Runner up in the What Matters? Writing Competition 2016
The What Matters? Writing Competition is run each year by the Whitlam Institute. Entrants write a 400-600 word opinion piece on what matters to them and why. This year the institute received a record 3754 entries!
Kirti has been invited to attend an awards ceremony in August where she will receive a prize and participate in a writing workshop conducted by author Bernard Cohen.
A big congratulations Kirti on your achievement!
Read Kirti’s prize winning entry below.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING – A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY
In a world that has embraced man’s unconditional control over another, the gratuitous enslavement of human beings embodies a profligate crisis facing the globe.
Human trafficking is a crime against humanity, it involves the act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harbouring or receiving a person through the use of force or coercion for the purpose of exploiting them.[i] It is a global phenomenon that is found in every nation and manifests itself in the forms of sex trafficking, forced labour, domestic servitude and organ harvesting.
A form of modern day slavery, human trafficking threatens the dignity of persons.[ii] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states in Article 4 “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”[iii] Through this declaration, it is evident that this is not universally accepted in society, as human trafficking is a far more pressing problem in the modern world than originally thought. Officially, worldwide slavery ended more than a century ago. Unofficially, it’s a growth industry that will continue to expand.
Poverty and gender discrimination lies at the heart of human trafficking.[iv] In sex trafficking, women and children are diminished to the status of a gratifying sexual commodity and are commonly trafficked into the commercial sex industries. On the other hand, men are usually trafficked into tough labour jobs, while children are trafficked into labour positions in sweatshops and domestic industries. It has become an organized billion dollar industry that generates thirty two billion dollars annually and has at its core, investors, recruiters and corrupt public officials as participants. Globalisation has given birth to a service industry completely devoted to providing transportation, forged documents and accounting assistance.[v]
Human trafficking is a system based on greed, control and power.[vi] Victims are threatened to, lied to and beaten. Traffickers use deception, fraud, threats and other psychological coercion to make promises of improvements in getting jobs, education and a better life. They prey on the vulnerabilities of people who are poor, uneducated, neglected, unemployed or immigrants.[vii] Escape is inevitable and almost impossible. However, all this can change, as life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change. For starters, human trafficking is a global problem that requires a global solution. Raising awareness in countries where human trafficking hits the hardest, can help start the change that the world needs to see. Educating and helping individuals in understanding the nature of trafficking can encourage civilians to look for signs of trafficking in a person. It should not take a little motivation to encourage the community to take action, it should be in our character and personality to help those who need it the most, to show compassion to those who need it and to help people recognise the difference between right and wrong. It should be in our humanity.
There is no doubt now that the world we know will always exhibit in creating disconnected individuals everyday. Human trafficking is one of the greatest ethical challenges facing modern times. Eradicating human trafficking needs to start with change and if humanity is willing to allow that change to occur. The human mind is the most complex organ belonging to any species on earth. But in the complexity lies the thought of enslaving others for profit. Caught between the sadistic system are the lives of thousands of men, women and children who are innocent and are trapped in the clutches of a sea of oppression, as their freedom, rights and dignity are stolen from them.
[i] United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2016, from https://www.unodc.org/nigeria/en/human-trafficking.html Definition of Human Trafficking
[ii] Resources on Human Trafficking ‘Against Humanity’ (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2016, from http://www.catholicreligiousaustralia.org.au/index.php/news-a-views/our-stories/item/2065-resources-on-human-trafficking-from-against-humanity
[iii] Human Rights No Slavery: UN Universal Declaration Violations & Abuse, Torture & Slavery,. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2016, from http://www.humanrights.com/what-are-human-rights/violations-of-human-rights/slavery-and-torture.html
[iv] “Human Trafficking” by Sandhya Bhat and Catherine Pushpam Joseph. (2012). Retrieved June 28, 2016, from http://www.carnegiecouncil.org/publications/articles_papers_reports/0149
[v] “Human Trafficking” by Sandhya Bhat and Catherine Pushpam Joseph. (2012). Retrieved June 28, 2016, from http://www.carnegiecouncil.org/publications/articles_papers_reports/0149
[vi] What is human trafficking. (2016). Retrieved June 28, 2016, from http://www.stopthetraffik.org/uk/page/what-is-human-trafficking
[vii] Victims of Trafficking – Florida Department of Health. (2015, February 02). Retrieved from http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/community-health/refugee-health/_documents/victims-of-trafficking.pdf