black Market
From sexual exploitation to forced and inexpensive labor, human trafficking transcends boundaries. Indeed, human trafficking is a notable example of an underground global industry in which the vulnerable persons are recruited and later exploited to provide forced labor and intimate pleasures. The modern human trafficking business involves not only the sex sector but also agriculture, industrialized, and hospitality industries. Prosecution and tightening of labor laws are used to curb human trafficking and, thus, protect women, men, and children forced to offer forced labor and sex services.
Labor and sex services are the primary services involved in the human trafficking black market. According to the United States Department of State (2020), human traffickers exploit both local and foreign victims in Colombia, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. The demand for cheap labor encourages the illegal market in which cheap and forced labor is available to immoral companies desiring to reap huge benefits from unlawful business activities. According to Johnson (2015), the trafficked individuals end up providing labor services to service industry including restaurants, as well as in farms within the agricultural sector. The victims are often promised lucrative salaries and safe working condition only to end up working overtime and earn meager salaries (Johnson, 2015). The use of forced labor derived from the black market through human trafficking is illegal because the victims are not better placed to protect themselves against misuse and also endure poor working conditions.
The victims of human trafficking also offer sexual services to other people. Per United States Department of State (2020), victims of sex trafficking in Colombia include Venezuelan migrants, internally displaced individuals, and those living with disabilities. Significantly, the intimate exploitation of women and children is necessitated by the black markets in Colombia and abroad. Nixon (2016) posits that vulnerable women and children find themselves entertaining and engaging in sexual intercourse with guests in streets, brothels, and hotels. The act of procuring sexual slaves from the black market is illegal because the victims do not consent for the sexual escapades that may also involve children. Additionally, the victims are improperly compensated for the sexual services they provide to guests and sex predators.
Labor and sex trafficking is being addressed by strengthening international labor standards and prosecuting illegal sex consumers. According to the United States Department of State (2020), strengthening international labor standards tackles the demand for inexpensive and forced labor. The traffickers tend to benefit from profits generated through forced labor in areas in which compliance to labor standards and laws are unenforced and unmonitored. As such, when the labor standards and regulations are consistently monitored and enforced, the cost of non-compliance prevails over the benefits derived by businesses from the illegal activities. The costs, thus, discourage businesses from procuring illegal workers. Moreover, The Colombian government is prosecuting consumers of illegal sex services through the country’s revamped law enforcement initiatives. According to the United States Department of State (2020), the Colombian laws criminalize sex and labor trafficking. The law further stipulates a punishment of between 13 and 23 year incarceration of offenders in addition to an imposed fine of between 800 and 1500 times the minimum monthly salary (United States Department of State, 2020). The punishment discourages traffickers from engaging in sex trafficking in black markets as they avoid the hefty punishment in case they are caught.
Human trafficking is part of the underground global industry where vulnerable men, women, and children are sold to offered cheap labor and sex. Indeed, the services are offered by the vulnerable individuals to businesses in the hospitality, tourism, and agricultural sectors. Notably, the illegal trade is established in Colombia where vulnerable immigrants are disposed of to offer the mentioned services in the country and abroad. Presently, the nation is tightening the labor laws to prevent businesses from exploiting cheap and forced labor. Additionally, through its laws that criminalize human trafficking, Colombia is prosecuting illegal sex consumers through imprisonment to deter people from engaging in the unlawful business.
Johnson, E. (2015). Business lawyers are in a unique position to help their clients identify supply-chain risks involving labor trafficking and child labor. The Business Lawyer, 70(4), 1083-1122.
Nixon, A. (2016). Sex/trade/work in the Caribbean- Challenging discourses of human trafficking. Social and Economic Studies, 65(4), 113-122.
United States Department of State. (2020). 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report: Colombia. United States Department of State. Retrieved from https://www.state.gov/reports/2019-trafficking-in-persons-report-2/colombia/#:~:text=As%20reported%20over%20the%20past,exploit%20victims%20from%20Colombia%20abroad.&text=Women%2C%20children%2C%20and%20adolescents%20who,groups%20are%20vulnerable%20to%20trafficking.