What’s Human Trafficking?
Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims.
According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),
Human trafficking is defined by Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons 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. 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 of organs.
In accordance with the criminal definition made by UNODC, Taiwan government drafted Human Trafficking Prevention Act and enacted in 1997 in Taiwan, by which two types of activities are recognized as Human trafficking as follows: Firstly,
to recruit, trade, take into bondage, transport, deliver, receive, harbor, hide, broker, or accommodate a local or foreign person, by force, threat, intimidation, confinement, monitoring, drugs, hypnosis, fraud, purposeful concealment of important information, illegal debt bondage, withholding important documents, making use of the victim’s inability, ignorance or helplessness, or by other means against his/her will, for the intention of subjecting him/her to sexual transactions, labor to which pay is not commensurate with the work duty, organ harvesting; or to use the above-mentioned means to impose sexual transactions, labor to which pay is not commensurate with the work duty, or organ harvesting on the victims.
(Human Trafficking Prevention Act, 2014)
The other types of human trafficking activity is defined in the Act as,
To recruit, trade, take into bondage, transport, deliver, receive, harbor, hide, broker, to sex transactions, labor to which pay is not commensurate with the work duty, or organ harvesting, or to subject people under 18 years of age to sexual transactions, labor to which pay is not commensurate with the work duty, or organ harvesting.
(Human Trafficking Prevention Act, 2014)
Regarding to the definitions made by the Human Trafficking Prevention Act (HTPA), Trafficking in persons in Taiwan can be generally categorized into three forms, including sex exploitation, labor exploitation and organ harvest. Although organ harvest cases are rarely observed in Taiwan, the other two forms of trafficking in persons are more commonly encountered in the investigations. The Taiwan government, however, is keenly aware of the severity and brutality involved within Trafficking in Persons and the Hsinchu County Government, particularly, is making the considerable efforts needed to terminate and prevent further victimization as well as the safeguarding of human rights and dignity.
Why Human Trafficking?
Globalization has made the human migration among countries more convenient and frequent nowadays. The people in economically backward countries, which are suffering from wars and poverty, are therefore seeking for a better living. They are motivated immigrate to other countries to improve their family’ lives in their home countries. Furthermore the demands of cheap labor and prostitution from developed countries have its impact on the growth of the global immigration population, which has made the growing presence of foreign workers and immigrants alarmingly noticeable. It is widely recognized that foreign workers are vulnerable to criminality in host countries, deemed as a human commodity for illegal profits in the criminal eyes and ultimately being exploited, whether in forms of sex or labor.
Tricks Frequently Employed by Human Traffickers?
Human smugglers often disguise themselves as a company, which appears to be trustworthy, and promote overseas work opportunities on newspapers or likewise, with an intention to attract potential victims who are seeking money. This is only one of the ways that the criminals adopted to run their dark business. Furthermore, the fact that human smugglers can possibly be one of the victim’s acquaintances, family members or people from their community shows that the offenders are not necessarily to be strangers. They are people who promise to provide the victims work positions as well as educations and marriages. The promises, though, are to be broken soon after their arrivals in the host country. Also, the victims are guaranteed to have their free passport applications, traveling visas, work permissions and, expectably, free flight to the country that they are told to be a money paradise. People doing working holiday and backpackers are likely to be targeted by human traffickers and it is especially among this group that has seen an increase in trafficking. Those who are attracted by work opportunities in a foreign country that are guaranteed by the traffickers will, consequently, be forced into sex exploitation or labor exploitation or other criminalities. Concerning to those who are unfortunately trapped in miserable lives, responses on countering human trafficking should be taken as a priority and actions must be taken to end this notorious “Modern-Day Slavery.”
What are the Traits of Human Trafficking Victims?
A person who is trafficked may look like many of the people you see daily, but asking the right questions and looking for small clues will help you identify those people who have been forced or coerced into a life of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Look for the following clues:
- Evidence of being controlled
- Evidence of an inability to move or leave job
- Bruises or other signs of battering
- Fear or depression
- Inability of speaking local language
- Recently brought to this country from Vietnam, Indonesia or Philippines.
- Lack of passport, immigration or identification documentation.
What Should I Do if I Spot a Human Trafficking Case?
You can contact law enforcement agencies through following hotlines:
- National Immigration Agency: 02 - 23883095 (24 hours)
- National Police Agency: 110 (24 hours)
- Ministry of Labor: 1955 (24hours；Counseling and simultaneous interpreting & translating service provided)