Law and Criminality

Human Trafficking

How effective are human trafficking laws and how can they improve?


What is Human Trafficking?

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, Human trafficking is “organized criminal activity in which human beings are treated as possessions to be controlled and exploited (as by being forced into prostitution or involuntary labor)”

Human trafficking is considered the modern equivalent of slavery, forcing, defrauding or coercing people into labor or sexual exploitation. About 14,500 and 17,500 people – mostly women and children are trafficked across national borders each year, and experts guess that there are 27 million slaves worldwide. The different countries are classified in 4 tiers:

  1. Countries that do everything to help limit to the maximum or eliminate human trafficking in their country
  2. Countries that do not meet the minimum standard, but are trying hard to get themselves to the first tier
  3. Countries that need surveillance because the number of victims is increasing
  4. Countries that do not make any effort whatsoever to decrease the human trafficking in the country.



United States

The US are also doing everything possible to reduce and stop human trafficking:

The congress passed legislations so that traffickers are prosecuted and are sentenced to up to 30 years.

The department of justice focused on increasing the number of victims and prosecuting more traffickers.

HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) is certifying trafficking victims and giving them the same assistance as refugees (Food, Water, Clothes, Shelter etc.)


China is a known destination for trafficking victims coming from Vietnam, Indonesia, and Japan. There are very well organized gangs, which include drug and weapon dealers. These people wouldn’t hesitate to use children in order to smuggle them without getting caught. The kidnapping and smuggling of kids in China especially has become very high since 2005. In these past years over 20000 children have been taken for illegal adoption or used as workers. The penalty in China for the Trafficking of Humans is. The Chinese government is making efforts to reduce the rate of trafficking and protect them is not working so well.



The Emirates are trying their hardest in Order to enforce human trafficking, and reduce it greatly in they are creating shelters, making therapy classes for all the victims, weather it is children or women.

On November 2006, the UAE government adopted a new federal law providing strict enforcement provisions and penalties for convicted traffickers. The following year, the UAE National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking was formed. The prosecution of human trafficking in the United Arab Emirates is usually 10 years, but it depends on the severity of the crime(2 people got sentenced to life in 2008).

Saudi Arabia

Women, primarily from Asian and African countries move to Arab countries like Saudi Arabia to find some work and provide their family (Somewhat like Oman). Unfortunately, people believe that they are forced into prostitution. Some female domestic workers are reportedly kidnapped and forced into prostitution after running away from abusive employers. Yemeni, Nigerian, Pakistani, Afghan, Chadian, and Sudanese children are subjected to forced labor as beggars and street vendors in Saudi Arabia, facilitated by criminal gangs.

The KSA government is making little or no effort whatsoever in order to reduce human trafficking in their country.

The 2009 Suppression of the Trafficking in Persons Act made by Royal Decree defines and prohibits all forms of human trafficking, prescribing punishments of up to 15 years and fines of up to the equivalent about 250 000 USD for violations. Penalties may be increased under certain circumstances, including trafficking committed by organized criminal groups or committed against a woman, child, or someone with special needs.


Oman is mainly a destination for mostly Indian and Pilipino workers looking for a job, and most of them are forced to do work. Their employer takes their passport and work for minimum wage. They are often victims to all kinds of abuse. If a worker or a domestic helper runs away, they would be more susceptible to get thrown into forced prostitution by some people, according to government sources.

The Government of Oman does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government continued to prosecute suspected sex trafficking offenders and sentence convicted sex traffickers to imprisonment. The penalty for the trafficking of Humans here in Oman is, according to the Royal Decree No. 126/2008, also known as the Law Combating Human Trafficking, (2008) “the Omani government prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes punishments of three to 15 years' imprisonment, in addition to financial penalties, for trafficking crimes. “


Personally, I am fully against the concept of human trafficking. More over if a member of my family or a close friend were to be a victim of trafficking, this would affect me extremely tremendously because of the conditions I know they would face. For example, they would have to go hours on end crammed into a back of an unventilated truck with hundreds of other trafficking victims. As well has not having any nutrition being fed to them. These harsh conditions that I know off would cause me to feel for them emotionally and physically.

I actually learned a lot from this topic, more than the Peace and Conflict, because it wasn’t really related to me. I know of the consequences and how complicated it is to keep track with only one of the trafficking gangs. I’ve read a lot of laws about human trafficking and I’ve learned that a lot of countries are making significant efforts to help human trafficking decrease.


Estonia Makes Human Trafficking Illegal

· Been under pressure by the US.

· Laws weren’t in place before, and people could get away with it with small fines and jail sentences.

Human Trafficking increasing a lot in Somalia.

· Somalia now in tier 4 (does not do any effort whatsoever to reduce or limit trafficking)

Human trafficking increasing because of the many incidents happening. The women and children put their faith into trafficking criminals.

UN General Assembly President calls for redoubled efforts to end human trafficking

According to Nassir Abdul-Aziz Al-Nasser, the president of the UN General Assembly, on the 4th of April 2012, “Human Trafficking is an appalling form of Human Rights abuse”


Increased Human trafficking penalties and more severe sentences


Proposition 35 from the California Constitution.

How likely is it to occur?

This is one of the most likely scenarios to occur, since it has been the UN debate on the 4th of April 2012.

What is the course of action?

If the citizens of California vote for the Human trafficking penalties to be more severe, it could decrease a lot in the next year or so.

Human Trafficking Decreases


A global report in the United Nations meeting last month sometime in February, it was seen that most governments are in denial, and chose to ignore trafficking in their country. But while the number of traffickers is increasing, 2 out of 5 countries are doing significant efforts to fight it.

How likely is it to occur?

Most likely to occur

What is the course of action?

Human Trafficking Decreases

Governments are doing significant efforts to stop traffickers and buyers, by dressing up a police officer as a prostitute, or take them and make them give information, which might lead to the trafficker. Most countries are movin from tier 4 (No effort whatsoever to help in reducing human trafficking) to Tier 2(Increase in effort to help human trafficking to decrease and nearly no kidnappings or trafficking).

How likely is it to occur?

Not very likely, there is always someone trying to get past the law.

What is the course of action?

Most likely, the government will give up and drop it.


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Sex Trafficking in the U.S. | Polaris Project | Combating Human Trafficking and Modern-day Slavery. (n.d.). Polaris Project | Combating Human Trafficking and Modern-day Slavery. Retrieved March 1, 2013, from | United States of America. (n.d.). A Web Resource for Combating Human Trafficking in the East Asia Pacific Region. Retrieved March 29, 2013, from

UNHCR | Refworld | 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report - Oman. (2012, June 19).UNHCR Welcome. Retrieved March 23, 2013, from | News & Updates: Oman will soon enact law to check human trafficking. (n.d.). A Web Resource for Combating Human Trafficking in the East Asia Pacific Region. Retrieved March 23, 2013, from

UNHCR | Refworld | 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report - Saudi Arabia. (2012, June 19). UNHCR Welcome. Retrieved March 23, 2013, from,4565c2

Initiatives to Combat Human Trafficking | UAE Embassy in Washington, DC. (n.d.).Welcome to the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC | UAE Embassy in Washington, DC. Retrieved March 23, 2013, from