Countering The Supply Chain between the Producer and the Customer on Human Trafficking 

This article is originally made in October 2016 in order to finish a challenge from a friend called Andin. It’s still far from good, but I hope that it will enhance your mind! 🙂

Article 3 Paragraph (a) from The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines human trafficking as an act of recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means that of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

Human trafficking, often referred to as the modern slavery, is an evil act which is happening not only on the national scale, but also internationally. According to a data by UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), there were victims of human trafficking identified who came from 152 nationalities in 124 countries around the world. As this action harbors many liabilities toward humanity, we must face it with creative approaches. From the above-mentioned definition, we know that there is a complex system of human trafficking which sustains the act in this modern day. Hence, we need to define what made it difficult to track and what sustained it: supply chain. The same thing which makes our basic needs such as food and other products become so expensive, because many people take their time playing roles as check points between producer, distributor and customer.

We could refer to producer as the main supplier for every product, in this context as people responsible for recruitment process of human trafficking. This can be done through force, abduction, fraud, deception, or abuse of power. There are various motives of why victims interested to join the producer, but US State Government 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report stated 2 main reasons: debt and fraud. Debt can lead to child labor or sex trafficking which forced the person in debt to work with few payments or even without getting paid. This often started with borrowing a large sum of money to cover for other debts or liabilities. In the end, they cannot pay back and ended up as victims of human trafficking. The second motive is fraud, which often showed by the producer as opportunities to study or to get a fine job placement. They were in fact being deceived by fraud and had no idea of their whereabouts after that. Nowadays producers are far more creative thanks to technology.

The other domains are the distributor, or the main supply chain. As a transnational crime, the act involves domestic offenders and limited geographical reach (UNODC, 2014). The act of supply chain on human trafficking is indeed violating Principle 1 and 2 of The Ten Principles of the Global Compact and Supply Chain Sustainability about Human Rights and also Principle 4 and 5 of the same Principles about Labor (UNGC, 2010). The syndicate for human trafficking operates globally with many undetected check points. Therefore, it is hard to locate them all at once.

And at last, the customer. What sustained products is always the customer, because there is a demand for them. If such demand never stops, there would be no end to human trafficking. The using of human trafficking victims is indeed bringing disadvantages towards the user which called as supply chain disruptions. This connected with the broken public image of an industry or an individual who commits an act against human rights by continuing human trafficking (Webb, 2014). By knowing the disadvantages, the user should replace their installments on human trafficking victims to the right one even though it costs them more.

To conclude it, it would be hard to tackle human trafficking from the supply chain. There has to be a preventive control for it by approaching both the producer and the customer. We need to ensure that prospected victims are far from the producer. This could be done by educating people about the characteristics of human trafficking, what could trigger them to become victims and also how to prevent it on a local scale. For the customer, there has to be a way to show them what public views on their usage of human trafficking victims once their doings are made public. This could result them to think twice on violating human rights.

References

Department of States United States of America. (2015). Trafficking in Persons Report July 2015. Retrieved from http://www.state.gov/j/tip

UN Global Compact and Business for Social Responsibility. (2010). Supply Chain Sustainability: A Practical Guide for Continuous Improvement. Retrieved from https://www.bsr.org/reports/BSR_UNGC_SupplyChainReport.pdf

UNODC. 2014. Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2014. New York: United Nations Publication. Retrieved from http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/glotip/GLOTIP_2014_full_report.pdf

Webb, Kyle. 2014. Human Trafficking and Forced Labour in the Supply Chain: Impacts on the Private Sector. Retrieved from http://lastradainternational.org/lsidocs/3053-HT%20in%20the%20Supply%20Chain_Impacts%20on%20the%20Private%20Sector.pdf

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