By : Alain Rostyoman( Journalist)

September 29, 2020

The Forgotten Battle: Human Trafficking in Continental Asia

Human trafficking has been an ongoing issue in Asia that hasn’t gotten the mainstream attention it needs. Human trafficking is most prevalent in India and is a large contributor to Asia’s large trafficking rates. The 2014 Global Slavery Initiative (GSI) index reported that Asia itself makes up for nearly two-thirds of human trafficking victims and with 71% being made up women and girls, there is a clear gender disparity in human trafficking. Asia is a clear victim of high trafficking rates with India, China, and Pakistan leading the world’s ranking highest on human trafficking. Traffickers often collude and collaborate with corrupt officials or companies to help each other profit and although minimal action is performed to prevent this, you can contribute and work for an end to this problem. 

According to a 2016 UNODC report, men and boys make up for 29% of human trafficking victims. Children make up for a large chunk of trafficking victims with 28% of all victims being children. Of that 28%, girls make up for the 20% whilst boys make for less than half of that at 8%. With grown women making up for an astonishing 51% of trafficking victims, it is clear that there is a gender based issue based around the world. Collectively it is a difference of 71% for female victims and a significantly smaller 29% for male victims which best highlights the difference between male and female probabilities for trafficking victimhood. 

The numbers only get worse when looking into Asia’s statistics. Asia alone, has a child trafficking rate of up to 36%. As a mostly developing region with high rates of child labour particularly within the fast fashion industry, it is clear to see why Asia is the worst victim of human trafficking for both children and adults. Looking at the fast fashion industry and comparing with human trafficking sites, it is clear that, the more developing region, Southern Asia is a bigger victim to this crisis as opposed to the more developed parts of Asia. 

With India, China, and Pakistan having the three highest rates of human trafficking in the world, and Indonesia, Thailand, and Bangladesh making it into the top 10, Asia is made the world’s largest human trafficking site. India, according to the GSI, is home to 18.3 million

modern slaves. Of those many are sexually trafficked, organ trafficked, or forced into labour as it does within China, Pakistan, as well as other countries. 

India, as a developing country, faces many issues when presented with such a large and overbearing population. In the case of human trafficking, India features the highest number of trafficking victims with millions unable to freely contribute to their local economies due to the corrupted forces holding them back. India’s harsh trafficking issues are the results of corrupted and incomplete legislative action against such human rights violations. 

Human trafficking can often be rooted in corrupt companies employers that exploit the victims for personal or company gain. Companies often collude with traffickers for free labour so they don’t face the expense of paying their employees. Trafficking victims are also often sexually exploited and sold by traffickers under sex slavery. Corrupt forces are often responsible for letting such crimes go under the radar when working with criminals. These corrupt forces often help criminals in exemption from litigation to continue the cycle of re-victimising and attacking the trafficked. 

Despite under representation in the media, there have been, although minimal, measures taken to prevent and fight increases in human trafficking. Dozens of organizations help to lower trafficking rates across the world with help from donations and volunteer work. Annual trafficking reports from state governments provide better understanding of local and international trafficking severity by publishing data from different departments and governments around the world. The United States’ “Trafficking Victims Protection Act” was authorised in 200 and took a strong step against traffickers and pressed for more prosecution. It has since been re-authorised multiple times over multiple presidencies for continuous and further protection against trafficking. 

You can contribute to the fight against human trafficking in many ways whether it’s through the internet or in person. Donating to charities and foundations that use your money to help their mission in fighting trafficking is always a simple and easy option that guarantees a positive contribution. If unable to do so, signing petitions can help push certain governments to employ and enforce tighter legislature against human trafficking. Volunteer work and helping out with local non-profits and charities can also help in the fight against human trafficking. Volunteering and helping with the actual in person work of beating human trafficking is the best thing you can do and the most important contribution for winning against traffickers.