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Running Head: Human Trafficking—Focus on Women 1

Scholarly Paper

Lillian G. Facka

Professor Kathy S. Faw RN, MSN

Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing

NUR 3113

April 6, 2017

Honor Code “I pledge..”

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Blissful ignorance creates a voice echoing the naïve idea that life provides each human

being with equal opportunities. Unfortunately, this is not this case. Varying populations

experience advantages and disadvantages on a daily basis. Viewing a bigger picture, what makes

a population prone to disadvantages, or vulnerability? Elizabeth T. Anderson and Judith

McFarlane define vulnerable populations as “populations who, for various reasons, have been

relegated to the margins of society. These groups may be impoverished, discriminated against, or

functionally impaired in some way” (Anderson & McFarlane, 2018). Researching human

trafficking, particularly focusing on women, one would see the clear deficit, on a global level,

surrounding women’s health and safety. Muhtar Cokar, Yesim Isil Ulman, and Nadi Bakirci go

on to define human trafficking as “a form of human rights violation, including forced

prostitution, regarding right to life and respect for human dignity” (2016).

Social Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health are defined as “conditions in which people are born, grown,

live, work and age, all of which have an impact on their health” (Skolnik, 2016). Human

trafficking is “commonly understood to involved a variety of crimes and abuses associated with

recruitment, movement and sale of people (including body parts) into a range of exploitative

conditions around the world” (Cokar, Ulman, Bakirci, 2016). Women forced into prostitution is

undoubtedly recognized as one of the fastest growing crimes in the world (Cokar, Ulman,

Bakirci, 2016). “The majority of victims are women (54%) and girls (17%)—mostly illegal

migrants” (Cho, 2013). Cho continues to describe that these women often flee from their home

countries seeking asylum, usually from warring countries. These women and their families enter

new countries poor and looking for a new start at life; sadly they fall victim to enslavement,
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usually working for extremely low wages, in intolerable environments, and sexually abused.

They sell themselves to make money to keep their families alive. Human trafficking also stands

in the face of travelers; female tourists unaware of their foreign environments are often captured

and sold into human slavery in foreign countries, losing the independent voice they once had.

Evidenced-Based Interventions Addressing Health Needs

Pessimism may trace through the air with this heart-wrenching topic, however there is

hope. Cokar, Ulman, Bakirci report “global and regional responses to the problem have been

phenomenal, so much so that concern for trafficking has arguably transformed from ‘a poorly

funded NGO [non-governmental organization] women’s issue in the early 1980’s’, into ‘the

global agenda of high politics’ of the United States Congress, the European Union (EU), and the

United Nations” (2016). “Each year, within routine law enforcement controls over sex work,

thousands of domestic and foreign sex workers are captured and referred for compulsory STI

screening. The unique process of physician-patient relationship may serve as a mechanism for

victim identification on the basis of physicians’ responsibility to detect human trafficking”

(Cokar, Ulman, Bakirci, 2016). Also discussed by Cokar, Ulman, Bakirci is the responsibility of

healthcare providers in this “gender based violence” that is recognized not only as a violation of

human rights, but also a public health issue. Health care providers must advocate for their

patient’s health as well as this public’s ethical conduct (Cokar, Ulman, Bakirci, 2016).

Global Approach in Addressing Health for All

Seo-Yeoung Cho develops a footing for what the global population can act upon to

prevent trafficking of women as well as creating a safe environment. “Besides interaction

through communication devices, social globalization also promotes direct personal contact
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among people from different countries in the form of immigration and tourism” (2013). Focusing

on the idea of travel, Cho continues to describe the benefits of fostering relationships between

different cultures : “personal interaction among different people can have a positive impact on

tolerance toward different lifestyles and increase acceptance of different gender roles, sexuality,

religions, and ethnic backgrounds “ (2013). Cho continues to promote this idea by discussing

how women in particular can benefit from this modification, “this has the potential to

enable changes in women’s role in society. Furthermore, social globalization tends to decrease

cultural gaps across countries because people are now more exposed to different cultures.”

(2013). Globally, society must recognized where culture is recognized and defined, specifically

for women. “As women’s rights are deeply grounded in culture and value systems, cultural

exposure to and proximity with other diverse cultures can have a positive impact in reducing

discriminatory cultural practices against women” (Cho, 2013). Cho help’s cultivate an

understanding between culture and women’s rights, how important education is in creating equal

opportunities between boarders. Seeing travel as the conduit for education, as a society, breaking

cultural norms has the potential to bring light to female trafficking and eliminate its entirety.

While travel is a main focus, Cho adds another element: increase in female labor force. While

she states this idea could backfire, the premise of this concept surrounds globalization and

economic empowerment. “Globalization may benefit women in general by reducing gender

differences in employment and wages if accompanied by subsequent economic growth due to the

relatively flexible accommodation of females into the labor forces of integrated economies (Cho,


Human Trafficking—Focus on Women 5

Human trafficking of women is defined as a violation of human rights that particularly

surrounds sexual abuse. These women and children need advocates in the healthcare community

to vouch for their health as well as ethical decision making of the public. These populations

affected by human trafficking are often found within families seeking asylum outside of their

home country, particularly if they are poor. There is hope; the future holds opportunity for

human trafficking to be eradicated. Education within different cultures as well as economic

growth for female employees hold promise for a brighter day for victims of human trafficking

within the global population.

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Anderson, E. T., & McFarlane, J. (2018). COMMUNITY AS PARTNER: Theory and Practice in


International (7th ed.). S.l.: WOLTERS KLUWER.

Cho, S. (2013). Integrating Equality - Globalization, Women’s Rights, and Human

Trafficking. SSRN

Electronic Journal, 683-697. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2099326

Cokar, M., Ulman, Y. I., & Bakirci, N. (2016). Breaking the silence of the lambs: integrating

medical staff in

prevention of human trafficking. Acta bioethica,22(1), 101-110. doi:10.4067/s1726-


Skolnik, R. L. (2016). Global health 101. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
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