Human trafficking is a vice that is prevalent today, and it has reached to unacceptable levels. This behavior is immoral and illegal because simply, it infringes on peoples’ basic human rights. Everybody is entitled to freedom and right to decent living. Human trafficking has become a business, and it is very booming in Asian countries, especially in Southeast Asia and also in the Arab world, especially in Saudi Arabia.
Human trafficking takes various forms and manner in which it is conducted. In Saudi, it takes the form of people promised for well-paying jobs whereby humans, especially from Africa, are airlifted there to do domestic jobs, but they end up being mistreated and are sexually exploited, especially those of female gender. All the governments in the world have outlawed this vice, but it is very unfortunate to note that it is still being carried out by the unscrupulous businesspeople that are out to rake in profits apparently by disregarding the rights of others, especially children, to decent living.
Our research seeks to expose the filth in Southeast Asia as regard the child trafficking. Human trafficking practices have been found to be thriving highly in the three countries, namely Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia. This research addresses itself to the anti-trafficking policies in these countries. It is important to note from the onset that though these nations have instituted policies to curb the vice, they have not adequately addressed the root cause of the vice, and as such, these laws are not very effective as they should be. Human trafficking in these countries takes two forms which are sex trafficking and trafficking people to provide labor on slave like circumstances. Our research takes off by considering anti-trafficking policies in Cambodia.
Anti-Trafficking Policies in Cambodia
First, the Cambodian government enacted the law on trafficking that comprehensively described trafficking offences and clearly defined what human trafficking is. This was a major step forward because initially, the law was very vague and left a loophole to be exploited by those involved.
Secondly, the law has very severe and punitive consequences for people furthering these heinous and inhumane acts. Prior to enactment of this law, the constitutional provisions regarding the penalties and punishments were very lenient, and the individual suspects could get away with everything easily; and this catalyzed the vice. Initially, the firms committing labor trafficking offences could only be fined, and this means that criminal punishment could not be instituted against them at all.
Thirdly, there was also the establishment of anti-trafficking task force that acts as a link between all government agencies involved in curbing the vice. Initially, these departments were not working in unison, and it caused the lack of vital synergy. This highly inhibited the fight against the vice because more often, the conflicts and overlap of roles amongst these institutions of the government exist. The task force acts as a fibre that binds them together to form a seamless integration.
The government also highly advocates against the sex tourism in order to prevent trafficking of children for sexual exploitation. Specifically, the government has issued stern admonition to those in tourism industries to warn them against allowing the vice to occur in their premises by promising severe criminal consequences to the individual offenders.
Anti-Trafficking Policies in Thailand
Thailand passed the legislation to suppress human trafficking in 2007.This law recognizes both sexual and labor trafficking. Initially, it is concentrated on sexual trafficking in order to reduce HIV/AIDS prevalence and left a space for labor trafficking. This means that the new law protects men as well as women unlike earlier on where emphasis was placed on women.
The law also pronounces very stiff penalties to the individuals involved in trafficking crimes. The government took cognizance of the fact that some of its officials were abetting the vice. Consequently, the provisions of the law are such that these government workers face the full force of the law up to three times the punishment and penalties that are prescribed by the law.3
The government has also initiated a comprehensive scheme to assist the victims of the vice. These people are taken to rehabilitation centers where they are provided with medical care, food, and psychological treatment so that they can realign themselves and be able to live their ordinary lives again.
Anti-Trafficking Policies in Indonesia
Initially, the government of Indonesia did not have a national law to curb human trafficking; and thus, this responsibility was left to regional government. Owing to this, there a nationwide approach to the fight lacked; but in early 2007, the parliament passed a law to stop trafficking. This law has been beneficial in under mentioned ways.
First, the law described clearly what constituted human trafficking, and for the first time, recognized men as victims of the same. It recognized existence of both sex and labor trafficking.
Secondly, severe and stiff penalties were to be instituted against all those involved in the illegal trade practice. For instance, anybody found guilty of this offence is bound to face a jail term of not less than six years. Earlier, the law rendered minimal and lean punishment to the suspects; and thus, the practice flourished in Indonesia. The law also has severe penalties for the government officials involved in the trade in order to make the fight successful and sustainable.
Lastly, the government departments have endeavored to work together in order to boost anti-trafficking efforts. The government agencies and ministry cooperate amongst themselves and non-governmental organizations in order to provide rehabilitation endeavors for those victims rescued from the yoke of human trafficking to assist them to heal. This cooperation also ensures a unified approach to the practice; and as such, there is unity of purpose in the anti-trafficking efforts.
In conclusion, it is apparent that human trafficking has been practiced, especially in the three south-eastern Asian countries of Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia. It is very important that the governments have passed legislations that recognize and describe the various forms of human trafficking and stipulated severe legal consequences for people found to fuel this illegal practice in their countries. Specifically, they have taken cognizance of labor slavery that involved men since this was overlooked by many countries that concentrated on sex trafficking and thus, took care of women and girls worldwide in order to stem the vice once and for all.