Impacts of Trafficking: Worse Than What You Think

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Impacts of Trafficking: Worse Than What You Think

In India, 16 million people are victims of sex trafficking at present. It’s evident that wherever trafficking occurs, the consequences are horrible for the victims and the entire society – the larger community suffers, as well as the basic human rights, principles of democratic freedom and rule of law.

It is difficult to accurately measure the impact of trafficking because of its clandestine nature and hidden economies in which trafficked people work. Lack of legislation and inadequate national definitions; lack of political will; inexperience in dealing with the issue; corruption; victims’ inability or unwillingness to cooperate all make it difficult to determine the scale and impact (Aronowitz 2009).

Below is a detailed examination of the impacts of trafficking in particular areas:

Economic impacts

The worst form of trafficking is child trafficking – it represents a loss in the productive capacity of a generation of individuals, who would have otherwise gained from better education and improved health. Also the funds used to combat trafficking could be used elsewhere in some other development initiatives, benefiting the economy of a country.

The NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) estimates that almost half of the children trafficked within India are between the ages of 11 and 14; they are subjected to physical and sexual abuse and kept in conditions similar to slavery and bondage.


Societal impacts

Human trafficking has disastrous effects on the society as a whole, and on the authority of the state itself. As thousands of people trespass international boundaries under false pretences, it undermines the border integrity of the state, exposing the delirious state of corrupt officials. Thus, state sovereignty is questioned widely.

According to various aid agencies, about 40,000 Rohingya Muslims have been living in India since fleeing their homeland of Myanmar in the wake of violence.


On the other hand, trafficking undermines family ties. Breakdown of families is common, when the woman of the house gets trafficked. In many cases, even after she returns, she is found shunned and stigmatized by the society.

Health impacts

There are significant health impacts for victims both while they are being transported and when they have reached their destination. Perilous journeys expose trafficked victims to injury and even death, while overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, and shortages of food and water increase the risk of spreading infectious disease (Todres 2011).

Trafficked individuals for sex industry also are exposed to increased risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STIs), besides regular sexual, physical and emotional violence at the hands of pimps and traffickers.

Nearly two out of every five female sex workers (FSWs) in India could be suffering from HIV infection – stated Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health.


Impacts on gender equity and human rights

Women and children are the worst victims of trafficking. They are largely trafficked for sexual exploitation. The sex industry is a billion dollar industry and each day it’s growing manifold.

The researchers said more than 80% of trafficking victims are female. Over 50% of human trafficking victims are children.


Each trafficked victim is stripped of their basic human rights. These unlucky souls are subject to all forms of human rights violations.Less considered are the rights to adequate healthcare, education, a decent work environment, and freedom from discrimination, to name a few (Todres 2006).

Human trafficking is an everyday reality – for many. The issue is intimidating; but the society as a whole has to come forward and do tangible work to make a difference. Inspire and Engage is the key. Getting involved with an organization is the most powerful and impactful action one can take towards making the world a safer place to live in. Missing Team supports anti-trafficking efforts; join our drive and take action to make a meaningful impact

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