Human Trafficking Part 1

by wildfeministappears

Read my personal introduction here.

          “’Many people associate human trafficking with other countries,’ said Jennifer Greene, policy adviser at the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. ‘But it happens here in Chicago all the time.’” (ABC Primetime: 2006)


            Greene’s words are a poignant summary of the lack of awareness in the United States about the human trafficking situation.  In fact, in the Trafficking in Persons report for 2012, it was recommended to the United States that they “Improve data collection on and analysis of human trafficking cases at the federal, state, and local levels” (TIP report: 2012). Many of these trafficked individuals are from other countries, the top countries being Mexico, Philippines, Thailand, Guatemala, Honduras, and India for the year of 2011. (TIP report: 2012).  While many of the victims are smuggled into the United States and then trafficked, many domestic citizens find themselves in the same sort of situation, oftentimes runaways who don’t have anywhere to turn.  In fact, police and child advocates believe that most runaways will be confronted by a trafficker within 48 hours of running away, giving people little chance to rescue the potential victims (Feyerick: 2012).

            In 2002, there were an estimated 20,000 victims just in the United States (Hopper: 2004).  Most of this trafficking was labor intensive, and was in several industries, such as agriculture, janitorial services, hotel services, health care, hair and nail salons, and strip club dancing (Siskin: 2010).  The profit from all trafficking comes to an annual worldwide profit of 44.3 billion dollars (Hepburn: 2010).

            This paper will compare the United States statistics to worldwide trends in order to show the seriousness of the problem.  The information will come from personal stories, newspaper articles and peer reviewed articles.  In the end, this information will draw a conclusion about the prevalence of the trend in the United States, and the needs that should be addressed by the government and the general population.


Research Context

            This paper was written because there is a lack of information surrounding the numbers and conditions of human trafficking in the United States.  Globally, this topic has a wealth of information, but when it comes to America, it seems as though it is swept under the proverbial rug, leaving those who are in trouble more invisible than they would be in normal circumstances.  The paper was started with the idea of tracking trafficking in the Midwest, but had to be expanded to the entire United States in order to get some semblance of accurate numbers.  The paper’s intention is to educate those who do not know about trafficking, and those who want to do something about the situation.  It is also a critique of current research methodology, as well as governmental policies.


Research Question

            My research question, what has and can be done to fight human trafficking in the United States, focuses on the previous work of scholars and activists, and how they have addressed the problem in the United States.  The question will be analyzed through three routes: where it is in the United States, who has been helping in the fight against human trafficking, and how helpful the laws are to those getting out of the system.  I will also be discussing how methodology has become an issue in research, and what can be done to bring the information together and bring awareness to the communities.