Human Trafficking: A Sociological and Rights-Based Approach

March 9, 2016 @ 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
280N York Lanes
York University
Toronto, ON M3J
Michele Millard

Speaker: Dr. Ibrahima Amadou Dia, Visiting Scholar, Centre for Refugee Studies, York University

Human trafficking constitutes one of the fundamental challenges of our world. It affects all regions and countries and constitutes a grave violation of human rights. The trafficking of women, children and men have led to many suffering, atrocities, inhuman and tragic circumstances within and across borders. International agencies underscore the global nature of human trafficking. The profit generated by human trafficking offenders per year is estimated up to ten billions of dollars. Wide-ranging forms of human trafficking prevail, ranging to sexual exploitation, forced labor, organ trafficking, forced marriage, child trafficking, child soldiers, just to name but a few. There is an increasing concern about the higher trafficking risks for vulnerable social groups including refugees. A consensus exists that human trafficking constitutes a fundamental threat to the humankind, a serious infringement of human rights and dignity and gravely affects the mental and physical health and well-being of the victims. Accurate and valid data, information and statistics are not only essential for a better understanding of human trafficking, but also for effective anti-human trafficking policies, measures, strategies, and actions. The hidden nature of human trafficking, gaps in research methodology and data collections, the disinclination of victims to report instances of trafficking for the fear of stigmatization, retaliation, and coercion from traffickers hinder an assessment of the extent and magnitude of human trafficking. Also, many countries do not have specified data on trafficking as reported instances of abduction, assault, rape, and migration-related infractions are amalgamated. This presentation strives to provide a greater understanding of human trafficking, foregrounding a historical overview and the internationally agreed upon definitions of the human trafficking phenomenon and the different forms of trafficking. Our goal is also to comprehend the leading causes of human trafficking including poverty, conflicts, and globalization and the consequences of trafficking. This presentation will examine the human trafficking phenomenon through sociological perspectives as well as the rights-based approaches to gain insights of the reasons underlying trafficking, the modus operandi of human traffickers and the consequences on human trafficking victims.