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The 21st Century’s New Lucrative Business Low costs, High Profits: Human Trafficking!

Many think that slavery - as we all heard and read about it - no longer exists. This assumption is to some extent true, old slavery was visible and practiced in broad daylight, and had legal implications. Ownership was documented. New slavery on the other hand, is fluid and difficult to trace and discern. Given its nature, it is even difficult to convince people that it exists!

Personally, I occasionally read random articles about trafficking and enslavement of people in some remote areas (such as certain parts in Africa, Asia and the Amazon jungle) but I have never imagined the gravity of the situation. It is hard to admit that nowadays, slaves can be counted in millions and that this tragedy still haunts all countries, rich and poor countries alike. The first gullible question that came to my mind, after I embarked in this journey, was why people traffic and enslave other people? The answer was not difficult to find. Modern day slavery is exemplified in human trafficking, an activity with high profits and low costs. It is a transnational industry that operates almost entirely underground.[1]

Before I delve more into the subject of human trafficking, it is very important to remind the reader that this paper is not exhaustive, that is, it does not claim that it has all the facts and necessary data to tackle such a complicated and multilayered problem such as human trafficking. All those who researched or conduct research on this topic face difficulty in getting reliable data, because "slavery is a shadowy, illegal enterprise, so statistics are hard to come by."[2]

But on the other hand, this paper will shed light on the trafficking in human beings in a region of the world where trafficking and enslavement of innocent people occur on a daily basis; however, it does not have the adequate visibility. Human trafficking in the MENA region, especially in Morocco is a serious problem that impacts the lives of millions people. It is a lucrative business run by criminal networks that exploit the disenfranchised who are in desperate need for work.

Modern day slavery is invisible to the inexperienced eye. One needs to be aware of its existence to be able to discern its finest manifestations. Slavery is there and one should not be mistaken about it. This paper will investigate the root causes of human trafficking in Morocco arguing that demography, rapid and unplanned urbanization, government corruption, globalization and other factors play a major role in making Moroccans inclined to trafficking than others in the MENA region. Human trafficking is spreading and we cannot deal effectively with this crime "until we really understand it, until we really know what makes it work."[3]

 MUSTAPHA H. HADJI


[1] UNDP. « Arab Human Development Report 2009. » Accessed February 28, 2011. http://www.arab-hdr.org/publications/other/ahdr/ahdr2009e.pdf. (p, 88)

[2] Bales, Kevin. Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. London: University of California Press, 2004. (p, 8)

 

[3] Ibid. Bales, p, 32

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