The Shadow Market in Human Beings: An Anti-corruption Perspective

Corbin B. Lyday
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"Can people really buy and sell women and get away with it? Sometimes I sit here and ask myself if that really happened to me, if it can really happen at all." -- A Ukrainian woman who was trafficked, beaten, raped and used in the sex industry in Israel. After a police raid, she was put in prison, awaiting deportation. 2


It is difficult to imagine at the beginning of the 21st century that human slavery should not only exist, but flourish, affecting hundreds of thousands all over the world. The infamous slave trades of earlier centuries brought captives across a single ocean in a weeks-long voyage by wooden ship. This one, however, transports victims across all oceans and continents using jet planes, the internet and the cell phone as its tools. It is organized loosely by many of the same groups which traffic in weapons and narcotics, engaging government officials in dozens of countries to assist, overlook or collude in the process. Of all illicit acts, it is emerging as one of the most lucrative, and may be one of the most difficult to combat. Because of the hidden nature of the problem, its corrupting effects on governments and institutions are less visible than those caused by guns and drugs. This paper will briefly examine trafficking as a global phenomenon, discuss its relevance as a cor ruption issue, and offer some approaches to fighting it using tools developed both by those who work in the anti-corruption and anti-trafficking fields.


While the selling of human beings into bondage for sex or domestic servitude is not a new phenomenon, it is taking place against an unprecedented transformation in the larger global environment. Unanticipated geo-political transformations, such as the collapse of communism and the integration of the once isolated second world into the global economy, have greatly accelerated the disintegration of once formidable barriers to trade and exchange. Poor and previously isolated societies find themselves suddenly awash in cheap new imports but frequently at the cost of weakening domestic markets and political institutions. At the same time, new civic and ethnic conflicts subject communities to increasing lawlessness, frequently aided by corrupt governments eager to profit from instability of any kind. Societies which cannot make the necessary institutional and economic leaps to come out ahead in the new era find themselves increasingly desperate to hold onto what little wealth they have. Exploiting this poverty and the low status of women in the developing world, middlemen are now able to bring together the supply and demand for cheap labor and sex in ways that would have simply been unthinkable not long ago.3

Exact numbers of trafficked persons are notoriously difficult to determine. It has been estimated that 1 to 2 million people are trafficked around the world each year - mostly women and children, but increasingly men and boys as well - generally for forced prostitution, agricultural bondage, or other forms of indentured servitude.4 Approximately 50,000 of those are brought annually to the United States, according to one estimate.5 A conservative count in 2000 included 250,000 trafficked persons from Southeast Asia, 150,000 from South Asia, 100,000 each from the former Soviet Union and Latin America, 75,000 from Eastern Europe, and another 50,000 from Africa, trafficked to all parts of the globe, especially Western Europe, the Middle East, Japan, North America, and Australia.6 The primary products of trade between the developing and developed world now include human beings, no less than coffee, cocoa, bananas, rubber, tin, oil, gas and precious metals. And the trade is becoming an increasingly young one, with an estimated 35% of all trafficked persons globally constituting children under the age of consent.7

In crude economic terms, such numbers are not surprising. Unlike drugs and guns, which must be bought, paid for or cultivated, the trade in women and children, particularly if abducted, has both low marginal costs and high marginal utility, and is therefore extraordinarily lucrative.8 Unlike drugs, which are used once only, human beings can be used repeatedly before ultimately being discarded. For traffickers, the profits are too high, and the penalties too low to resist. Most trafficking schemes worldwide generally operate without fear of reprisal, because criminal sanctions are either weak or go unenforced. Even when laws against trafficking exist, they are infrequently implemented, either due to links between traffickers and law enforcement authorities, or because of a general lack of awareness, training and sensitivity regarding trafficking, domestic violence, and other forms of severe gender discrimination.9

There are strong regional differences in trafficking, yet they take place against a broad pattern of similarity. Most victims are women and children, although young men are also trafficked for agricultural labor, abducted by rebel armies in conflict-ridden countries, as well as for the sex trade. Most are poor, illiterate, or from marginalized populations, and ignorant of whatever rights they may have, and threatened with physical and emotional abuse if they try to escape. Nearly all suffer from neglect or disease, discarded by their abductors when sick or unable to work. The toll on human dignity, both to the victim as well as to the community that tolerates it, is immense, as are the social costs to individuals, families, communities and countries.

A New Global Response to Trafficking

Fortunately, awareness and activism of the trafficking problem has been growing in recent years, as evidence of the magnitude of the problem increases. A Protocol on Trafficking, attached to the UN Convention Against Organized Crime, signed by 80 countries and the European Union in December 2000, formally defined trafficking as a modern form of slavery and indentured servitude, linked to organized criminal activity, money-laundering, corruption and the obstruction of justice.10 It was an important countermeasure to the practices of most states, which generally treat trafficked persons as illegal immigrants, rather than victims of fraud and debt bondage requiring protection and re-patriation. In the same year, the U.S. Congress enacted the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, requiring the U.S. Secretary of State to report to Congress each year on severe forms of trafficking around the world, and to render assistance to governments in order to combat trafficking on their own soil. The Act also linked trafficking with domestic violence and spelled out sanctions against those who engage in slavery and procedures for victim restitution.11

Recent U.S. Government Policy Toward Traffickers

Overall U.S. Government policy toward trafficking consists of an integrated framework of 'three Ps'-- prevention of trafficking through education, public awareness and economic alternatives, protection for the victims of trafficking, and prosecution of traffickers. Government agencies, such as the Department of State's International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau (S/INL), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Labor (DOL) and others are developing their domestic and overseas responses under the co-ordination of a new interagency Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking. Programs already in place and being developed foster co-operation between government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to develop public education and awareness programs targeted at vulnerable populations to inform them of the dangers of trafficking. Other assistance creates and funds safehouses, victim shelters, and develops related victim-protection programs for law enforcement organizations--a particularly important aspect, given that trafficked persons are frequently beaten, tortured, held captive or incommunicado, without legal documents, in order to prevent their escape.12 Some programs aid and re-patriate victims, provide psychological counseling and vocational training, re-integrating them back into communities which all too frequently ostracize them as outcasts. Finally, other programs render specialized technical assistance to police, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies to pursue traffickers and their assets, and collaborate with international law enforcement agencies in source or destination countries accordingly.

The Act also authorized the U.S. Secretary of State to compile a yearly list of global states where trafficking is considered a serious issue. In July 2001, the first such Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report was published, placing most countries (where information on trafficking was available) into one of three categories: Tier 1 states, which met minimum anti-trafficking standards; Tier 2 states which did not meet such standards, but were taking active steps to do so; and Tier 3 states which neither met such standards, nor were taking active steps to do so (see Appendix 1).13 The Act also specified that beginning in 2003, the U.S. Government could subject all countries which remained in Tier 3 to non-humanitarian, non-trade related sanctions.

After publication, the U.S. came under attack by many for not including itself under the tier classification system, although the Report candidly declared the United States to be a "transit and destination country for trafficking." Many longtime U.S. allies were included in both Tier 3 (Israel, Greece, South Korea) and in Tier 2 (France, Hungary, Mexico) which others took as a sign of the U.S. Government's seriousness and commitment toward the trafficking issue. Nevertheless, the Report laid down for the first time a series of visible internal policy benchmarks against which all country efforts against trafficking would henceforth be measured.

Linkages Between State Tolerance of Trafficking and Perceptions of Corruption

The recent publication of the first government report card on international tolerance of trafficking permits useful comparisons to other criteria, such as state corruption. International surveys of corruption have already been undertaken, the most well-known being Transparency International's 2001 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which used at least three surveys per country to come up with an assessment of corruption for 91 different states. Comparing the CPI with the TIP in fact permits researchers to find direct correlations between the extent to which a country tolerates trafficking in or through its territory and the extent to which it is also seen as being corrupt. If we divide the CPI somewhat arbitrarily into three levels (to roughly correspond to the three tiers of the TIP), such correlations become quite noticeable (see Appendix 2).14

A clear one-to-one correlation between perceptions of integrity and government action against trafficking clearly exists. All but 1 of 11 Tier 1 states can be found within the least corrupt category. And by contrast, no Tier 1 state is located in the most corrupt category. A lesser, but still strong correlation between Tier 2 and Level 2 states exist, with 13 states occupying both categories. The correlation decreases with Tier 3, where only 4 states occupy the same category as Level 3 countries. States in the 'middle muddle' (Tier 2/Level 2, and Tier 2/Level 3) also show strong, but less pronounced relationships between state tolerance for trafficking and perceptions of corruption.

That such linkages are underscored by survey data, both undertaken by the U.S. Government as well as an independent global NGO, reinforces the argument that corruption and trafficking are strongly connected. Indeed, the U.S. Anti-Trafficking Act flatly stated that "[t]rafficking in persons is often aided by official corruption in countries of origin, transit, and destination, thereby threatening the rule of law."15 Beyond this statement, however, the nature of that collusion remains largely explored by the U.S. and other governments, and broad strategic approaches, let alone specific technical interventions focused on corruption as a trafficking issue, have yet to be formulated.

On this score, it is the U.S. Government that has been slower to respond than the anti- trafficking NGO community. Scholars and anti-slavery NGOs connect the rise of trafficking to the increasing criminalization of economic activity and expansion of organized criminal networks, particularly in the transition states of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.16 They underscore not only the indifference and lack of training and capacity of law enforcement, immigration and judicial authorities, but also understand that continued progress in this area is limited by collusion between the authorities and the traffickers themselves.

But the reverse awareness is not yet present, unfortunately. Counter-corruption scholars and policymakers generally discuss corruption in the abstract: petty or grand bribery, failures of service delivery, obstacles to small business development, the appropriate role of oversight and audit bodies. Such generalized themes do not adequately reflect corruption's impact on the powerless and poor in ways that are dramatic, yet terribly real for the hundreds of thousands of those who suffer as a result. Previous Transparency International bi-annual global conferences have focused more attention on technocratic responses to corruption, and have shied away from casting corruption as perhaps the most fundamental violation of human rights in the developing world. This shyness is difficult to explain, given the profitability of trafficking and its fundamental links with state corruption across many agencies: law enforcement, customs, immigration, and banking.17 Indeed, like the trade in guns and drugs, profits to traffickers and rent-seeking government officials are so high that trafficking patterns routinely unite countries which otherwise have no direct economic or political linkages.18 By any standard, trafficking should be one of the most important anti-corruption issues of the day. Yet sadly, it is not, and those who make explicit the interconnectedness between law enforcement, regulatory and banking corruption and human trafficking find themselves in a distinct minority.19

The Political and Strategic Sense of Linking Both Issues

Linking whistle-blowers fighting state corruption with abolitionists fighting slavery is not only timely and appropriate, but makes both technical and political sense. The new global anti- trafficking legislation and victim protection clauses that have emerged in new legislation around the world has very much been the direct product of concerted (if often fractured) NGO activism in this arena. Such pressure underscores the effectiveness of civil society action, and many political leaders, law enforcement authorities and legislatures no longer dare ignore the issue. This kind of success, however, has been much rarer in the anti-corruption struggle. Trying to convince society not simply that corruption is wrong and unethical, but not to participate in it, is exceedingly difficult if people simply see corruption--petty bribery especially--as simply the cost of doing business and securing services which would otherwise not get done. The difficulty has always been to convince societies with few alternatives to corruption that the practice is not harmless, but a noxious burden that hurts the poor and rewards the rich. But if strong linkages between corrupt societies and high incidences of trafficking in persons can be made, the attitude of the general public may become more amenable to change, and generating public opposition to corruption becomes considerably easier. Reformist governments, otherwise unable to find political allies to back expensive new civil service and law enforcement reform efforts, may find new political will for such initiatives if they can count on political interest groups and movements to back them up.

The above describes some benefits that might accrue to anti-corruption practitioners and approaches if the two issues were regularly linked. But the reverse may be true as well. Anti- trafficking NGOs have generally not taken on directly issues of law enforcement corruption, focusing instead on training, gender-sensitivity, and victim protection. These are all critically necessary steps in the fight against trafficking, yet may fall well short of the mark without carefully targeted strategic approaches to promote law enforcement integrity itself. Worse, they may actually end up harming victims at some point. One women's shelter in Spain serving formerly trafficked women refuses to tell police the location of the shelter for the well-grounded fear that corrupt police can and do regularly pass on such information to traffickers. In Bosnia, Human Rights Watch found evidence of visa and immigration officials visiting brothels for free services in exchange for ignoring doctored documents produced by traffickers to facilitate transport through the country.20 In India, several anti-trafficking NGOs maintain that the police, especially in Mumbai (Bombay) sometimes detain long-term clients of prostitutes, known as babus (prostitutes sometimes have one client for several years) until the babus pay bribes of 300 rupees in order to avoid arrest. The babus then pass those costs onto their prostitutes, forcing them to pay for the bribes, all with the knowledge of the police themselves. All these groups are bumping into the glass ceiling of corruption that prevents further progress in the anti-trafficking fight.

The need for such approaches stands out in sharp contrast with the supply of programs and interventions to address them. Law enforcement anti-corruption strategies remain few and far between. The British National Criminal Intelligence Service, in conjunction with the Hong Kong Anti-Corruption Commission, has undertaken broad integrity approaches in its own police training and development, with important results that have been held out as models for other countries to follow.21 But most such initiatives are heavily tinged toward the easier task of strengthening investigative or prosecutorial efficiency, and do not directly tackle the more intractable issues of law enforcement corruption. In many ways, corruption fighters have also been slow to understand that integrity and efficiency of law enforcement institutions in developing countries are two separate problems, necessitating at times completely different approaches.

Going back to the first argument, there are thus strong reasons to incorporate human rights and development perspectives into anti-corruption work. The example of trafficking in persons is an excellent one. Few other issues so well reflect not only government corruption and state failure, but the larger issues of poverty and the low status of women and children. Yet governments have not yet approached these problems from a co-ordinated developmental perspective. Many have acted by attempting to erect misplaced barriers to legitimate migration, which affects poor women disproportionately. In one example, Romanian police have sometimes arrested trafficked women returning home.22 And Section 12 of the 1985 Nepalese Foreign Employment Act forbids women under 35 from traveling overseas unless accompanied by a relative or showing proof of consent from a guardian. The latter action in particular merely reinforces the prevailing gender bias that women need constant male protection and cannot earn a living in a manner they choose. Such approaches also do nothing to address the trafficking of women by their own guardians, a practice far more common than believed, and may even do harm by making trafficking less visible and driving it further underground.23

Global migration itself has become increasingly poor and feminized in recent years, a fact understood by many who work in gender and development issues, but one not well understood by law enforcement officials and legislators interested in quick fixes to combat trafficking. As one researcher cast it, "many women move across oceans not because they love cleaning other peoples' homes, or taking care of other peoples' children at the cost of being separated from their own, but because they need jobs and those are the only ones available in the market."24 And the larger danger in approaching the problem from a quick fix perspective is that the solutions all too frequently focus on sex trafficking alone, ignoring many other kinds of debt bondage and coerced labor. The result is that women not coerced into prostitution are frequently denied legal and police protection from fraud, abuse and physical harm; and poor women seeking employment beyond their own borders are often treated as criminals themselves. Neither approach brings a gender perspective into law enforcement, or uses development tools in the anti-corruption box to fight trafficking.

Some other caveats are in order as well. Law enforcement corruption is not the only potential corruption issue facing anti-traffickers. Human rights NGOs and government officials involved in this issue have come into conflict with healthcare NGOs, as odd as that may sound. The latter are well aware of trafficking and see it every day, but trade their silence in its face in order to gain needed access to brothels to distribute safer sex materials and information to prostitutes. While not a corruption issue per se, such ethical trade-offs need to be discussed far more openly in transparency forums, much as corruption forums need to discuss bribe-giving, not simply bribe-taking.

Another caveat must be stated with regard to the role of victim protection. Legal reform and anti-corruption advocates have been quick to underscore the benefits of witness protection programs to promote more streamlined law enforcement in developing and transitional states. But witness protection programs generally benefit the state, not the victim. Smaller criminals are protected for the sake of going after bigger ones in much the same way as plea bargaining works to overlook one evil for the sake of legally stopping a larger one. But trafficking requires specific interventions to protect the innocent and most vulnerable from reprisal from traffickers. Witness protection should thus not be confused with victim protection and re-patriation efforts

Interventions: Broad-Based and Indirect May be Better

The above examples show that there are approaches to the trafficking issue that can actually not only fail to combat the problem, but do harm, either by not protecting the victim adequately, erroneously making the victim into the perpetrator, or colluding with corruption in order to protect other goals. Are there solutions that can pass the test of 'do no harm' then, without colluding in corruption, protect the victim and strengthen government and NGO efforts alike to fight trafficking?

Ironically, one approach that could succeed may be the one that does not try to attack trafficking as a separate goal, but places it in the larger context of the underlying social and economic problems it exposes. The causes of trafficking, as has been stated, include the low status of women, as well as the weakness or corruption of law enforcement officials and poverty. Successful programs must not only promote government integrity, but must be woven into a larger anti-poverty, sustainable development response. An innovative program to address development issues connected with the production and harvesting of West Africa's cocoa crop is now being developed by USAID. Ecological devastation, overfarming and lack of product differentiation are only some of the issues affecting the region. The industry has also seen considerable amounts of forced child labor, with young boys abducted and transported within and across countries to harvest the crop. The Sustainable Tree Crops Program (STCP) is primarily focused on how to provide small-holder farms with greater access to the world market, bypassing middlemen who absorb much of farmers' potential profit without ensuring adequate livelihood or sustainability for the industry as a whole. (Cocoa production is highly decentralized and small-scale, with farms of less than two hectares growing over 95% of the region's crop.) The program has the support of global anti-slavery NGOs, West African NGOs and farmer associations, regional governments increasingly worried about being criticized for tolerating slavery, and the cocoa and chocolate industry itself. The approach addresses several problems simultaneously: how to ensure economic and environmental sustainability in a region decimated by deforestation and declining prices for cocoa--a commodity that supplies 25% of the annual foreign exchange earnings for all sub-Saharan Africa--and how to enforce ethical business and labor practices throughout the region.

STCP is now creating pilot monitoring programs in the top five cocoa-producing states of the region (Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Guinea) in order to help create accountable labor practices in the cocoa industry more broadly. Western chocolate manufacturers, having watched earlier NGO campaigns against child labor in the rug-weaving and sports industries in Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia, are so far backing this approach whole-heartedly, fearing larger economic and social repercussions with the growing awareness of the role of child slavery in cocoa production. "Fifteen years ago, nobody would have cared how chocolate was made or who picked the beans," said the Executive Director of the World Cocoa Foundation at a recent briefing to the U.S. State Department. "But times have changed."25

In the above example, several social and economic 'externalities' are being tackled simultaneously: child trafficking, the broader absence of labor regulations and ethical business practices, declining environmental and economic sustainability of the tree crop industry more broadly, and the weak oversight of government activities by NGOs. The first studies will examine labor, transport, storage, shipping and processing practices, review community services, including rural credit and marketing policies, available and spell out the role law enforcement and civic organizations should play to curtail child trafficking and forced labor. If these studies and the ensuing programs they develop are successful, it will be precisely because they will have enlisted the support of every stakeholder in the process: industry, NGOs, and governments alike. It is too early to say whether the programs will work, and the tension among the various groups and stakeholders involved should not be understated. But it integrates anti-trafficking into the larger field of economic and labor development, where it belongs, rather than make it the sole province of law enforcement.

Well-publicized global fora are needed to focus attention on the broader trafficking issue and to explore its links with state corruption. How to combat it in ways that do not involve merely shifting corruption to a different sector, or attacking legitimate global migration, but using NGOs and governments alike to strengthen the status of women in poor countries are clearly needed. Last, but certainly far from least, using the example of the cocoa industry above, anti-trafficking advocacy groups will have to figure out ways to make trafficking both a men's, as well as women's issue, persuading men as the primary users of trafficked persons to work with NGOs and law enforcement to target both trafficking and domestic violence. In turn, the corruption community can learn from such responses, and gain valuable allies in the increasingly important battle against state corruption.

Selected Resources

Arlacchi, Pino, Schiavi: Il nuovo traffico di esseri umani [Slaves: The New Traffic in Human Flesh] (Rizzoli, Milan, 1999).

Dinan, Kinsey, et al., Owed Justice: Thai Women Trafficked into Debt Bondage in Japan (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2000).

Friedman, Matthew, Tara: A Fleshtrade Odyssey (New Delhi: Vikas Publishing, 1997).

Jordan, Ann, "Trafficking in Human Beings: The Slavery that Surrounds Us," Global Issues, Arresting Transnational Crime [electronic journal] International Human Rights Law Group, Washington D.C., August 2001 (

Lederer, Laura J., J.D., Human Rights Report on Trafficking of Women and Children: A Country- by-Country Report on a Contemporary Form of Slavery (Washington: Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, 2001).

Pratt, Timothy, "Sex Slavery Racket a Growing Concern in Latin America," Christian Science Monitor, January 11, 2001.

Report of the Committee on Prostitution, Child Prostitutes and Children of Prostitutes and Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Women and Children, Department of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, 1998.

Richard, Amy O'Neill, International Trafficking in Women to the United States: A Contemporary Manifestation of Slavery and Organized Crime, (DCI Exceptional Intelligence Monograph), Center for the Study of Intelligence, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, November 1999.

Specter, Michael, "Traffickers' New Cargo: Naive Slavic Women," New York Times, January 11, 1998.

Appendix 1

U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Country List (2001)

Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3
Hong Kong
United Kingdom
Costa Rica
Cote d'Ivoire
Czech Republic
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
Sierra Leone
South Africa
Sri Lanka
Democratic Republic of Congo
Saudi Arabia
South Korea
United Arab Emirates

Appendix 2

Country Correlations Between Corruption and Trafficking

(Based on U.S. Government's 2001 Trafficking in Persons Report and the 2001 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index)

States Which Meet Minimum
Anti-Trafficking Standards (TIP/Tier 1)
11 Least Corrupt Third (CPI)
Canada, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Austria, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Taiwan, Italy
States Which Meet Minimum
Anti-Trafficking Standards (TIP/Tier 1)
1 More Corrupt Third (CPI)
States Which Meet Minimum
Anti-Trafficking Standards (TIP/Tier 1)
0 Most Corrupt Third (CPI)
States Which Do Not Meet Standards
But Are Making Efforts to Do So (TIP/Tier 2)
4 Least Corrupt Third (CPI)
Singapore, Sweden, Japan, France
States Which Do Not Meet Standards
But Are Making Efforts to Do So (TIP/Tier 2)
13 More Corrupt Third (CPI)
Hungary, Slovenia, Lithuania, South Africa, Costa Rica, Poland, Brazil, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Mexico, El Salvador, China, Ghana
States Which Do Not Meet Minimum Standards
But Are Making Efforts to Do So (TIP/Tier 2)
15 Most Corrupt Third (CPI)
Thailand, Dominican Republic, Moldova, Guatemala, Philippines, Honduras, India Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Cote d'Ivoire, Ukraine, Cameroon, Uganda, Nigeria, Bangladesh
States Which Do Not Minimum Meet Standards
And Are Not Making Efforts to Do So (TIP/Tier 3)
1 Least Corrupt Third (CPI)
States Which Do Not Meet Minimum Standards
And Are Not Making Efforts to do so (TIP/Tier 3)
4 More Corrupt Third (CPI)
Malaysia, Greece, South Korea, Turkey
States Which Do Not Meet Minimum Standards
And Are Not Making Efforts to Do So (TIP/Tier 3)
4 Most Corrupt Third (CPI)
Romania, Pakistan, Russia, Indonesia

1 - Opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect those of either the U.S. Agency for International Department or the U.S. Department of State. Mistakes, errors and omissions are the responsibility of the author alone.
2 - Cited by Donna M. Hughes, "The 'Natasha' Trade: The Transnational Shadow Market of Trafficking in Women," Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 53, No. 2 (Spring 2000): 625.
3 - See Dennis Altman, "The Globalisation of Sex" The Age (Australia), July 15, 1999.
4 - Broad definitions of trafficking include forced and child prostitution, domestic servitude, illegal and bonded labor, servile marriage, false adoption, sex tourism and entertainment, pornography, organized begging, organ harvesting and criminal activities.
5 - Francis T. Miko, "Trafficking in Women and Children: The U.S. and International Response," Congressional Research Service, Report 98-649C, U.S. Library of Congress, Washington D.C. May 2000: 1.
6 - From Be Smart, Be Safe..., a brochure in 20 languages for people vulnerable to trafficking, published by the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Department of State, Washington D.C. 2000. (
7 - Women Aid International Press Release (
8 - Pimps can make five to 20 times as much from a woman as they paid for her, according to one source (Katerina Levchenko, Combat of Trafficking in Women and Forced Prostitution: Ukraine, Country Report (Vienna: Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, September 1999).
9 - All too typical is the response by the head of the Mumbai (Bombay) police department, when questioned about underage trafficked Indian and Bangladeshi girls in a Mumbai brothel by ABC-TV for a recent expose, that "it is the oldest profession in the world," apparently conflating forced child labor with prostitution (see sections/ Downtown/2020/Downtown_010716_indiasexslaves_feature.html).
10 - Using broad language, the Protocol defined trafficking as the "recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or eceipt of[ing] force...coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power, or...vulnerability...or the giving and receiving of payments to achieve consent of a person having control over another person." The Protocol also stipulated that consent of the victim is not considered relevant when any of the above methods are employed. See Trafficking Protocol I(2)(a) of the UN Convention ( An additional protocol on the smuggling of migrants was signed as well.
11 - Section 112, Sub-Sections 1589 and 1593, U.S. Public Law 106-386, October 28, 2000.
12 - See Aphaluck Bhatiasevi, "Thai Yai Women Not Allowed To Go Home: Without Thai Papers They Cannot Return," Bangkok Post, August 9, 1999.
13 - Those standards included (a) national laws prohibiting and punishing acts of trafficking; (b) laws prescribing commensurate punishment for "grave crimes" (such as trafficking involving rape, kidnapping or murder); (c) actions sufficiently deterrent to prevent trafficking; and (d) serious and sustained efforts to eliminate trafficking. The Act counseled specific criteria to be considered in the last point, including whether prosecution of trafficking is vigorous, whether victims are protected and assisted, rather than punished, whether public education and other preventive measures are in place, and whether the government in question monitors migration patterns with appropriate law enforcement activity, prosecutes its own officials engaged in trafficking and co-operates with other governments in fighting it. Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000: Trafficking in Persons Report, U.S. Department of State, July 2001, pp. 5-6 (
14 - The methodology for such comparison is relatively simple: TIP/Tier 1 states (with minimum anti-trafficking standards) are compared with the first third of the 91 states surveyed within the CPI (1st through 30th--the least corrupt); TIP/Tier 2 states (minimum standards not yet in place) are then compared with the second level within the CPI (31st through 60th--more corrupt); and TIP/Tier 3 states (with no minimum standards and no serious efforts toward them) compared with the third level within the CPI (61st through 91st--the most corrupt). Countries that appeared only on one list but not the other were not included in the analysis.
15 - Act, Section 102(b)(8).
16 - Hughes, op. cit., 4.
17 - See, e.g., Jim Loney, "Cayman Islands: Human Slave Traders Join Money-Laundering Flood," Reuters, March 30, 2000.
18 - The shadow market in trafficked persons effectively links source and destination countries together in unusual ways. Bangladeshi young women and girls are trafficked to Karachi, Pakistan most frequently through a complex web involving Indian traffickers in Kolkata (Calcutta) and Mumbai (Bombai). Moldovan women are transported to their final destinations in Italian and other western European brothels through webs of traffickers in Ukraine, Romania, the Former Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Albania and Kosovo. West African boys are abducted in Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire, but end up working on plantations or serving in rebel armies in Mali and Sierra Leone. Nigerian women frequently end up in countries of the European Union, such as Italy.
19 - One welcome exception has long been Pino Arlacchi, the Executive Director of the UN's Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, who has paid special attention to the role offshore banking centers play in laundering increasing amounts of money procured from the global slave trade.
20 - Personal communication to the author, Martina Vandenberg, Researcher, Women's Rights Division, Human Rights Watch.
21 - Coalition 2000, a Bulgarian anti-corruption NGO, helped to co-sponsor one such presentation by the Service and a former official of the Hong Kong Commission at the British Embassy in Sofia in March 2001, attended by Bulgaria's top customs, privatization and law enforcement officials.
22 - This may be changing with the new introduction of a draft anti-trafficking amendment in Romania's parliament in September 2001, introduced partly as a response to the TIP, which had placed Romania into Tier 3.
23 - Ratna Kapur, "Tricks and the Law: Legal Regulation of Trafficking, Sex Work and Migration," Technical Consultative Meeting on Anti-Trafficking Programs in South Asia, Kathmandu, Nepal, September 2001.
24 - Kapur, ibid.
25 - Personal communication to the author and other interested officials, August 2001.

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