By Samantha Kane
Human sex trafficking is a growing and significant social issue that affects 27 million people each year resulting in a $150 billion criminal industry. A 2012 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) highlights it is among the third top revenue source for organized crime, after narcotics and weapons. Human trafficking is now a complex, multi-faceted, and transnational criminal issue involving corruption, human rights abuses, economics, and migration factors. As well as a cause and consequence of gender inequality with 80 percent of victims being female. This crime causes social harms such as the objectification of the human body, commodification of sexual activity, and promotion of prostitution as a form of violence against women.
The prevalence of human sex trafficking in the Asia- Pacific region higher than in other areas with 3 in every 1,000 inhabitants, compared with global figures of 1.8 in every 1,000 inhabitants. Countries in this region are experiencing rapid socio-economic changes as an outcome of globalization which is resulting in increased illegitimate migration. Illegitimate migration in this region is often financially supported by terrorist organisations, and international border vulnerabilities are being exploited by a range of human trafficking participants.
Human sex trafficking in the Asia Pacific region is a concern for Australia’s national security. These trafficking networks are breaching Australian borders, supporting transnational crime, and creating social harms. The covert and illegal nature of trafficking, unwillingness of victims to testify, lack of government and non-government agency co-operation, and other factors have inhibited the accurate assessment of the scale of the problem in Australia. Moreover, most trafficking victims in Australia travelled from Southeast Asia by aircraft, passing through customs with the aid of a tourist visa. Trafficked women from the Asia-Pacific region have been identified in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, and Darwin. As such human sex trafficking is an issue that should be addressed, and counter measures implemented to protect both Australia and trafficked victims…Click here to read full article.