Increasing Trafficking of Men and Boys to USA
This paper is an analysis of facts and statistics that present evidence of the increasing numbers of male trafficking victims of all ages into the United States for laboring purposes through fraudulent means or against their will (HHS 1). According to the Department of Health and Human Services the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 defines a victim of trafficking as either involved in;
“A Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained the age of 18 years of age; or
The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.” (HHS 1).
The focus of this paper is hinged more on the second part of the definition of victims of human trafficking as proposed by the Health and Human Services Department. Essentially, it argues that boys and men are increasingly becoming victims of human trafficking in the USA where they are subjected to labor and servitude against their will. The subsequent part of the text presents literature on facts and figures in support of this statement.
The victims of human trafficking fall in categories of all ages young, adult and old. Men and Boys are victims of trafficking for various reasons. These reasons are in two categories; either for sexual or labor exploitation. The male victims may be residents or foreigners in the United States the unifying factor among them are, however, their desperation to make a living support themselves and their families especially in the case of labor exploitation (HHS 7).
In cases of sexual purposed male trafficking, most victims are young boys in their early teens. The common factor about trafficked boys is a history of child abuses at home that makes them wander into the streets majorly because they deem the risks in the streets to be lesser a danger to them or as equal to the danger at home. Most boys sell their bodies to survive in the streets, to exploit their sexuality or make contact with gay men having in mind that getting money is their prime objective. More often than not they fall prey to traffickers who detain them for sexual fulfillment (HHS 10).
The trend has been that men and boys trafficking is overshadowed by trafficking cases of women and children in the United States. Moreover, the statistics show that media coverage and attention of the government authorities and policy makers in the USA has continuously focused on human trafficking incidences that account horrific details of the suffering of women and young girls in the hands of their captors either as labors or sex slaves (Jones 1143). This is against a backdrop of statistics gathered showing that up to 90% of human trafficking incidences in the USA comprise of young boys who are prostituted (Tores 109). Whereas, another section of male laborers who are forced to work in US farms without pay where they are routinely beaten burned and raped are not either documented or given the media coverage as much as trafficking cases of women and girls are (Carroll 1-2). In fact according to government statistics young boys account for at the very least half of all certified victims of child labor an irony to the fact that cases of male trafficking cases are swept under the rug so to speak (US Department of State).
It is a growing phenomenon that human trafficking is a modern day slavery that has persons providing labor and sexual services against their will. Based on the statistics that a project dubbed the Polaris Project compiled; up to 27 million adults and 1 million children are enslaved on a global scale of these up to 17; 500 are trafficked into the USA (Woods). Notably, up to half of these trafficking cases are of the male gender that are forced to labor in farms in the USA or provide sexual services to their captors against their will (US Department of State).
According to the Forbes Magazine, it is often misconceived that only women are victims of trafficking. The reasons behind this misconception are the secretive nature with which most male victims of trafficking protect themselves from the stigma. In most instances, the money they make from sexual exploitation is enormous compared to their previous circumstances which make them bear with their captors demands of them. Similarly, dialogue on human trafficking often concentrates on males as victims of labor exploitation than they are sexually exploited. In the end more and more cases of men and boys child trafficking go unreported suggesting an increase in the cases unabated unless, more attention is drawn to the issue (The Muse Contributor).
Human trafficking particularly with respect to male human trafficking of boys and men is an increasing phenomenon that requires attention from the media and policy makers to address (Jones). Foremost, victims of men and boys trafficking are often exploited for labor and sexual purposes against their will either through coercion or forced means (Woods; The Muse Contributor). Male laborers are often promised better pay that would ensure that they earn money to sustain their families only to end up working on American farms as forced laborers or slaves (The Muse Contributor). On the other hand, the boys and men trafficked for sexual purposes often have a history of sexual abuse or insecurities with their sexuality. They fall victim to captors who enslave them for sexual purposes (Carroll).
The solution to men and boys trafficking requires that debate on the existence of the practice be increased in the media (Jones 1143). The government should also develop policies that address the growing concern where more and more men and boys are being trafficked into the US against the backdrop of statistics not reflecting this since most cases remain unreported (US Department of State). Therefore, it is the recommendation of this report that there should be increased debate regarding boys and men being taken into sexual and laboring bondage. Thus, the media should increase debate on this issue by giving more attention to trafficking involving men and boys as much as they give attention to trafficking in women and girls. In the same respect, there should be legislation that is meant to address the growing concern of male trafficking in the United States as discussed.
Carroll, Susan. "US Officials Say Men are Being Targeted More as Cases of Forced Labor Increase: Rise in Male Trafficking Victims Seen Traffic: 'Bigger Stigma for Men'." Hous. Chron 6 July 2009.
HHS. Human Trafficking into and Within teh United States: A Review of Literature. n.d. Web. 6 March 2014. <https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CGAQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Faspe.hhs.gov%2Fhsp%2F07%2Fhumantrafficking%2Flitrev%2Findex.pdf&ei=ySMYU7y0OMKHrQeclYGQDg&usg=AFQjCNExHAA3dDbPz5C_wPOid3qbP46uYA&sig2=R6-nUxee4hj>.
Jones, Samuel Vincent. "The Invisible Man: The Conscious Neglect of Men and Boys in the War on Human Trafficking." Utah Law Review (2010). 6 3 2014. <https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fepubs.utah.edu%2Findex.php%2Fulr%2Farticle%2FviewFile%2F484%2F352&ei=_z4YU4X1GYORhQe5rYCgBA&usg=AFQjCNErckYvYz4ve3CvFbT2AAjeDJW5-w&sig2=kvF_6IRYy>.
The Muse Contributor. "Human Trafficking: the Myths and the Realities." Forbes 24 1 2012. Web. 6 3 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2012/01/24/human-trafficking-the-myths-and-the-realities/>.
Tores, Jonathan. "Protecting Sex Tour Operators in US Courts in an Effort to Reduce the Sexual Explotation of Children Globally." INt. L. J 1.22 (1999): 109. 6 3 2014. <https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDQQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Flaw.lclark.edu%2Flive%2Ffiles%2F15325-lcb173art6shoapspdf&ei=wT4YU9ePLsyjhgezuYDgBg&usg=AFQjCNHaPAp9O4ctsRtIeto_SewF4kAsMQ&sig2=zf2QeCauG4v92ctII>.
US Department of State. Trafficking In Persons Report. 2010. 6 3 2014. <http://www.state.gov/documents/>.
Woods, Jewel. "10 Things Men and Boys can do to Stop Human Trafficking." Ms. Magazine 04 08 2010. Web. 6 3 2014. <http://msmagazine.com/blog/2010/08/04/10-things-men-and-boys-can-do-to-stop-human-trafficking/>.