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  • Describe the global burden, causes, forms, and impact of human trafficking
  • Identity the health implications (public and individual) of human trafficking
  • Describe the interventions used to combat human trafficking, and give examples of public health prevention approaches
  • Identify some key initiatives and partners in anti-human trafficking
  • Describe the role of demand reduction in combating human trafficking

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Case 1: Bopah: Cambodia

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Bopah lived in a rural village and married at age 17. Her husband took her to a hotel in another village in Cambodia and left her. Bopah discovered the hotel was a brothel and tried to escape, but she was forcibly detained and told she must pay off her price. Bopah’s “debt” increased due to charges for her food, clothing, and other necessities. Bopah could not leave. Several years later, ravaged by disease, she was thrown out on the street.1

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Case 2: Alin: Romania to Italy

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Alin is a 14-year-old boy from Romania who is sexually exploited by his father and sold to foreign tourists who frequent a section of Milan known for child prostitution. Alin’s father receives 40 euros each time his son is picked up. He uses the money for food and cigarettes. Under the Trafficking Victim’s Protection Act of 2000 and international covenants, child prostitution is, by definition, a form of human trafficking.

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Case 3: Boy Sewing Sari

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Young men sew beads and sequins in intricate patterns onto saris and shawls at a “zari” workshop in Mumbai, India (Figure 5-1). The boys who arrive by train from impoverished villages across India often work from 6 in the morning until 2 in the morning the next day. Some sleep on the floor of the workshop. If they make the smallest mistake, they might be beaten. All say they work to send money back to their families, but some employers are known to withhold their meager pay.

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Figure 5-1.
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Young men sew beads and sequins in intricate patterns onto saris and shawls at a “zari” workshop in Mumbai, India. (Courtesy of Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department. http://www.gtipphotos.state.gov.)

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Case 4: Street Child with Flowers

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Street kids, runaways, or children living in poverty can fall under the control of traffickers who force them into begging rings (Figure 5-2). Children are sometimes intentionally disfigured to attract more money from passersby. Victims of organized begging rings are often beaten or injured if they do not bring in enough money. They are also vulnerable to sexual abuse.

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Figure 5-2.
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Street kids, runaways, or children living in poverty can fall under the control of traffickers who force them into begging rings. (...

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