Issues of Human Trafficking
People affected by modern slavery, another name for human trafficking, usually seek help from law enforcement first. This paper contains a literature review of scholarly works in an attempt to explain the issues faced by law enforcement in investigating trafficking in persons. Due to the complexity of the problem, law enforcement agencies are reported to come across many challenges in their efforts to combat human trafficking. This paper identifies and describes the issues that law enforcement departments face in investigating human trafficking. The literature review in the following paragraphs attempts to describe the issues that have emerged in the course of the law enforcement department to combat human trafficking. The victims, in most cases, will continue to live in the state of modern slavery since they largely depend on their masters for a living.
The victims will, therefore, be reluctant to report such cases given a chance since they are faced with insecurities in the event that their masters no longer support them3. Furthermore, the description of human trafficking by the U. S. government defines it as a complex process and this makes it difficult to combat trafficking in persons as a single crime. The response of the county and state law enforcers to cases of labor and sex trafficking has been quite limited5. Some states have not enacted the anti-trafficking statute. The local law enforcement agencies in such states, as a result, do not have a clarified procedure of tracking human trafficking or even handling incidences of human trafficking one they are identified. On the other hand, states that have enacted human trafficking statutes similarly lack clarity on the interpretation of human trafficking crimes due to an inadequacy of reports on similar cases.
A research by by Ross et al on community policing supports the inability of the local law enforcement agencies by arguing that law enforcement is most likely to handle a certain crime once they begin to understand and quantify the characteristics as well as the extent of the crime. Palermo Protocol of 2000 on modern slavery and the adoption of the congressional act on modern slavery, 2000. The United Nations Palermo Protocol covers labor trafficking, sex trafficking as well as organ trafficking. The United States TVPA does not, however, cover organ trafficking. Since, the enactment of the TVPA, the United States local, state and federal governments have enacted more statutes to protect human trafficking victims who assist the state to prosecute human traffickers7.
The research on the article was conducted through a review of the available work on human trafficking in the database of the National Institute of Justice, a review of government reports on human trafficking, and through a review of the available data from websites of anti-human-trafficking NGOs 8. Of the 70%, 34% concentrated on labor trafficking while 36% investigated sex trafficking. Most law enforcing officers concentrate on sex trafficking irrespective of the statistics placing victims of labor trafficking to be more since labor trafficking involves a large number of people9. For the law enforcement agencies successfully handle those affected by modern slavery and prosecute the offenders, agents experienced in handling human trafficking cases are needed. Experience in handling human trafficking is necessary as the agents need to be sensitive to the needs of the identified victims so as to buy their trust and cooperation.
Most victims of human trafficking come from communities who are known to have a mistrust with law enforcement agencies and hence the need for the agents to gain trust and hence cooperation of the victims10. The work covered the data and statistics on human trafficking that were available then on cases of trafficking in persons into and within the United States territory. The scholarly work aimed at identifying the processes that enable victims of human trafficking access assistance from the local, state and federal governments. To come up with the scholarly article, research was conducted in search engines that included GoogleTM and EBSCOhost. In conducting the research, there was an inconsistent definition of human trafficking by scholars, politicians, and practitioners. The definition provided by the Congress through TVPA was thus adopted for the purpose of the research.
The United States Justice Department has relied on the reports and investigations conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations to prosecute perpetrators of modern slavery14. However, there have been issues affecting the law enforcement agencies in their attempts to handle cases of trafficking in persons. For instance, the agencies have been unable to come to a consensus on whether a minor involved in prostitution is a juvenile criminal or a potential victim of human trafficking. Handling of minors involved in prostitution has widened the gap between the law enforcement agencies and the probable victims of sex trafficking as most treat law enforcement agencies as adversaries15. Moreover, the law enforcement agents come across victims of trafficking in persons when investigating other crimes.
Most of the correspondents noted that lack of enough translators was a challenge they had faced in their line of duty. The resources available for conducting investigations on human trafficking was also a leading challenge, with at least 62% of the investigators acknowledging it to have inconvenienced investigations. Similarly, 53% of the respondents quoted lack of adequate training and protocols for handling human trafficking as an issue that needed to be addressed17. Since lack of victim cooperation was the major problem facing human trafficking investigations. The research proceeded to capture data that could explain why victims of human trafficking did not prefer to cooperate with law enforcement agencies. Bibliographies Burke, Mary C. , ed. Human trafficking: interdisciplinary perspectives. Routledge, 2017. Chisolm-Straker, Makini, Susie Baldwin, Bertille Gaïgbé-Togbé, Nneka Ndukwe, Pauline N.
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