Transnational crime s are crimes that have real or potential effect across different countries and crimes committed within a nation that violate the fundamental human rights. As such, the word ‘transnational’ refers to crimes that not just international, but crimes that lead to transference of the crimes across borders. They also refer to crimes that take place in one country but their consequences have a significant effect on other countries. The crimes may involve a transit country. Human trafficking is one of the major types of transnational crimes.
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Human trafficking refers to the trade in humans usually for sexual slavery, organ harvesting, forced labor, or commercial sexual exploitation. Despite the fact that human trafficking may occur within a country, it has implications that traverse borders. Human trafficking is one of the major crimes facing the U.S. and U.K. The origin of the women, men, and children who are trafficked is Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe countries.
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United Nations defines human trafficking as: “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of 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” (Freilich & Guerette, 2013, p. 137).
The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 is the piece of legislation that helps in preventing human trafficking. The law helps in preventing trafficking, protecting rights of trafficked individuals, and prosecuting traffickers. The law has enabled the U.S. to tackle human trafficking more effectively. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, approximately 17,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. annually. The Department of State and Department of Justice are the major government agencies that are tasked with the responsibility of measuring the rates of human trafficking in the U.S (Freilich & Guerette, 2013).
Human trafficking is also one of the major crimes in the U.K. The origins of the individuals trafficked into the U.K. is China, Nigeria, Russia, Malaysia, and Ghana. The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act, which was passed in 2002, is the major piece of legislation on human trafficking. The law makes it illegal for human trafficking to be undertaken for the purposes of prostitution. The U.K. does not have precise details on the rate of human trafficking. Both the U.S. and U.K. are classified as Tier 1 country for trafficking. This implies that they comply with all the minimum standards of international laws that strive to tackle human trafficking (Lee, 2007).
Poverty, globalization, prostitution, and government corruption are the major factors that fuel human trafficking in both the U.K. and U.S. People move to these countries in search of a better life since they think they would have better economic opportunities. Globalization has also increased human trafficking. This is due to the fact that it has increased international trade and demand for cheap labor. This has made organized criminal gangs to form trafficking circles that facilitate human trafficking, which help in meeting the demand for cheap labor (Aronowitz, 2009).
In the U.S., human trafficking statistics are collected by different government agencies. The Department of Justice and the Department of State are the major federal bodies that collect human trafficking data. Collecting data using different agencies helps in clarifying the accuracy of the data. On the other hand, the U.K. does not have precise statistics on human trafficking. This makes it difficult to determine the authenticity of different sources of data on human trafficking.
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