Human Trafficking is the second largest crime of the world second only to drug trafficking. Zillions of people’s lives are affected due to this crime, billions of people are caught by the human traffickers and trying to free themselves from this modern day slavery and millions of people live in fear of being re-victimised. Our panel discussion was mainly about explaining to the audience about how vast the modern day slavery is, how the victims are caught, the role of government and NGO’s in reducing human trafficking. Our panel members are Samaha Hussain (moderator), Aminath Afra (1st Panelist), Saruwan Mohamed (2nd Panelsit), Aminath Rashida (4th Panelist) and me(3rd Panelist).
As explained by the first panellist, human trafficking is spreading wildly in the developing countries and the third world countries. Millions of people are caught and the victim goes through all kinds of abuse. The victims are scared to run away and have no way of getting free because their passports are forcefully taken by the traffickers, and they would be convicted as illegal migrants if they were to go for help from the authorities. Therefore, they silently go through all this pain and dreadful life, in hope that someday someone would come and save them. The underground human traffickers earn more than $ 32 billion by exploiting the lives of the victims and they do not care even a little about the victims. The victims go through forced child labour, prostitution and slavery.
Second panellist explained about the causes of human trafficking and how the victims are caught by the traffickers. The citizens in most of the developing countries and third world countries are poor, illiterate and uneducated. They search for jobs that would help them earn a lot of money. Therefore, when they see a job advertisement, without further research of where and for whom they would be working for, they contact them and accept the job. However, this is a strategy that the traffickers use in catching the victims. Hence, when they go to job on their first day, they are caught in trafficker’s trap with nowhere to run for help. The next strategy used by the traffickers are luring in innocent girls and women by using social networks such as Facebook. The traffickers sweet talk them into being friends and agree to meet them. However, they are kidnapped and forced into prostitution.
Thirdly, the role of government was explained by the third panellist. The government and authorities are creating stricter penalties for human trafficking which may play a role in deterring traffickers from operating. The first global legally binding instrument with an agreed definition on trafficking in persons was made by the UN. It is the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25, which entered into force on 25 December 2003. Many legislations and acts were made by the governments to prevent sexual exploitation and human trafficking, for example; The Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act 1956 made by the Indian Government. However, the panellist questioned the role of government in preventing human trafficking, due to the escalation in the number of victims even with the legislations and protocols made by the government. She explained that even though there is less evidence, officials in many levels government have been helping the traffickers. Therefore, in order to take appropriate action against human trafficking, firstly the loop holes in the government system and the corruption in the government organisations must be found and stopped.
The last speaker explained how the NGO’s play a huge role in helping the victims and preventing the crime. There are many organisations such as Blue Heart by the UN. In addition, she also explained about the challenge faced by the NGO’s in implementing their work. One of the challenges is that government officials are involved in helping the criminals. Many officials and politicians have been caught after a powerful trafficker has been convicted. Moreover, the powerful criminals are not touchable by the NGO’s due to the protection by the high level government officials. Therefore, the NGO’s face hindrances and problems in doing their work at full potential.
Our group consist of five members and we all are from the same country, Maldives. Therefore it was easy working together and our idea were almost the same so we did not have any conflict between members. We all are open-minded and we helped each other in preparing for the panel discussion. All of us had the same perception in stopping human trafficking and had the same aim, so our discussions and work was very successful. Some of us had weakness however we were able to overcome it with the strength of other members. All of the members were hard workers and tried their best in making our panel discussion one of the best presentations of the class.
The topic was chosen after discussion between all of us and we all got the opportunity to choose the role that they would be talking about. We all brainstormed together in making the proposal and identifying the points that each of us would be talking about. After dividing our parts, we did research by ourselves and met for a couple of rehearsals. In our first rehearsal, we listened to the speech of every member and helped in correcting the mistakes that we did. Our second and last rehearsals were practised as we would have done in the class. Our group members all worked together and in my opinion our presentation went smoothly and was successful.
In my opinion, our panel discussion was very successful due to many reasons. Firstly, I learnt a lot about human trafficking and by doing research I found facts that were disturbing to my mind and unbelievable, however real and happening on this very earth that I am living in. Secondly, I learnt to appreciate the life that I am living and that I am protected by a loving family who would risk their life in keeping safe from crimes such as this. Moreover, our country is highly educated and human trafficking is not a crime occurring in our country. So I am thankful that I was born to such a country. Thirdly, our group was formed by my friends and we improved our teamwork and, experienced and learned a lot through this activity. Lastly, my presentation skill is improving day by day with each and every speech that I give in the class.
In conclusion, the panel discussion was very informative and the panellist brought out a lot of real sad stories of victims, true facts and statistics. So our group hope that it was an educative presentation for all the peers that were present for our panel discussion.