Human Trafficking in the Middle East and Tunisia

Human Trafficking is a problem that is less obvious but definitely a major concern as the world progresses into the 21st century. American movies sometimes display the circuit of human trafficking such as the memorable series of Taken. In the movie, it briefly shows some of the living conditions such as drugged girls living in a dorm as Liam Neeson battles his way through the complex. The punchline is he enters the room he was looking for and sees his daughter’s best friend dead on her bed. This really hammers home the point that the movie was trying to make on Human trafficking. They leave for a vacation to a foreign land and end up being sold as slaves or sex slaves a few weeks later. However, this isn’t fantasy or a movie for some people, its a reality for many people world wide.

As shown by the graph above, this is a problem that affects all of the world. Most countries in the world have active laws against human trafficking and illegal immigration, but often times, people are effectively smuggled across the globe. The two main contributions that allow for human trafficking are poverty and gender discrimination. As displayed on the graph, a lot of emphasis are poorer countries located in south east Asia or the soviet bloc located in Eastern Europe.  Many of the designated readings for the course I’m taking tells stories, about a girl’s experience mostly, that show the sense of lacking a future, powerlessness, and fear.

In an ever globalizing world, this issue is stressed and emphasized more. On University campuses, at least nation-wide, classes and majors are dedicated to either woman and her plight or on globalization and global issues. People are becoming more aware of  peripheral issues, at least up until now, such as these.  Currently, nations are recognizing the issue of trafficking and are taking steps to address them. These attempts are working as the preceding bar graph shows that only South and Central Asia has increased in trafficking statistics.

This post has been focused on the Middle East and specifically Tunisia and so I will now focus on these. Simply put, Tunisia and the Middle East still is an issue in terms of human trafficking although not as severe as other regions around the world. Unfortunately though unsurprisingly, Tunisia is on  the Tier 2 Watch List. The definition of countries on this list are that the countries do not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but are making significant efforts to do so, and meet one of the following criteria:
1. they display a high or significantly increasing number of victims,
2. they have failed to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons, or,
3. they have committed to take action over the next year. (http://www.indexmundi.com/tunisia/trafficking_in_persons.html)

Tunisia has also been called  “a source, destination, and possible transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.”(http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2014/226837.htm) According to http://www.refworld.org/docid/4fe30c893c.html, the government of Tunisia made greater efforts to protect victims of trafficking over the last year, yet the government continued to lack formal procedures to identify proactively trafficking victims among vulnerable groups, such as undocumented migrants and those persons detained for prostitution offenses. Until the above procedures are established, Tunisia will remain a tier two country.  However, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals that will commence next year will address human trafficking specifically. Goal 10 will indirectly affect trafficking which states “Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.” Then Goal 5 addresses it more specifically by stating “Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.” Both of the quotes’ URLs are http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/inequality/ and http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/ respectively.

Human trafficking affects men, women, and children and is a major impediment to human rights on a global scale. Efforts are being taken to eliminate trafficking across the globe and in 2016 the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals will take affect and will stem the tide against trafficking. Human beings are being emphasized more than ever as campuses and nations are striving to introduce people to the problems of a global world and emphasizing human rights more than ever. In order to effectively address trafficking or minimize it as much as possible, in my opinion, people need to practice caution when traveling, a list of warning signs of potential traffickers needs to be published and promoted as to increase awareness, and helping reduce poverty will help the situation. As for addressing gender discrimination the puzzle becomes more complex. One can propose education but if a country is cripplingly conservative, girls may not be allowed to attend school. However, with the UN’s goals taking effect, gender discrimination will be more adequately addressed thus affecting trafficking as well. There is hope of a more peaceful addressing of trafficking than Liam Neeson shooting his way through a eastern European Trafficking Dorm.  A new dawn is approaching in human rights and a brighter future for humankind is slowly becoming a reality.

Websites used in order of appearance:

http://www.indexmundi.com/tunisia/trafficking_in_persons.html

http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2014/226837.htm

http://www.refworld.org/docid/4fe30c893c.html

http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/inequality/

http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/

Pictures’ Urls in order of appearance:

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