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An Interdisciplinary Approach to Human Trafficking as a Global Problem

Throughout the world, there are thousands of women and children that get forced into human
trafficking (Keomanivong , 2008). To most people, the thought of slavery seems like something
that existed well before our time, but the truth is that it has taken a nasty turn into something that
rids children of their innocence and adolescence. The heartbreaking truth of this criminal activity
is that the majority of the victims are involved in the type of trafficking that engages them into
some type of sex act or slavery (Kanics, 2003). Those that are trafficked are not only forced into
the sex trade, but are relentlessly beaten, tortured, and then sent on to the next person. Human
trafficking is a problem seen throughout the world, and is by no means excluded to just one
country. For the most part human traffic crimes go unnoticed; possibly it is because of ignorance
or due to a lack of information provided to the public. The sad reality of human trafficking is that
this ‘unnoticed’ crime estimates a profit of over $7 billion dollars, with almost 4 million people
trafficked each year (Kanics, 2003). The causes of human trafficking are very frightening, and
range from instances like poverty to lack of intervention at the government level. In order to truly
understand the severity of human trafficking and to determine what potential solutions there are,
the sociological, political, and economic factors must all be considered.

In order to vanquish human trafficking, a clear understanding of what it is and how it is operated
is imperative in order to arrive at a solution. Human trafficking is a highly complex problem, and
requires more than just one discipline to fully comprehend it (Repko, 2005). Various disciplines
have attempted to analyze and create solutions for human trafficking, but with no success present,
it only seems fitting that it be looked at in the sense of an interdisciplinary approach. By looking
at it this way, human trafficking will be evaluated and seen in the views of multiple disciplines.
Instead of being confined to just an overview of what human trafficking is an interdisciplinary
approach will allow many perspectives and insights to be observed.

A variety of disciplines could be used to better explain human trafficking; some of them include
political science, psychology, sociology, religion, economics, criminal justice, international law,
anthropology, and mathematics. Although all of these disciplines could be used, for the purpose
of this paper it will be limited to those disciplines that are most pertinent to help succeed when
striving to come up with a solution. The three most significant disciplines that will help explain
human trafficking are sociology, political science, and economics.

Sociology as a discipline can help explain human trafficking and the steps needed to come to a
possible solution. Sociology not only presents the numbers and facts that lie behind human
trafficking, but also the demographics and raw data needed to better understand it. Sociology also
helps explain the pace of social change, and will allow for human trafficking to be observed by the
use of historical analysis (Rose, 1974). The importance of sociology to human trafficking is
tremendous, because not only can it be used to look at the victims, but also at the perpetrators that
are committing this crime. Since most people think that the perpetrators of human trafficking are
those that are either thugs or belong to some type of a mafia or gang, it is important to point out
that stereotype does not always hold true (Malerek, 2007, p. 10).Maybe one of the most important
aspects of trafficking is that the people that are organizing this are not always the mobster type,
but instead fit the descriptions of the neighbor next door. Since human trafficking deals with people
and society, it only seems natural that sociology would have to be drawn on to comprehend the
issue.

The next discipline needed to help with the matter of human trafficking, is political science.
When using political science it easy to examine how political systems, public policies, and political
behavior all play an immense role in the existence of human trafficking (Rienow, 1956). Political
science also shows how the world is handling human trafficking, and how there tends to be an
absence of government intervention. Although there are some reports of the United States putting
trafficking high on their agenda of things to do, it seems like there needs to be more interaction
between countries in order to achieve success at extinguishing this crime (Gramegna & Laczko,
2003). With proper leaders and officials, and governments that are more proactive like the United
States, then the possibility of seeing a change becomes much greater. For example, in some
countries they have refugee camps for the women that escape the trafficking ‘ring,’ but in order
for this system to be successful, there needs to be a coalition of governments that implement these
camps in every country. Political science will help not only with understanding the scope of
government interaction, but also with explaining and understanding what kind of crime human
trafficking is and the steps needed to solve it.

The final discipline used when viewing human trafficking, is economics. Since economics can
be used to look at the dynamics of poverty and the endeavors that humans make to obtain wealth,
then it will be easier to understand why these children and women are being sold in to human
trafficking (Fels, 1966). Economics also looks at how humans choose to use their resources, and
how money, labor, and land can affect the ability to do so. There seems to be an obvious lack of
provisions in the countries that are experiencing human trafficking, otherwise families would not
be forced to sell their children, and women would not have to rely on this industry to make a living.
In Vietnam most of the women that are part of the traffic ring use it as a way to earn a living, and
as a way to earn their independence. The worst thing about it is that the parents that sell their
children willingly do it in order to make just enough money to make it through the next month
(Penh, 2007). Since there is a lack of wealth and an abundance of poverty in the developing world,
it is very important to use economics to make sense of why this shortage exists in the countries
where human trafficking is most prominent.

In conclusion , Human traffiking can be though specific discipline like sociology , economics
, and social science and Human trafficking problem is alarming social issue, which is increasing
because ofglobalization processes and differences in standards of living people from different
countries. Itis considered that human trafficking equals prostitution and sex work, but it is wider
conceptbecause it includes not only prostitution and sex work but also labour trafficking.The latest
legislation act regarding human trafficking is the Protocol to Prevent, Suppressand Punish
Trafficking in Persons, which explains that trafficking in persons consists ofrecruitment,
transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons. Exploitation shall include,at a minimum,
the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation,forced labour or
services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal oforgans. The Protocol
to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime is aimed toprevent and combat
trafficking in persons, paying particular attention to women and children. Human trafficking
include recruitment stage, travel-transit stage, exploitation stage,detention stage, integration or
reintegration stage and re-trafficking stage. Trafficked peoplesuffer from psychological, physical
and mental problems on every stage. Obviously, that humantrafficking has a lot of negative moral,
physical, psychological and health consequences. The legalization of prostitution is one of the
instruments, which aims to prevent humantrafficking and fighting against it. The legalization of
prostitution has two opposite effects on theincidence of trafficking, and it is proved that countries
where prostitution is legal experience alarger reported incidence of human trafficking inflows,
despite the substitution effect.