Jamaica, US Sign Agreement to Fight Child Trafficking
KINGSTON — June 04, 2018
The United States Government through its Child Protection Compact (CPC) on Thursday pledged US$4.5 million to Jamaica to help reduce the prevalence of human trafficking in the country.
Jamaica is one of four countries — the others being Ghana, Peru, and the Philippines — that are currently party to the US CPC partnership.
"Human trafficking" is something that many people associate solely with exotic places, where women and girls are kidnapped and forced into prostitution. In reality, this is a misconception, however. Every day in the United States, thousands of individuals are illegally trafficked, with the criminal rings that facilitate this trafficking making untold millions in profit from it.
According to The International Labor Organization, there are anywhere from 600,000 to 800,000 individuals trafficked in the United States every year.
Primarily, these individuals are women and children, though there are a high number of workers of all genders and ages who are forced into situations in which they are unable to escape from. This includes but isn't limited to agricultural work, "massage parlors," prostitution, janitorial services, construction, and the restaurant business.
Sex trafficking in America is big business. When Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Seattle, San Diego and Washington D.C. were studied to determine the microeconomies of sex trafficking locally, the results for were shocking. The studies showed that approximately 39.9 million to 270 million dollars per city were flowing through the local sex trafficking economy.
Experts say that most illegal labor trafficking in the United States occurs due to lack of regulations and transparency regarding foreign workers who enter to the US to work in the American labor market. Although there was an attempt to rectify this in the Fraudulent Overseas Recruitment and Trafficking Elimination Act, which addressed a policy gap that allowed such oversight to occur, it did not pass, however.
Although the signing of the MOU with international partners, such as Jamaica, is undoubtedly useful and necessary, it is clearly insufficient. To truly combat trafficking efficiently Federal legislation needs to be changed to enhance criminal penalties including labor and web traffic control.