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What is human trafficking? What role does globalization play in human trafficking? Why is human trafficking a major issue? How can human trafficking be ousted?


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This research is an investigation of the effect of globalization in trafficking cases. Much of the researches carried out have elaborated on the vast role globalization has contributed to trafficking cases worldwide. This research is mainly focused on trafficking cases in women and children in Nigeria and it would be compared to developed countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, and Europe. We will look at how globalization has ushered in an increase in trafficking cases and also analyze ways to oust trafficking or even curb it.

Keywords: Globalization, Human Trafficking.

This section contains the definition of the key points of this research which are “Globalization” and “Human trafficking”. It also gives us a briefing of the texts that we consulted in this research which is the literature review. Below is the list of content for this section.

Definition of Globalization
Globalization according to (Griswold, 2000) is defined as the growing liberalization of international trade and investment, and the resulting increase in the integration of national economies . A whole lot of advantages are associated with globalization some of which are faster economic growth, poverty reduction, and promotion of democracy.
As the world evolves into a global community, the transfer of people, whether voluntary or by force has become a peril. Also for a developing country like Nigeria where citizens are constantly in search of greener pastures, its female population, particularly between ages 10-30, falls prey to human trafficking.

However, globalization is the word used to describe the growing interdependence of the world’s economies, cultures and populations brought about by cross-broader trade in goods and services, technology, and flows of investment. People and countries have built economic partnerships to facilitate these movements over many decades. The term “Globalization” gained popularity after the cold war in the early 1990s, as these cooperative arrangements shaped modern everyday life.

Human Trafficking (Stop)
Human trafficking, which is immensely influenced by globalization, is defined as the recruitment, transportation, harboring, or receipt of persons either by use of abduction, force, fraud, deception or coercion, by the giving or receiving of unlawful payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for exploitation (Martin and Miller 2000).
Human trafficking according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world and it is second only to drug dealing (USSD 2004).

Human trafficking is always associated with acts of threat and other forms of coercion, fraud, and abuse of power as well as the exploitation of prostitutes. It is usually a parasitic dependence between a developed country and an underdeveloped country with the former feeding on the disadvantages of the latter.

This research is non-empirical data-oriented research that draws findings from the text which will be discussed in the literature review. This section has laid a foundation by giving us the background information and the basis upon which this essay is built on.

Literature Review
The issue of globalization and human trafficking for a long has been the topic of major researches and essays with each researcher, focusing on a different aspect of the phenomenon especially on the negative effects of globalization. Below are summaries of a few of such essays;
1. Effects of Globalization on Human Trafficking – Kwami Azluninu Kwarfeng
The focus of this essay was on the adverse negative effect of globalization which is human trafficking. Also, this essay aimed to establish the link between globalization and human trafficking.
In this research, Kwame pointed out that the ever-growing integration of International Markets as a result of the expanding global flow of goods and services and information has undeniably led to migration. This migration in turn has led to abuse of power by the host country by trafficking migrants seeking greener pastures.

This research however was non-empirical and adopted the push and pull theoretical framework as the basis of his research because the theory uses the synthesis of conditions to explain the existence of two groups of countries or people in the world, the economic buoyant ones and the economically disadvantaged ones. Another reason why he adopted this theory as the basis of his research is that the theory draws a better comparison between modern-day human trafficking and the slavery of the old. For example, the trans-Atlantic slave trade which was a lucrative business that epitomized economic globalization just like modern human trafficking thrived on supply and demand, and both trades are abhorred by well-meaning citizens (Kwame 2018).
At the end of his research, Kwame was able to establish that the increase in economic interdependence between an under-developed country and a developed country leads to abuse of power which in turn fuels trafficking.

Correlation Between
1. Human Trafficking and Globalization: Pamela Encinas (2018)
Unlike Kwame who established that trafficking is a disadvantage to globalization, Pamela sought to establish the correlation between the former and the latter.
According to Pamela, there is a clear correlation between economic policies made in wealthy countries like the United States and an increase in people who are vulnerable to trafficking. Pamela, adopted the neoliberal theory as a basis for her research because to her, the neoliberal policies of the 1980s opened financial markets, welcoming foreign competition, and created a “liaises-faire” (hands-off) approach for governments and these policies led to human trafficking because the average American is not willing To work for $10 a day, hence employers are always seeking for cheap manual labor from migrants. The point to note is that these policies also affect well-developed countries but not negatively.

At the end of her research, Pamela was able to conclude that when industrialized states do not develop legal migration systems that meet the needs of the economy and the labor demands of employers, migrants have no choice but to resort to smuggling and high levels of risk and exploitation as means of survival. This is how economic policy perpetuates the human trafficking narrative around the world.

Human Trafficking in Nigeria
Briefing Paper for the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons especially women and children. This paper was made for the special rapporteur in October 2015 in preparation for her mission to Nigeria. It provides an overview of the issues of trafficking in Nigeria, including;
1. The main forms and manipulation of human trafficking in Nigeria; in the West Africa sub-region the phenomenon of trafficking in person is widespread and Nigeria occupies a central position as a country of origin, transit, and destination of trafficking. Nigerian women and girls are victims of trafficking mainly recruited for domestic service and sex trafficking while boys are generally forced to work on plantations or commercial farming. Trafficking of young women from Nigeria to Europe for sexual exploitation is one of the persistent trafficking flows, as it is very well organized and difficult to detect. It is the center for the distribution of trafficked Persons to West Africa and Gabon and Cameroon . Nigeria also serves as a point of transit for trafficked persons from the Republic of Benin and Togo to Europe and the Middle East. Nigeria also remains a destination point for the victim of human trafficking as it receives trafficked victims from Chad Niger, Ghana, etc. The point to note here is that Nigeria serves as an origin, destination, and transit of trafficked victims.

Other issues of trafficking discussed in this paper are;
1. The Nigeria setting
2. The legislature policy and institutional framework
3. Countering Boko-Haram

At the end of the paper, a conclusion was made that the Government of Nigeria does not fully comply with the minimum standard for the elimination of trafficking, for instance, the government has to implement formal procedures for the return and reintegration of the Nigeria victims to ensure that victims are afforded adequate care upon their return to Nigeria, take proactive measure to investigate and prosecute Nigerian officials suspected of trafficking-related corruption and complicity in trafficking offenses, and fully integrate anti-trafficking responsibilities into the work of the Nigerian police force and the ministry of labor .
4) Transcience Journal: Human Trafficking in the era of Globalization Majeed A. Rahman (2011) .
Majeed .A. Rahman wrote an article on human trafficking in the era of globalization: The case of trafficking in the global market economy. The article tried to show that human trafficking is a global issue that needs the attention of everyone to eradicate it. He was able to identify problems of human trafficking, some of which are;
1. Domestic trafficking; has been the internal form of human trafficking in a society or country. While countries differ from one another in terms of size and development, the problem associated with human trafficking in these regions remains the same. The most common problems are “cultural trafficking”. This is a case where victims of human trafficking are stripped of their beliefs, tradition, and cultural practices and made to adopt the life of the oppressor. If a victim is taken away to a new country, he or she adapts the life such as new food, language, clothes, and in certain cases, hairstyles to blend in the host country. The main point here is that some cultures condone and connives with the cultural practices of the people to ensure their own.

Another problem he identified was religious trafficking; in northern Nigeria, for example, the Tijaniya, branch of the Shai Muslim sector in sub-Saharan Africa, recruits young children for religious and training purposes. These children are usually prevailed upon to go and beg with empty cans and bottles on Principal Streets for several hours a day and send the proceeds to the Sheikh or imams. This insolence of forced labor is no doubt an astonishing one, making these children vulnerable on the street where they are often taken advantage of them with money.

Summary of chapter
This section was able to succinctly explain that human trafficking is an after of globalization. After reviewing the text above one will come to discover that human trafficking is a case of a parasitic relationship between a developed country and a developing country.
Every researcher who has ever worked on human trafficking and globalization case points that the former is a disadvantage to the latter. Human trafficking is majorly always between a developing country and a developed country e.g. Nigeria and Italy . This is not to say that rural or internal trafficking don’t occur but when and where there is an increase in economic interdependence and opening of borders with inefficient migration policies, there tend to be smuggling and illegal migration, and where there is illegal migration, people are going to abuse power as stated by Kwame(2018). Each researcher in the reviewed text was able to draw attention and at the same time proffer possible solutions to the evils of globalization and how it eating deep in our society particularly in the developing countries.

Research Proposal
This literature review focuses on the effects globalization has on human trafficking cases in women and children. In other words, this research dissects the adverse negative effects of globalization especially in a developing country like Nigeria i.e. the role of globalization in human trafficking especially women and children, it also aims to clarify why globalization is a major contributor to the fast-rising rate of human trafficking in women and children especially in a developing country like Nigeria.

Research Aim
A study of this kind is important to prove and showcase that the increasing integration of the international market as a result of the rapidly expanding worldwide flow of ideas, goods, services, and information and capital has polarized people and also made many not pay the much-needed attention to the social evils of the phenomenon among which are Human Trafficking.

Research Questions
• What is human trafficking?
• What role does Globalization play in human trafficking?
• Who is affected by human trafficking?
• Why is Human Trafficking a major issue?
• How can human trafficking be ousted

Research Objectives
• To clearly explain what human trafficking is.
• To ascertain how globalization is a major contributor to human trafficking especially in women and children.
• To identify who is affected by human trafficking.
• To give reasons why human trafficking is a major issue
• Ways to oust human trafficking

Human Trafficking lacks empirical data and because of its covert nature, there are no reliable or proper research methods to collate compelling data to get a reasonable estimate of trafficked victims and how globalization plays a key role in it.
Hence the data utilized for this study is non-empirical and the literature review is carried out by extensive research via an academic database for an academic paper relating to trafficking, globalization, and the slave trade. Also, Google search engines were used to make related searches as well. The searches were focused on materials related to Nigeria. The theory that forms the basis of this research is the “Push and Pull theory” ; because it uses synthesis conditions to explain or compare the existence of two groups: one rich and one poor.
Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, through the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or a position of vulnerability or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for exploitation (UNODC.ORG 2021).

This crime is considered one of the most shameful and infamous crimes in the world today and it is affecting the lives of millions around the world particularly in developing countries like Nigeria and it is robbing its victims of their dignity because it has reduced them to objects of trade which are bought and sold to service the demands of global consumers for cheap goods and services. Italy has the largest population of Nigerians victimized by human trafficking . Studies have shown or found as many as 10,000 Nigerian prostitutes in Italy are subjected to human trafficking .

According to “Wikipedia” the Human trafficking of Nigerian women to Italy began in the year 1960, because of the demand for low-skilled labor in agriculture and services . This resulted in the desperate scheming of people with the impression of offering jobs and better life but indirectly selling them off or even exchanging them in return for money.

According to research conducted by Okojie, (2016, P22), it was discovered that over 100 girls with ages ranging from 10-15yrs are smuggled from Nigeria through Togo to Europe and other parts of the world every year . There is an estimate of 1,888 to 2500 minors working as prostitutes on the streets of Italy .

Globalization has so many definitions and it is a broad subject such as Human Trafficking. For the sake of this research, we would look at the definition by ( which defines globalization as the development of an increasingly integrated global economy marked especially by free trade, free flow of capital, and the tapping of cheaper foreign labor-markets that transcends nation-state boundaries .
It must be acknowledged that forms of slavery and human trafficking are not just outcomes of globalization; they are part of the globalization process itself that involves a functional integration of dispersed economic activities .

Although globalization has increasing interdependence connectivity and integration on a global level, it has brought about an increase in economic prosperity and opportunity in emerging economies . A lot of people have looked down on issues relating to human trafficking, which supposedly is a very lucrative business and a fast-growing criminal activity.

Globalization is particularly evident in the world’s economy. It enables human trafficking to thrive due to its increasing integrated world economy. Just like the slavery of old, modern-day slavery is a lucrative business that has only become more rewarding for the traffickers with the advent of globalization

Human Trafficking is the second-largest criminal industry in the world, reaping $150 billion in illegal profits for traffickers each year . Traffickers use different methods to recruit victims. The knowledge they say is power, when we know how they recruit and traffic people, we can work together or even be more equipped to stop it from happening .

Analysis: The effect of globalization in human trafficking cases in women and children
Introduction; this section presents the analysis of data and also gives answers and a breakdown of the research questions and objectives. This section is divided into:
3.1 What is human trafficking?
3.2 What role does globalization play in human trafficking?
3.3 Why is human trafficking a major issue?
3.4 How can human trafficking be ousted?


. E. Polakoff, globalization and child labor: review of the issues: Journal of developing societies 23 (1-2): 259 – 283.

. Trafficking in persons, global patterns United Nations office on drugs and crime, 2006.

. USSD, trafficking in-person report, 2017.