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Hofstra University Model United Nations Conference

United Nations General Assembly Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee

Third Committee

Alexander Zelinksi Chairperson

Dear Delegates,

Hello, and welcome to the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee! My name is Alex Zelinski, and its an honor to be your chair at the Hofstra University Model United Nations Conference. I am a senior at Hofstra University, majoring in political science. Originally from New York City, I have found my time here at Hofstra to be an amazing experience. Ive been a part of Hofstra MUN since its inception in my first year and have competed in every conference our school has attended. Although college is my first experience with Model U.N., Ive quickly fallen in love and have had a lot of fun dedicating myself to our organization. In addition to being an officer on the Hofstra MUN e-board, I also served five semesters as a senator in the Student Government Association, as well as my current position as vice president of SGA. Some of my other hobbies include following my favorite sports teams, playing tennis, and listening to rock music. Im particularly enthused to be chair of this committee, as SOCHUM issues have always been my favorite to discuss at MUN conferences. For this conference, we have two of the most pressing social issues of our time: children in armed conflict and human trafficking. I am looking forward to hearing stimulating debate and your solutions to these topics. I hope you use the committees background guide as a starting point for your research. However, both topics are very in-depth, and I am hoping for the most comprehensive discussion and solutions possible, so I encourage you to dig deeper. I hope you are as excited as I am for our upcoming conference. If you have any questions about the committee, please dont hesitate to email me. Good luck with your research, and I look forward to seeing you all at the conference! Sincerely, Alex Zelinski

Introduction to the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural (SOCHUM) Committee

The United Nations (UN) Charter of 1945 created the General Assembly, the main deliberative organ of the UN. The General Assembly provides recommendations, conducts research, and compiles reports on relevant issues for the international community. The framework set by the Charter provided for a set of main committees within the General Assembly which would focus on various issues important to the global community. Today, all 192 countries which are member states of the UN are represented in these committees. The Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM), also known as the Third Committee, is one of the most prominent bodies of the UN and has been a part of the General Assembly since its creation. As its name would suggest, SOCHUM deals with issues related to humanitarian affairs and human rights. Some of the specific issues covered by SOCHUM include the advancement of women, the protection of children, indigenous issues, the treatment of refugees, the promotion of fundamental freedoms through the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, and the right to self-determination. The Committee also addresses important social development questions such as issues related to youth, family, aging, persons with disabilities, crime prevention, criminal justice, and international drug control.1 Both topics on the agenda for our upcoming session are matters of the utmost importance concerning the human rights of millions of people around the globe. The first topic is the dreadful issue of children in combat. Whenever conflict breaks out anywhere in the world, chances are that children under the age of 18 will have direct participation. While any armed conflict in regrettable, the use of children in combat is particularly reprehensible. We must find ways to lower the probability of children finding their way onto the battlefields of the worlds

conflicts. The second topic tackles the issue of human trafficking. In a world where slavery is supposed to be universally rejected, the number of individuals who fall victim to human trafficking each year is shocking. This is an illegal industry which thrives in the darkness, and it is our duty in this session to shine a light on it and deliver justice for the countless victims

enslaved in this system. As delegates of SOCHUM and representatives of the world community, it is imperative you all work together to create effective solutions to these problems.

Topic A: Children in Armed Conflict History Children in combat is far from a new phenomenon. In fact, the popular opposition to the

use of child soldiers we are used to today is the exception to the historical norm. Indeed, for most of the history of mankind, when conflict occurred, it was considered normal that children would take part. The ancient Spartans were famous for their militaristic society. Boys were taken from their homes when they were as young as seven years old for intense military training. Being a small city-state, Sparta maintained its survival as an independent kingdom through an extreme focus on the military, and young warriors were considered an important part of the military.2 In the Old Testament of the Bible, there is reference to boys serving in the Israeli army. King David started his military career as a boy solider in King Sauls army, and it was as a child that he killed Goliath.3 Starting in the 14th century, the Ottoman Empire made extensive use of young Christian and Jewish children in its army. These soldiers were trained from an early age as personal slaves to the Sultan. Islamic law forbade a Muslim from holding another Muslim as a slave, and this is why only Christians and Jews were used. They were called the Janissary Corps, and became the elite soldiers of the Ottoman Empire. Officially induction was supposed to be at 14 years old; however, there are records of children as young as eightbeing soldiers in the Corps. In Europe, young boys served as squires for knights. During the American Civil War, children under the age of 18 were allowed to enlist with their parents consent, although many ran away from home in order to join the war.4 The British used young boys as aides in their fleets. Indeed, there was little opposition to the use of child soldiers even in the West until the 20th century. 5 In Africa, the use of children in armies was traditional. Shaka, King of Zulus, recruited children as young as

sixyears old to be apprentice soldiers. As these children developed their skills, they were promoted to positions as regular soldiers.6 During World War II, the United States had a formal age limit of 17 years for military service. While there was the occasional case of a boy evading this requirement through lying

about his age, this was a rare occurrence. However, many of the other participants in World War II did not take such stances against child soldiers. The Republic of China used children as young as 10 years old during the fight against Japanese invasion. When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, boys were conscripted into the Red Army. As the tide turned against Germany and manpower ran low, the Nazis began to send teenagers into combat. The Hitler Youth arm of the SS was sent to the frontlines towards the end of war, and German children saw extensive action, especially in the Battle of Berlin. Polish boys also played a major role in the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 fighting against the Germans. Towards the end of the war, Japan also turned to recruiting children to fill their depleted ranks. One of the more egregious uses of child soldiers was committed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the 1970s. During their genocide campaign when they killed over 1 million people, they used child soldiers as executioners, sometimes even of their own parents.7

Summary of the Issue: A child soldier is any person under 18 years of age who is part of any kind of regular or irregular armed force or armed group in any capacity, including but not limited to cooks, porters, messengers and anyone accompanying such groups, other than family members. The definition includes girls recruited for sexual purposes and for forced marriage. It does not, therefore, only refer to a child who is carrying or has carried arms.8 Around the world, whenever conflict occurs,

it is almost inevitable that children below the age of 18 will become involved. According to the 2010 report of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Children and Armed Conflict, the use of children in armed forces engaged in hostilities or violence against children by armed forces is currently documented in 22 countries worldwide.9 According to UNICEF, an estimated 300,000 child soldiers under the age of 18 are currently involved in more than 30 conflicts across the globe.10

Although the use of child soldiers has been reduced in recent years, this can be attributed more to a decrease in the number of ongoing conflicts than a decrease in the likelihood that children will be involved in a given conflict. While the decline in the absolute number of child soldiers is a positive development, this also suggests that insufficient progress has been made in the effort to keep children out of conflict when it occurs.11 Children are particularly vulnerable to recruitment and manipulation because of their impressionability and naivety.12 Some combat leaders prefer children as soldiers because of their obedience.13 Many children voluntarily sign up for military service, although in most cases these children enlist because they can see little alternative for survival. Their communities and/or families are often destroyed in the fighting which ravages their land and there are few if any educational or job opportunities available to them. Some children enlist in order to avenge atrocities committed against themselves, their families, or their communities during the war. Other children, sometimes as young as nine years old, are abducted from their homes and forced to enter combat forces. Armed groups in which children may find themselves are government militaries, government-backed militias, paramilitary forces, civilian defense forces, and most commonly, opposition groups fighting against the government.14

The children who find themselves in combat situations are usually treated brutally by their superiors. They may be beaten regularly and made to do the most dangerous and undesirable jobs such as clearing minefields/unexploded ordinance or being human shields.15 The damage to children is not only physical. Due to their experiences in armed forces, many child soldiers report psycho-social disturbances - from nightmares and angry aggression that is difficult to control to strongly anti-social behavior and substance abuse - both during their

involvement in war and after their return to civilian life. Military recruitment is not only harmful to the children themselves, but to societies as a whole. Children's lost years of schooling reduce societies' human and economic development potential. Many child soldiers grow up physically and psychologically scarred, leaving them prone to violence and increasing the danger of future cycles of conflict and damaging the chances of peaceful, stable democracy that are demonstrably linked to human and social well-being.16 The issue of child soldiers does not only cover boys; girls are also vulnerable to becoming child soldiers or becoming abused by armed forces during war. About 30 percent of armed groups using children include girls.17 Girl soldiers are particularly at risk of being raped, sexually assaulted, or abused.18 Using violence against women and girls is also used as a strategy by armed forces involved in conflicts. During war young women may be subjected to or be threatened by rape, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, trafficking, sexual humiliation and mutilation.19 International attention and effort directed at girls in combat has often been lacking. Another issue which the international community must address is to end the impunity for violators of childrens rights. The arrest and trial of individuals such as Thomas Lubanga, Charles Taylor and Jean Pierre Bemba have sent a message. However, all across the world warlords and generals continue to recruit and abuse children with far too few repercussions.20

Relevant International Action: The six grave violations against children during times of conflict, highlighted by the UN

Security Council in its resolutions, form the basis of the UNs architecture in protecting children during war. These violations are: 1) The killing or maiming of children 2) Recruitment or use of child soldiers 3) Rape and other forms of sexual violence against children 4) Abduction of children 5) Attacks against schools or hospitals 6) Denial of humanitarian access to children. These violations have their legal background in international laws, resolutions, and jurisprudence. Key international laws include The Four Geneva Conventions (1949) and their Additional Protocols (1979), the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998), Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and its Optional Protocols (2000), UN Declaration of Human Rights (1948), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), and International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. Key UN resolutions include Resolutions No. 1261(1999), 1314(2000), 1379(2001), 1460(2003), 1539(2004), 1612(2005), 1882(2009). Finally, key jurisprudence includes case-law of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1612 of 2005 established a Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict and a Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) to systematically monitor, document and report on cases of grave violations. Subsequent Security Council resolution, UNSC Res. 1882 of 2009, has further expanded and strengthened the MRM.21 The Integrated Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Standards (2006), and the Paris Commitments and the Principles and Guidelines on Children Associated With Armed Forces or Armed Groups (2007) provide a significant plan for the disarmament, demobilization

and reintegration (DDR) of all categories of children associated with armed groups.22 DDR represents the United Nations long term goal of not only releasing every child soldier from military service, but returning some sense of normalcy to their lives and the promise of a successful future as a productive member of their society. The plan begins with negotiating the

release of children and their emancipation from armed groups. Then an attempt is made to locate the family and/or community of the released child to repatriate them. Beyond the physical task of tracing a childs family or community is the spiritual task of reintegrating them into that community. A child still carries mental wounds from his experiences as a soldierand possibly harbors anger towards his family for a perceived failure to protect them. At the same time DDR programs have to account for the challenge of convincing the community to accept the return of their children in cases where atrocities have been committed by these children in their community. The Paris Principles state that programs should be inclusive, community-based, and directed at all children in the community so as not to stigmatize child soldiers. Programs should build on the strengths of the children, especially their resilience, and the youth should be consulted throughout their implementation. The issue of girls in conflict should also be addressed. Special programs should be created for children whose unique circumstances may allow them to fall through the cracks on their community. Education and youth employment are major factors for both preventing the recruitment of children and facilitating their reintegration.23

Bloc Positions Children in Combat Western: The Guidelines on Children and Armed Conflict created in 2003 are the EUs first attempt to summarize policy on the issue of children in armed conflict. The guidelines outline the ways the EU will attempt to tackle the issue. These include monitoring and reporting, assessment

and recommendations for action, relations with third countries including political dialogue, dmarches, support to projects (such as DDR), crisis management, early warning, preventative approaches, training (for crisis management) and the imposition of targeted measures. The guidelines also state that the EU will proactively cooperate with a number of relevant actors to strengthen and implement existing safeguards of the rights of the child.24


Western European and North American countries mostly adhere to the international laws against the use of child soldiers. Most of these countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have signed on to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols. In the United Kingdom the minimum age for enlisting in the armed forces is 16, with parental permission required under 18. The UK is the only country in Europe which routinely recruits people aged under 18. Although children under 18 are not allowed to serve in combat, the UKs policies have been criticized by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.25 In addition, it has been discovered that between 2003 and 2005, fifteen 17 year olds were accidentally sent to Iraq by the British Army.26 In the United States, the minimum age of enlistment is 17 (parental permission required below 18).27 Although soldiers under the age of 18 are not supposed to be allowed to enter combat areas, it was estimated that at least 62 under-18 soldiers in the U.S. Army were sent to Iraq or Afghanistan between 2003 and 2005.28 Canadians can join the reserves starting at age 16 and regular forces at 17, however may not serve on a tour of duty until they are 18.29

Africa: Up to half of the world's child soldiers are in Africa, despite the entry into force of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1999), the only regional treaty in the world that prohibits the use of child soldiers.30 In his latest report on children and armed conflict,

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon identified grave violations of the rights of children by armed groups in the following African countries: the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, the Sudan, and Uganda.31 In the Central African Republic several rebel groups were reported to continue to use children in their armies. Violence against children by armed forces in the country, especially


sexual violence and rape, remained a serious concern in 2010. The most prominent perpetrator of these crimes has been the infamous Ugandan rebel group, the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), although internal rebels have also been active, especially the Convention des Patriotes Pour la Justice et la Paix (CPJP) . Violence in the country has also affected the education system. While schools are not particularly targeted by rebel forces, the climate of fear fostered by these groups causes many families to keep their children away from school. Thus far, local law enforcement has been insufficient to deter aggressors. In June 2010 the Government of the Central African Republic signed the NDjamena Declaration to end the recruitment and use of children within its armed forces.32 In 2010 incidents of recruitment of children by the Arme Nationale Tchadienne (the Army of the government of Chad) fell from 26 in the previous year to eight. Although there are still isolated cases of children serving its military, the government of Chad has taken steps to prevent such occurrences, including training its officers on the rights of children. According to local reports, children still serve with several opposition groups including the Front Populaire pour la Renaissance Nationale (FPRN), the Mouvement pour la Paix, la Reconstruction et le Dveloppement (MPRD), and the Front Dmocratique Populaire (FDP). The presence of mines and unexploded ordnance left over from the most recent internal conflict poses a significant threat to local children. Finally, cases of sexual and gender-based violence against girls remain a

widespread phenomenon in Chad, although most acts are carried out by civilian, not military perpetrators.33 Children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continue to be recruited into both


government and opposition forces. Also prevalent are cases of sexual violence against children, which are carried out by both government and opposition actors including the Forces Armes de la Rpublique Dmocratique du Congo (FARDC), the Forces Dmocratiques de Libration du Rwanda (FDLR), the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), and the Police Nationale Congolaise. In 2010 at least 14 hospitals and nine schools were attacked by both government and opposition forces. Meanwhile humanitarian efforts have been hampered in the conflict torn eastern part of the country by attacks on humanitarian workers by both sides. The government has largely failed to hold those who perpetrate acts of violence within its military accountable.34 Recruitment of children throughout central and southern Somalia remains widespread and systematic. The militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab has been especially aggressive in its campaign to recruit children, especially in schools. It is estimated that over 2,000 children were abducted by Al-Shabaab in 2010 for the purpose of recruitment into armed forces. Despite its official policy of not recruiting children, the Transnational Federal Government and its allied militias continue to be associated with child soldiers. The Transitional Federal Government has not yet signed the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict, and its lack of progress in ensuring children do not end up in its ranks is a cause of concern. Insurgent groups such as Al-Shabaab have been responsible for widespread cases of sexual violence against children and attacks upon schools, teachers, and students.35 The use of children in conflict remains widespread in Sudan, although exact numbers are difficult to ascertain due to the deteriorating security of the region and lack of access to areas not


under government control. While reported abductions of children have decreased in the states of Darfur, cross-border forced recruitment, especially by Chadian armed opposition groups, continues. Children continue to be associated with militias and armed groups and all sides of the countrys conflicts. Fighting amongst internal tribes continues to kill unarmed children, and abductions of children for the purpose of recruitment by combatants remains widespread.36 In Uganda, the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) continues to be a persistent perpetrator of atrocities against children. The group abducts children to forcibly recruit into their ranks, carries out wanton acts of violence, killing and maiming unarmed children throughout northern Uganda and its neighboring countries, attacks schools, and forces recruited children to participate in acts of rape and cannibalism. Besides Uganda, the LRA have spread their destruction to the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Sudan. For 25 years the Ugandan government and the international community have been unable to kill or capture Joseph Kony, commander of the LRA, despite constant efforts.37

Middle East: Children continue to be involved in various conflicts which have been ongoing in this area. Children are currently involved as combatants in ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen. In Afghanistan children have been a part of war for decades, and it is a tradition that proves difficult to break. The Taliban are reported to recruit children into their ranks and use them to carry out suicide attacks, plant explosives and transport munitions.38 The Afghan government claims it does not recruit children under the age of 18, and yet such children can be found serving in the Afghan National Police. The Northern Alliance also recruits children under the age of 18, despite their official policy against this.39 Attacks and occupations of schools and health facilities, by both pro-government and opposition groups remains a concern.40

Children in Iraq are used by Al-Qaeda for a range of military purposes. It is reported,


although not verified, that Al-Qaeda in Iraq operates a youth wing for children under the age of 14 called Birds of Paradise. Al-Qaida in Iraq reportedly targets vulnerable children for forced recruitment, such as orphans, street children and the mentally disabled. In other instances, insurgents have allegedly used children as proxy bombers who did not know they were carrying explosives that were intended to be detonated remotely without their knowledge. United States Forces in Iraq (USF-I) have reportedly ceased detention of children under the age of 18 over the past year. A number of boys had been held as accused terrorists. However, under the United States-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement USF-I is required to release all juvenile detainees or transfer them over to the Iraqi legal system. In addition, violence in Iraq has at times forced schools to close and generally hindered education in the country.41 Despite the peace agreement between the Al-Houthi armed groups and the government of Yemen in February of 2010, children still make up 15 percent of the soldiers in the Al-Houthi groups and 20 percent of the militants in the pro-government militia Al-Jaysh Al-Shabi. The government reportedly also continues to detain an unknown number of minors for accused membership of opposition groups. Other concerns in the area include the large number of children killed in fighting in the occupied Palestinian territories in Israel, the reported use of children as human shields by Israeli Defense Forces, attacks by both Israeli and Palestinian actors against educational facilities, Al-Qaeda activity to recruit and attack children in Pakistan, and the politicization of children in Lebanon which allows for the possibility of their participation in armed clashes within the country should conflict arise again. The failure of the government of Lebanon to sign the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict contributes to the concern of the UN and Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.42


Eastern Europe: In Eastern Europe children have been affected in the recent past by conflicts in the countries of the former Yugoslavia as well as fighting in Chechnya. In Greece, the minimum age for voluntary enlistment is 18; however, Greek law allows for the mobilization of 17-yearolds in the event of war.43 In Chechnya action to suppress separatist groups have been said to include the detention and torture of children aged 12 to 14 by Chechen authorities loyal to the federal government in Moscow. Separatist and radical Islamic groups in the area have recruited child soldiers as well as attacked schools and children.44

Latin America and the Caribbean: The ongoing conflict in Columbia poses a great risk to children in this region. Widespread and systematic recruitment and use of children by armed groups in Colombia continued during 2010. Although the actual scale and scope of this violation remains unknown, the country task force on monitoring and reporting received information on child recruitment from 19 of the 32 departments in Colombia. The Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejrcito del Pueblo (FARC-EP), and Ejrcito de Liberacin Nacional (ELN) continued to recruit children and use them in action against government forces FARC-EP has announced it would recruit children above the age of 8. An example of FARCEPs cruel use of child soldiers was the use of a child to attack a police station. Explosives were attached to his body and remotely detonated as he approached the station. The government has been reported as using children for intelligence purposes, and detaining captured children from armed groups beyond the time period allowed by law in order to gather information on the group they belonged to. Armed groups have also committed grave sexual violations against girls.45

Due to the January 12, 2010 earthquake, security has been a concern in Haiti. Tens of thousands of illegal weapons are said to be in the possession of gangs, many of which recruit


child members. Children as young as 10 years old are reportedly being used by armed elements in and around Port-au-Prince to courier drugs, warn members when security forces are conducting operations, carry weapons and intervene in armed confrontations, convey messages, act as spies, collect ransom during kidnapping, carry out arson attacks or destroy private and public property. In addition armed groups continue to perpetrate acts of sexual violence against girls, particularly in the internally displaced persons camps that have limited or intermittent access to law enforcement protection.46

Asia: The government of Myanmar continues to recruit children into its armed forces, and to use children for labor purposes related to the military. Opposition groups, such as the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), continue to use child soldiers. Both government and opposition forces have engaged in attacks on schools and hospitals during operations in Kayin State. While the government of Myanmar claims to have stepped up punishment for soldiers involved in recruiting children, it is the opinion of the United Nations that these measures are insufficient. On 4 November 2010, the government enacted the Peoples Military Service Law, which stated 18 as the minimum age for recruitment into the military. However, this law has not yet entered into force. In addition, the government of Myanmar has not yet signed the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict.47 The Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) took part, as a political party, in the Constituent Assembly elections in 2008, and conflict-related violations against children in Nepal have subsequently decreased significantly. However, armed elements operating with

political and often criminal motives primarily in the southern Terai districts continue to have a serious impact on the overall security situation and have created new risks for children and increased their vulnerability to violations. However, no consistent pattern of violations can be


established, and perpetrators are often unidentified, given that the situation in the Terai region is fluid and different armed groups quickly form, split and disappear.48 Recorded incidents of the recruitment of child soldiers increased significantly in the Philippines in 2010. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the New Peoples Army (NPA) accounted for many of the recorded incidents. Reports indicate that at the local levels, members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines continue to use children for military purposes. The government also continues to detain children suspected of being associated with opposition groups. Attacks and occupations of schools increased in 2010, which can be partially attributed to their use as polling stations during elections.49 In India, recruitment and use of child soldiers by Maoist groups, also known as Naxalites has been reported. There have been unconfirmed reports of children being associated with nonstate armed groups in Thailand. In addition the Royal Thai Government of Thailand has been accused of detaining children suspected of being associated with armed groups. For its part, however, the Government claims it has addressed this issue. The five reported attacks against schools is a decrease from the previous two years. In Sri Lanka, the disbanding of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who had previous been the biggest violators of childrens rights, has meant an end to the use in child soldiers in that country. The government and the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) have also committed to releasing the children associated with their forces. However, the whereabouts of many children who were previously recruited by armed groups remains unknown.50

Topic B: Human Trafficking History Human trafficking is often seen as a new phenomenon. However, people have been exploited and trafficked for thousands of years. Slavery was commonplace for most of the


history of mankind, and was a legalized institution all over the world until the 19th century. The practice probably reached its zenith in Ancient Greek and Roman societies. At this time, slaves were often captured from defeated enemies in war. In the most powerful Greek city-states, such as Athens and Sparta, it is said nearly half the population were slaves. In Rome, slaves were so common that even ordinary citizens often owned one or two. Although it was possible for slaves to be freed by their masters, the system of slavery was brutally enforced. Severe floggings and even crucifixion were not uncommon as punishment for disobedience. Slave revolts were common, and always put down mercilessly.51 After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the change in the power structure of Western Europe meant that many slaves became peasants. In the east, Islam was on the rise, and for the Arabs of the Middle East, slavery was just a way of life, as it had been for the Romans and Greeks. The Arabs brought millions of sub-Saharan Africans, Asians, and Europeans to slave markets to be sold throughout the Middle East. In North America, indigenous peoples would often capture people from enemy tribes during times of war and bring them back to their territory to serve as slaves. The tribes of South America, such as the Aztecs and Mayans also relied on capturing slaves from other tribes. In India, the strict caste system made slaves of tens of millions of lower class people.52 When Europeans began large scale colonization of Asia, Africa, and the Americas, the international slave trade reached a new level. These new colonies, especially those in the

Americas, produced various crops as well as gold and other valuable minerals. The Europeans


initially enslaved indigenous peoples to do the harvesting and labor, but in the Americas disease and ill-treatment quickly decimated the local populations. Therefore the Europeans started to import African slaves. From the 16th century to the 19th century, nearly 9 million Africans were shipped to the Americas as slaves.53 By the beginning of the 19th century, many people began to question the morality of human slavery. As nations began to win their independence from Spain in South America, most of them immediately banned slavery. The Parliament of The United Kingdom, in 1807 after much pressure from its citizens, outlawed slavery. In 1833 the slaves in the British colonies were emancipated. The British also put pressure on other European countries to end slavery in their territories, and used their powerful navy to end the international slave trade.54 In 1848 France also freed all the slaves in their colonies. Slavery remained a point of controversy in the United States. While the northern states had generally stopped the practice in the beginning of the 19th century, southern states defended slavery as vital to their economies. Eventually the issue of slavery was one of the reasons for the secession of southern states and the American Civil War. After the victory of the Union in 1865, the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery in the United States. By the end of the 19th century, Spain and Brazil, two other important slave countries, had started eliminating slavery in their territories. Subsequent international agreements, such as the 1926 Slavery Convention of the League of Nations, lead to the complete worldwide rejection of slavery as a legal institution.55 With legal slavery almost entirely abolished by the end of the 19th century, European countries started to turn their attention to white slavery. In this context white slavery refers the enslavement -- by use of force, deceit or drugs -- of a woman or a girl for the purpose of forced

prostitution. In the last decade of the 19th century and the first of the 20th century, multiple


international conferences were held for the purpose of discussing the international white slave trade. In 1904 an International Agreement for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic was signed in Paris. The agreement aimed to ensure that women and girls are protected against this criminal traffic. Even though the security of victims is mentioned in the Agreement, the focus is on the control and repatriation of migrant women and girls. In 1910 the International Convention for the Suppression of the White Slave Trade was drafted and signed by 13 countries. While the previous Agreement had mainly focused on the migration side of the issue, the 1910 Agreement concentrated on outlawing the trafficking of women. Following this Agreement, many European countries established agencies with the purpose of investigating, suppressing, and preventing white slavery trafficking. During this time, attention was focused solely on white women and girls, and the plight of non-white women in the commercialized sex industry was almost completely ignored.56 Under criticism for its narrow scope, the term white slavery was changed to traffic in women and children in 1921. The two most significant aspects of this change were that it recognized the victimization of non-white women, as well as the possibility that male children could be victims. The League of Nations conducted two reports, in 1927 and 1932 on the international trafficking of sex workers. At that time, the report on the Western Hemisphere found Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Spain, and Italy to be some of the main countries of origin. Meanwhile some of the main destination countries were Agentina, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, and Algeria. This shows how different the trafficking picture was 80 years ago, as today, the movement of people has reversed. Many of the main countries of origin in that report are now top destination countries, and vice versa.

21 However, the cruel methods for procuring victims have not changed much, nor have the

methods for control and exploitation, which were described in one example by the Argentine government in 1924. Four, five, or even more women were kept in one house under the supervision of the manageress, who was always the wife of the procurer. The women were ruthlessly exploited in the sex industry, and never received the cash for their services. The manageress would give them a slip for each client they served, and at the end of the week the women would give these slips to their owner for a nominal amount of cash, which would generally only be enough to provide for their basic necessities. In addition the women had no liberties and were practically imprisoned in their house by the manageress. The recommendations made by the League of Nations reports for combating illegal trafficking are also very similar to recommendations made by todays international bodies. Some of the main measures suggested were increasing knowledge and international cooperation. They also called for an increase in contributions from civil society. In addition it was seen as important to rally public opinion in support of anti-trafficking measures. These are some of the very same remedies being purposed today.

Summary of the Issue Human trafficking is estimated to be a $32 billion industry, affecting 161 countries worldwide.57 According to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, human trafficking is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person,


for the purpose of exploitation.58 Although slavery has long since been banned by every country in the world, more than 30 million people worldwide today are held and sold as slaves, more than at any other point in history.59 Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. It is third behind the illicit trade of drugs and the illicit trade of arms in terms of profitability, but at the current rate it will soon overtake both.60 Each year an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 persons are trafficked across international borders.61 Developing countries are usually the source of victims, while developed countries are often their destination.62 The most common noted trafficking occurs in the form of sexual exploitation (79%), followed by forced labor (18%). The large percentage of sexual exploitation cases is most likely due to that crime being more visible and therefore more often reported than other trafficking crimes. Around 80 percent of human trafficking victims are women or children, who are more likely to be exploited in the sex industry, while men are more likely to be forced into slave labor.63 Because of these numbers, sexual exploitation has dominated the recent discussions of human trafficking. Trafficking for labor purposes has received little attention in many countries, and as a result most trafficking victims who are identified by authorities are victims of sexual exploitation. Victims who are identified as victims of exploitation, sexual or otherwise, may be rescued as victims of trafficking in persons, and it is possible they could receive support from the country they were trafficked to. In some cases victims are repatriated to their countries of origin, or to a third country. However, far too often, victims may still be deported by local authorities as illegal migrants.64 Like any industry, the bottom line is profit, and traffickers are incredibly adept at adapting to changing markets to maximize it. Recruiters move around the globe to prey on


vulnerable populations. Communities with little empowerment or economic opportunity are the most popular areas for traffickers to exploit. The most susceptible populations are either unaware of their rights or live in a country where their rights are not strictly observed. This makes it easy for traffickers to exploit persons without worrying about repercussions from authorities. Unemployment is a major factor which leads to desperation among families and individuals, who may turn to a trafficker for financial help because they feel they have no alternative. When traffickers promise a destitute individual a steady job, it can often make them overlook the dangers involved. Families are also often deceived into handing over their children to traffickers in this way. Lower-middle class families can also be vulnerable. Having tasted a bit of luxury, these individuals may be easily tempted by dreams of a glamorous life, and the promises of a trafficker. In some extreme cases, a family may even voluntarily sell their child into slavery for economic gain. Traffickers shift their area of focus whenever either the assets in the current area are depleted or those assets can be obtained elsewhere more easily. This is why the sources of trafficking crimes have historically shifted across the globe, and continue to do so today. 65 After having obtained the victim, recruiters often sell the trafficked individual quite quickly to slaveholders; the traffickers have usually built up a relationship with their clients, and they mostly know who they will sell a person to before they recruit them. A person who is seen as an outsider is less likely to receive help from the local population; therefore victims are usually trafficked across the country or into other countries. Once the victim reaches their destination, the slaveholder acts quickly to take complete control of the victims life. Any identification or proof of citizenship is taken away. The victim is closely watched, and if left alone will be locked in a room. The slaveholder also creates an atmosphere of financial dependence. All life needs are supplied by the slaveholder, and in return the victim is considered


to be in debt bondage to them. Cruel violence is also exercised very early on. Most victims will be physically abused within 48 hours of arriving in the hands of their slaveholder. In this way, the slaveholder asserts their dominance and keeps their victim in a constant state of terror. This fear is one of the slaveholders most important methods of control. Any resistance the victim may have is broken by this use of violence early in the relationship. In addition to the threat of violence against themselves, slaveholders often make sure to remind the victim that if they try to escape or do not cooperate, they are in a position to be able to hurt their family as well. Even if they could escape, the victim probably does not know the local language, they will have no money, and probably would not trust local authorities.66 International human trafficking is mainly carried out by organized crime groups. The UN Trafficking in Persons 2006 report identified two main types of crime organizations involved in human trafficking. The first group is hierarchically structured and is characterized by strong internal mechanisms of discipline and control. Generally speaking, human trafficking is not the main operation these organizations undertake. They are also prominent in the illicit trade of drugs, arms, and other illegal for-profit activities. They typically have a strong ethnic identity. The trafficking of human beings is the primary activity of the second type of group. These groups generally consist of a relatively smaller number of tightly bound number of individuals surrounded by a loose network of associates. These core groups do not usually have a single dominant ethnic identity. One of the major problems facing international efforts to stop human trafficking is a lack of reliable statistics. There are a number of factors which contribute to this situation. Some countries lack even basic legislation concerning human trafficking, and many countries which do have legislation only define human trafficking as the smuggling of persons for the purposes of


sexual exploitation. If comprehensive laws do exist, they are not always enforced, and identified victims may be treated as illegal migrants. Victims themselves are controlled through fear, and will often be reluctant to come forward to authorities. Many countries also lack a centralized agency dedicated to trafficking crimes, and as such there is no coordination or database for information. Information and databases collected by inter-governmental organizations (IGOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) often only account for victims who have been identified, assisted, and repatriated, a small percentage of the true number of human trafficking crimes which take place each year. Another problem is that countries may only record data on transnational trafficking, and not internal trafficking. In addition, national agencies have a tendency to mix data related to human trafficking with data on migrant-smuggling and irregular migration, making it more difficult to see the true human trafficking picture. Clearly differentiating human trafficking from other forms of migration remains a top priority for the international community.67

Relevant United Nations and other International Actions Article 4 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, clearly bans slavery and the sale of human beings. It states No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.68 The 1949 United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others was the first legally binding international document to directly address the issue of human trafficking.69 All parties agreed to make the trade of a person, even with that persons consent, a punishable and extraditable crime. In addition, parties agreed that anyone running a brothel or participating in the prostitution of others

was a criminal. Eighty-one countries are parties to this agreement as of June 9, 2009.70 One of the reasons more countries have not ratified the Convention is its requirement that parties criminalize institutional prostitution. After the signing of the Convention in 1949, the focus


remained largely on women in the commercial sex industry, and several non-binding instruments were adopted, such as The Beijing Platform for Action by the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. Forced labor, particularly when it involves children, was addressed by the ILO Conventions in 1999.71 In 2000 the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime was adopted by the United Nations. Coming into force in 2003, it established a victim-centered approach to combating trafficking to balance the law enforcement-centered aspect.72 In 2005, the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings was adopted by the European Union, and marked a step towards greater cooperation and dedication within Europe in addressing the trafficking issue.73

Bloc Positions Western: The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 in the U.S., as well as the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Europe, are firm legal documents which not only state the Western nations strong stance against the crime of human trafficking, but clearly recognize that those caught up in human trafficking and found illegally in their countries are not criminals to be deported, but victims who deserve protection. However, these countries approaches are not without drawbacks. In the U.S., adult victims must be willing to cooperate with law enforcement in order to receive assistance from existing programs. However, there is no

definition of what constitutes reasonable cooperation. Fear and trauma often affect a victims ability to reasonably cooperate, but the U.S. approach tends to favor the needs of law


enforcement over the needs of the victim. In Europe, although there is legislation at the EU level, implementation is still left to individual member states. This can lead to irregular and subjective enforcement of the protections afforded to trafficking victims in Europe. In addition, many countries focus on sexual exploitation may leave victims of other types of trafficking abuse unprotected. While the existing programs for assisting former victims of trafficking abuse in Europe are commendable, a lack of sufficient government funding means these programs often rely on already overstretched NGOs for their financial needs.74

Eastern Europe: The fall of communism in Eastern Europe has been a mixed blessing for the people of this region. The loss of economic security and the promise of opportunity create exactly the kind of conditions in which traffickers thrive. In addition, the region is a hot spot for organized crime. Governments have attempted awareness campaigns to educate people about the dangers of migration, but the impact of these programs has been negligible. When concerted efforts have been made to actively attack the issue, most efforts have been directed towards defining human trafficking and toughening laws related to trafficking crimes. However, this approach fails to address the underlying reasons why human trafficking is such a problem in the region. In addition, children and non-sexual exploitation victims are often overlooked by national efforts.75

Middle East: Religion plays such a large role in the politics of this region that it is often difficult for countries to address the problem of human trafficking because of its connection to the

commercial sex industry. Still dealing with the shame of brothels maintained by the British during the colonial era, many of these countries have outlawed not only prostitution, but


promiscuity as well. Sex trafficking is one area where the Middle Eastern countries have failed to open up a real dialogue with the rest of the world. Government inaction has left combating trafficking in the area mostly to NGOs.76

Asia: In Asia, the situation is somewhat complicated by the commercial sex industrys importance to many countries economies. While most of the money in human trafficking flows through underground channels, it is also safe to say, for example, that many hotels in this region would not survive were it not for the slave trade.77 Many countries in this region lack sufficient labor laws to protect workers from exploitation. Increasing globalization has lead to a situation where many communities face extreme poverty, while the demand for cheap labor around the region is very high. This leads to a situation of increased desperation and migration among the poorest of Asia. This is a prime situation which traffickers prey upon. Awareness among the populations generally remain low, and laws in many countries afford victims who are trafficked across international borders little protection.78

Latin America and the Caribbean: Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean serve as source, transit, and destination countries for trafficking victims. There is considerably less research on the extent and nature of trafficking in persons in Latin America and the Caribbean than there is on Asia and Europe. In the United States 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report, nine countries in the region fell into either Tier 3, or Tier 2, meaning they were judged as making inadequate measures to combat trafficking and risked economic sanctions from the U.S. The


percentage of countries appearing in the bottom two tiers was higher here than any other region in the world. Here, trafficking for forced labor, domestic servitude, child soldiers, and sexual exploitation are all major problems. Many factors account for the growth of trafficking here; limited economic opportunity for women, strict migration laws in destination countries which make legal immigration difficult, government indifference to the issue of human trafficking, and economic and natural disaster hardship being chief among them.79

Africa: According to the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking nearly 130,000 people in sub-Saharan countries and 230,000 in the Middle East and Northern Africa are in forced labor, including sexual exploitation, as a result of human trafficking. Many African countries still do not have legislation pertaining to human trafficking, or they have laws that criminalize only some aspects of human trafficking (such as child trafficking).80 The Ouagadougou Action Plan, adopted by the African Union in 2006, calls for uniform measures and recommendations for the implementation of laws in African countries to address the trafficking issue.81 The African Unions Commission Initiative against Trafficking (AU.COMMIT), started in 2009, aimed to increase implementation of the Action Plan.82 Progress in this regard remains a struggle across this region.


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