Panel Discussion Report 46: No Human Trafficking; A World Free of Slavery

Overview

We had our penal discussion on 24th of June and our group’s penal discussion was based on the topic, “No Human Trafficking; A World Free of Slavery”. The main reason why we chose to talk about human trafficking was because it is a crime industry that is affecting millions of innocent people, adversely, across the globe. Once the victims get in the hands of the traffickers, they are exploited as commercial commodities and forced into many forms of inhumane slavery; either abused sexually, or made to work as forced labour, and many other terrors that we cannot even imagine. It also is the second largest wide spreading and growing industry in the world at present, after the drug dealing industry.

Our group consisted of five members who were all from The Maldives, who were, me, Saruwaan Mohamed, Aminath Rashida, Samaha Hussain, Irufa Ahmed Ibrahim and Aminath Afra.

Points Discussed

While Samaha Hussain acted as the moderator, the other four panelists, including me, each covered different areas related to the topic.

Firstly, Aminath Afra, gave an introduction about the human trafficking and provided statistics about it to the audience so as to make it clear for them to understand how vast and perilous the issue is in today’s world. A fact that she mentioned, that human trafficking generates $32 billion a year worldwide, was extremely shocking which showed how epidemic the issue is.

Secondly, I concentrated on the causes for human trafficking. I talked about the reasons why the victims fall prey into such traps, such as lack of education and awareness, obstacles faced in legal migration to developed countries and also the reasons why the traffickers do it, for instance, due to huge financial gains and less risks due to lack of anti-trafficking legislations.

Thirdly, Irufa Ahmed Ibrahim talked about the roles of the governments in curbing human trafficking and the reasons why they fail to do so. She mentioned that in most of the times, when a huge network of traffickers are exposed, there usually are some government officials, working behind the scene.

Fourthly, Aminath Rashida, talked about the roles of the NGOs in helping to combat this issue and she mentioned many organisations which are working against human trafficking, such as the Blue Heart Campaign by the United Nations. Moreover, she mentioned that even though NGOs play their part, when the government officials are corrupted, it has a less effect over all in reducing this horrendous disease. She also pointed out some solutions for this issue, such as having more effective legislations which are enforced strictly and giving severe punishments to such ill-doers.

The Planning Process and the Implementation

I was absent on the day that our lecturer asked to make groups for our penal discussion. Previously, I thought that a group cannot be formed with only members from the same country and thus had asked some of my friends from other countries to join with me in my group. However, when our lecturer mentioned that there were no restrictions in forming the groups, my country mates made the group consisting of all us from The Maldives.

During our planning stage for the panel, we first had few topics proposed by each of us. But without much disagreements, it was very easy to decide on that, human trafficking, would be the final topic that we would present about. Having decided the topic, then we assigned the different areas that each member should concentrate on, which have been mentioned previously. These areas were discussed and decided upon with the unanimous agreement and participation of all the members. All the members contributed their ideas and thus it was very easy to come up with four main areas, which could help the audience to understand how critical the issue is, and the reasons why it is increasing day by day and thus identifying the loop holes which can be used to combat the issue.

Moreover, we decided the moderator, Samaha Hussain, to ask two questions to each panellist. However, Aminath Afra wanted only one question to be asked to her and thus she was asked only one question while the others were asked two questions.

It was much easier and convenient to work with just my country mates instead of working with members from different countries, since, it was easier for all of us to communicate using our mother language, all our ideas were very much mutual and similar, and also we felt much comfortable to express ourselves and point out the mistakes of others while they were presenting, without feeling that we were offending them and thus this enabled us to have a very well-done and very well-presented panel discussion on the final day. Hence, there was a lot of teamwork which, I consider as the main strength of our group.

However, after this planning stage, we rehearsed only twice and none of us were enough prepared for the final presentation. This, I, point out as our main weakness. However, this did not show much in our panel discussion and we all could perform very well.

Learning/Reflection

The panel discussion provided me with a lot of information that I did not know before. All the panelists concentrated on different areas of the topic during the rehearsals and they were very informative. From my own researches, and through these speeches, I realized how widespread this issue is and that it leads to many other crimes, where innocents are abused forcefully. For instance, when I was researching for my speech, I found more about the baby girl, Falak, from India who got into the vicious hands of the traffickers and finally left this world after struggling for her life for 56 days due to the beatings from the traffickers. Such stories were very saddening and it touched my heart deeply. I wondered how I would feel if it were a family member or someone I knew who were victimised in these ways.

Conclusion

The panel discussion was very interesting and I gained a lot of information from the discussion. I also was very much moved by the stories of the victims that I found while researching for my speech and I understood how helpless and hopeless that they would feel while in captivity and how their whole life would be left relentlessly bleak. Someday, if I get rich enough or get enough power I would surely work and try to make a change to this world and make my contributions to it and to such helpless people.

#saruwaanmohamed

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