|Home Theories How people migrate 6. Traffickers Next page (7. Regulation)|
How people migrate
Trafficking is in principle different from smuggling. However there is often some overlap between the two activities, and the perpetrators may be the same people, so they are probably best thought of as opposite ends of a continuum.
People being smuggled are traveling voluntarily. People being trafficked on the other hand have in some way been coerced, taken by force, perhaps, or deceived. According to the US State Department annually at least 800,000, and possibly as many as four million people, worldwide were bought, sold, transported and held against their will in slave-like conditions.
Coercion at its most serious involves kidnapping, though
this is rare
nowadays, primarily because it is not necessary. Probably the commonest
form of trafficking involves deception. Traffickers pose as brokers offering
to find legitimate work abroad for young women and girls. But when the
migrants arrive they discover that they are expected to offer sex. This
happens all over the world but is particularly prevalent in Southeast
Asia in the Mekong
Not everyone who migrates for sex work, however, has been trafficked. Many are well aware of what they are getting into, so have only been smuggled. It is important to maintain the distinction between smuggling and trafficking in order to protect the victims and to prosecute the real criminals.
A commonly quoted estimate, made in 1994, suggested that
trafficking globally was a $6- to $7-billion business, though this total
also included smuggling.