Edward, aged 15

From your point of view, who embodies action for peace and how?  

How can peace be attained if Human Trafficking still continues?

Every year on the 21st of September the world tries to commemorate a day of peace where there is to be no violence, fighting, arguing for that day.  According to the UN Charter peace is defined as a “lack of war from the agreement between two parties”. In my view I find this to be a negative definition. It begs asking the question- can peace only be attained when the UN intervenes in a difficult war like situation? And – is there a right answer? There are hundreds of problems which prevent peace from being made. A few examples of this are; terrorism, AIDS, war, and Human Trafficking. In this essay I will focus on Human Trafficking (modern day slavery) and how peace can never be acquired in this world if this crime against humanity is still allowed to continue. Human trafficking is an act when people are recruited, transported, transferred, harboured or received by a person through a use of force. (source UNODC -Trafficking in Persons Protocol). I will describe how the Organization “End Human Trafficking Now” has embodied peace and is in the process of seriously alerting the world to this heinous crime.

Human Trafficking is the 3rd  largest criminal industry in the world after the drug and arms trade, happening world-wide on every continent. Human Trafficking mainly targets children and women as well as boys and men. There are many types of Human Trafficking; forced labour, child labour, domestic servitude, slavery and the biggest of them all, sexual exploitation.  All of these factors of Human Trafficking contribute to people being forced against their will to do and perform appalling acts for someone else’s economic gain.  Every year it is thought that the global revenue of this misery is $32 billion a year; the shocking thing is that most people don’t even know it’s happening until they are in the industry themselves. So, what is being done to erase this crime to try and contribute to a peaceful state in the world?

How is it that a problem so global has gone ‘unnoticed’ for so long? Human Trafficking has been going on for millennia and slavery was officially abolished in 1870, yet it has continued to flourish all this time primarily under cover. When the “End Human Trafficking Now” (EHTN) organization was created in 2006 it shone a ray of hope for the victims of Human Trafficking. It targeted the business and private sector thinking that spreading their message from them; they could get lots of awareness.  The main way to stop human trafficking is by awareness through education; making people aware of the treacherous industry around them.

Until now, thanks to the EHTN organization, thousands of victims of human trafficking have been saved from the atrocious ‘inputs’ and ‘products’ of this industry, not to mention the number of traffickers who have been held responsible and convicted for it. As more and more people become aware of this huge problem, the more people will want to help by taking the industry to the ground and give those held responsible the harshest of punishments.

One of the people I find to have been making a huge difference in raising awareness is Robert Bilheimer, a famous film director (2nd time Oscar nominee) who made a documentary about Human Trafficking, “Not my Life”. It was filmed on 5 continents and took 3 years to film. It portrays the cruel harsh reality of Human Trafficking. It shows victims/survivors of human trafficking including, young girls in theUSbeing forced into prostitution, middle aged women inIndiain their brothels and young African boys from ages between 5 and 14 being forced into servitude. It is a truly shocking film. This film premier was shown at a meeting of the EHTN association in Egypt, Luxor where lots of big people from the business and private sector came together to talk about the problem and look for a solution.

Human Trafficking comes from people trying to emigrate from their country hoping and looking for a better life because they are not satisfied with their life in their country mainly because they live in poverty.

I believe that the solution to this misery is that the country of origin, (where Human Trafficking originates, this is to say all countries in the world) have to have a truly good solid governance. By preventing Human Trafficking the country needs to have a fair democracy which within includes a free supply education, health care and increase the amount of job opportunities. This is to eradicate the source of poverty, as the main reason why people emigrated and got caught up in the human trafficking business was because they were living in poverty in the first place. From a free education people can learn the dangers of the world including Human Trafficking, as for the health care, people can be vaccinated against dangerous diseases and so on. To allow free education, health care it is essential that the IMF (International Monetary Fund) cancels the poor developing countries’ debt, if not the continuation of the misery of poverty and human trafficking will never be stopped.

Unfortunately Human Trafficking was not made a millennium development goal in the year 2000. I think it should have been because it is a massive issue concerning the world today.  So far since the EHTN organization had begun it has brought lots of peace to the victims of Human Trafficking, and still continues to do so and create awareness about it. It is imperative that this organization  continues to do the first class work it is doing. As was said by  Dag Hammerskjold “to build a world without fear, we must be without fear”  and also as Pope Paul V said  “if you want peace work for justice,”  I think this sums up exactly what this organization is doing.

About UN News Geneva

Sharing entires to the United Nations Peace Essay competitions run by the Information Service in Geneva in 2011
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