On Tuesday, 14th March, 2017, CNN observed the #MyFreedomDay
campaign which was a global outreach to remind the world about the threats
Modern Slavery presents to our collective existent on the planet – Earth. The
day was set aside to remind everyone of us about the dangers and damages caused
by Human Trafficking and forced labour the world over. According to Freedom
United (a global NGO that deals with trans-border human trafficking and
slavery), an estimated 45.8 million people are currently in slavery worldwide.
In every country around the world, people are exploited against their will,
controlled by threats, debt, and violence and so on. We may call it by many
names, but it amounts to the same thing: Modern Slavery. It is illegal
everywhere, but it continues to thrive because so many of us do not understand
it, do not want to think about it or/and do not know how to change it.
Regrettably, Slavery and other forms of forced labour
continues to thrive in every nook and cranny of the world partly because of the
unchecked spate of human trafficking and its related forms. In a previous
article on a similar topic titled; Slave Trade in Africa: Pains of the Past,
Nightmares of the Present
the relationship between Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery was extensively buttressed.
This write-up is an updated version.

What is Human Trafficking?
According to, Human trafficking can be referred
to as the trade of humans, most commonly for the purpose of forced labor,
sexual slavery or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others.
This may encompass providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage or the
extraction of organs or tissues, including for surrogacy and oval removal.
Human trafficking can occur within a country or trans-nationally. Wikipedia
further explained that human trafficking is a crime against the person because
of the violation of the victim’s rights usually through coercion and because of
their commercial exploitation. It is a trade in people, and does not
necessarily involve the movement of the person from one place to another.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO),
forced labour (a component of human trafficking) generates an estimated 150
billion USD in profits annually as of 2014. In 2012, the ILO estimated that 21
million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery. Of these, 14.2 million (68%)
were exploited for labour, 4.5 million (22%) were sexually exploited and 2.2
million (10%) were exploited in state-imposed forced laboUr. It is believed to
be one of the fastest-growing activities of trans-national criminal organizations.

Human Trafficking & Other Forms Of
Human Rights Violations
People Smuggling – Human trafficking differs from people
smuggling, which involves a person voluntarily requesting or hiring another
individual to covertly transport them across an international border, usually
because the smuggled person would be denied entry into a country by legal
channels. Though illegal, there may be no deception or coercion involved.
According to the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD),
people smuggling is a violation of national immigration laws of the destination
country, and does not require violations of the rights of the smuggled person.
Human trafficking, on the other hand, is a crime against a person because of
the violation of the victim’s rights through coercion and exploitation.
– Prostitution is known as the practice of exchanging sexual activity for
payment. This differs directly from Human Trafficking because with
prostitution, the person getting paid is the person participating in these
sexual activities. Human Trafficking is when one person forces another person
to perform sexual acts with someone else for their own personal gain; it is the
forced exploitation of another person. In most cases, the victims never receive
any kind of payment or freedom.
Labour or Debt Bondage – It is probably the least known form of labour
trafficking today, and yet it is the most widely used method of enslaving
people. Victims become “bonded” when their labour, the labour they
themselves hired and the tangible goods they bought are demanded as a means of
repayment for a loan or service in which its terms and conditions have not been
defined or in which the value of the victims’ services is not applied toward
the liquidation of the debt. Generally, the value of their work is greater than
the original sum of money “borrowed.”
Labour – It is a situation in which victims are forced to work against their
own will under the threat of violence or some other form of punishment; their
freedom is restricted and a degree of ownership is exerted. Men are at risk of
being trafficked for unskilled work, which globally generates 31 billion USD
according to the International Labor Organization. Forms of forced labour can
include domestic servitude, agricultural labour, sweatshop factory labour,
janitorial, food service and other service industry labour, and begging.
Labour – It is a form of work that may be hazardous to the physical, mental,
spiritual, moral or social development of children and can interfere with their
education. According to the International Labor Organization, the global number
of children involved in child labour has fallen during the past decade – it has
declined by one third, from 246 million in 2000 to 168 million children in
2012. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest incidence of child
labour whereas, the largest numbers of child-workers are found in Asia and the
Pacific. My article titled; Child Marriage is Child Labour: Change Begin with
provides an insight to the causes and effects of Child Labour.

The United Nations Efforts &
One of the International organizations taking the most
active part in the anti-trafficking is the United Nations. It is leading the
global fight against Human Trafficking through its arms – The United Nations
Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and The United Nations Global Initiative to
Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT), which are specifically dedicated for the
cause and it has achieved commendable success; they would be discussed under
two broad headings in subsequent paragraphs.
v  Awareness – The UNODC has assisted many
Non-Governmental Organizations in the fight against Human Trafficking through
public awareness. Instances abound, the 2006 armed conflict in Lebanon, which
saw 300,000 domestic workers from Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and the Philippines
jobless and targets of traffickers, led to an emergency information campaign
with NGO Caritas Migrant to raise Human Trafficking awareness.
Similarly, Trafficking in Persons:
Global Patterns, a report published in April, 2006 by the UNODC helped to
identify 127 countries of origin, 98 transit countries and 137 destination
countries for Human Trafficking. To date, it is the second most frequently
downloaded UNODC report. Continuing into 2007, UNODC supported initiatives like
the Community Vigilance project along the border between India and Nepal, as
well as provided subsidy for NGO trafficking prevention campaigns in Bosnia,
Herzegovina and Croatia.
Public service announcements have also
proved useful for organizations combating Human Trafficking. In addition to
many other endeavors, UNODC works to broadcast these announcements on local
television and radio stations across the world. By providing regular access to
information regarding Human Trafficking, individuals are educated on how to
protect themselves and their families from being exploited.
v  Research – The UN.GIFT was conceived to
promote the global fight on Human Trafficking, on the basis of international
agreements reached at the UN. UN.GIFT was launched in March, 2007 by UNODC.
Within UN.GIFT, UNODC launched a research exercise to gather primary data on
national responses to trafficking in persons worldwide. This exercise resulted
in the publication of the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons in February
2009. The report gathers official information for 155 countries and territories
in the areas of legal and institutional framework, criminal justice response
and victim assistance services. UN.GIFT works with all stakeholders —
governments, business, academia, civil society and the media — to support each
other’s work, create new partnerships and develop effective tools to fight
Human Trafficking.
The Call to Action
In 2007, the United States Senate designated 11th January as
a National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness in an effort to raise
consciousness about this global, national and local issue. From 2010 to 2013,
Former U.S. President, Barack Obama proclaimed the month of January as National
Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
Obviously, Human Trafficking is a crime of such magnitude
and atrocity that it cannot be dealt with successfully by any government alone.
This global problem requires a global, multi-stakeholder strategy that builds
on national efforts throughout the world. To pave the way for this strategy, we
must coordinate efforts, increase knowledge and awareness, provide technical
assistance, promote effective rights-based responses, build capacity of state
and non-state stakeholders, foster partnerships for joint action, and above
all, ensure that everybody takes responsibility for this fight.
We need to contribute our individual efforts and complement
existing actions to ensure that our brothers and sisters are not exploited
because of any vulnerability caused by the current situations which in most
cases they have little or no control over. For the world to be a better place,
Human Trafficking and other forms of trans-border organized crimes and Human
Rights violations need to be seriously defeated because a world where one is
not safe, all is not safe.

God Bless Us All

Oluwole Olusanya
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.