Human trafficking is a trade involving the harboring or transportation of persons against their will with the sole purpose of exploiting them. Human trafficking has resulted into forced marriages that revolve on threats or even assault on the victims. The individual is forced into a marriage with unknown person. The individuals who may resist from this form of marriage can be subjected to physical and emotional abuse or even suffer death at the hands of their tormentors. Victims of such circumstances are then stuck into a life of domestic violence, rape and even suicide. In some circumstances, a forced marriage is referred as human trafficking. In a situation where a woman is transported and raped severally in a forced marriage, that can be considered as sex trafficking. If the woman is a servant or a slave in a forced marriage, that is considered labor trafficking. Money does not need to be exchange in a forced marriage in order to be human trafficking. Forced marriage is connected to gender-based violence, which if it involves children, then it is considered child abuse .
In most cases, girls in forced marriages are lured into a promising marriage only to end up being trafficked into sexual exploitation that are purely for financial profits at the cost of human abuse and suffering . These traffickers of forced marriage may involve a single culprit traffics a victim domestically or many culprits trafficking victims internationally. These victims are led to believe that they will have a happy and prosperous life that the traffickers use to their advantage to exploit their vulnerabilities. In other societies, forced marriage is their hope of benefiting financially or socially. The victim can be an economic burden and a forced marriage maybe the only way out of poverty. The argument is mostly used by parents who opt for wealth through collecting dowries. In other cases, the family can use the victim as a commodity of settling debts. Therefore, the individuals are forced into marriages and trafficked to either maintain family ties or improve the economic situation of the family. Another form of forced marriage is through brokers. The brokers use internet to advertise the women, take bride seeking men on “organized tours of the source country” or exhibit women at ‘trade shows’ (DuPont 15). Emphasis is more on the youth, virginity or beauty of the woman. Women trafficked in this way to men are promoted to countries wealthier and more developed than their own. Branding women to such low standards as being trophies is bad to humanity and I am totally against forced marriages.
Forced marriage has its consequences especially on the girl child who is the most affected. It brings about illiteracy and poor education because the schooling stops and the victim will be engaged in domestic work early motherhood. Girls are forced into marriages are prone to high mortality rates compared to their unmarried colleagues. They are also vulnerable to contracting sexually transmitted diseases that leaves them at a high risk. Due to illiteracy, poor economic status, lack of control and awareness, the victims are subject to violence, abuse and violence. This results in most of them committing suicide to get them out of the misery of pain and suffering. The physical and emotional suffering becomes too much for the victims to bear.
Human trafficking is still an illegal activity but it has been difficult to curb its operations. Most countries have still not been able to distinguish the line between human trafficking and forced marriages. However, most countries prosecute forced marriage as part of human trafficking although that might not always be the case. Over time, the human traffickers have grown to be flexible, shifting locations from time to time and have been able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of law enforcement and monitoring. This has made it even more complex to intercept such practices of trafficking making it difficult to divert any activities involving forced marriages. The victims end up exploited under conditions that amount into modern form of slavery. One of the major problems in curbing human trafficking is the facelessness of the millions of victims. Only a small population of the victims can be identify as many of them remain in fear and silence from their tormentors. However, the fight against forced marriage has gained ground in terms of attention, advocacy, resources and awareness.
The process of curbing human trafficking is still an evolutionary process. It requires the expertise, resources and efforts of many entities and individuals. It requires the help and support of both government and non-government stakeholders’ in order to bring a positive impact on the issue of forced marriage. Through all this, the government can be able to facilitate the processes of prosecution, prevention and protection of the affected victims. The evaluation of this process must be able to look at the terms of the marriage and the possible conditions of exploitation thereafter. Both trafficking and forced marriage go hand in hand when marriage is used in combination with force, fraud or abuse of power as a means to subject victims to conditions of slavery (both domestic and sexual).
In conclusion, although forced marriage results in domestic violence, rape or forced to live in a foreign country without your consent, we must be able to acknowledge that it happening in our communities. People have so long assumed that forced marriage is outdated, but still it is happening and we must ensure that we do something to stop it. Just like human trafficking, we must work together in bringing out the evils of forced marriage. The addition of forced marriage in the whole concept of human trafficking will help ensure protection to the victims. Countries should also sign treaties among themselves to curb the human trafficking and forced marriage menace as a unit. This will help make it easier to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators even if they have committed crimes in different countries. However, much is needed to help understand the problem and implications regarding detecting, enforcing and monitoring this problem now that is part of the criminal law.
Perez, Solla M.Fernanda. "Slavery and human trafficking international law and the role of the World Bank." Social Protection Discussion Paper. 2009.
Bokhari, F. "Child trafficking for forced marriage." ECPAT UK Discussion Paper. (2008). Print.
DuPont, Kathryn Cullen-. Human Trafficking. New York, NY: Facts On File Inc., 2009. Print.
Koettl, Johannes. "Human Trafficking, Modern Day Slavery and Economic Exploitation." Social Protection Discussion Paper. (2009).
Ming, G Zhao. "Trafficking of women for marriage in China: Policy and practise." Criminology and Criminal Justice, 83-102.