Effects of human trafficking

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The consequences of sex trafficking provoke a wide range of responses from various groups. The aim of choosing this subject is to identify some of the debilitating consequences that victims of vice face, as well as remedies that can be implemented to help mitigate the social inequality problem. Any people who get trapped in the web of sex trafficking are mentally tormented, and the majority of them end up with long-term suicidal thoughts. The quest to develop public campaign campaigns that inform communities on the importance of eradicating sex trafficking has influenced the topic's selection. Human trafficking has a lot of negative effects on the victims that range from physical to psychological impacts.

The rapid spread of human trafficking around the world in the recent years has raised a lot of questions. It is a violation of human rights, and various measures have been put in place to help in thwarting the vice. Some of the victims of human trafficking include children under 18 years induced to commercial sex, adults above 18 years induced to forced sex and adults and children linked to forced labor. A majority of those trafficked are women and children due to their vulnerability. There are various physical, psychological and social impacts of human trafficking on the victims. Some of these effects include health risks such as HIV/AIDS spread, social ostracism due to isolation, traumatic brain injuries and miscarriages among others.

Discussion: Impacts of Human Trafficking on the Victims

Physical Effects

Human trafficking is a vice that comes along with various physical effects on the victims. Those individuals that are trafficked end up into forced labor in agricultural lands or factories and while others are drugged into commercial sex. According to the report by Understanding The Support Needs Of Human-Trafficking Victims, victims of human trafficking work for long hours in deplorable working conditions with little food and this leaves them malnourished and weak (Davy 56). The report further states that as a result of the lack of adequate body nutrients, more than 45% of these victims either end up having health defects or may die out of hunger. Persistent fatigue in the workplace may also lead to weight loss and changes in an individual’s appetite patterns.

Victims of human trafficking are also subjected to violence and abuse from their bosses. A majority of those victims, mainly minors that are forced into hard labor in factories are beaten up, and others burned. The 2016 United Nations Human Rights Council report shows that 23% of children trafficked in 2016 around the globe had fatal injuries as a result of torture. Those that try to escape are imprisoned and tortured or in the extreme, killed. Most of are subjected to physical abuse and torture, and as a result, they end up having injuries such as broken bones and burns. Several studies show that trafficked individuals are at risk of traumatic brain damages that consequentially lead to memory loss (Davy 59). Lack of prompt medical attention to those persons with brain and head injuries has on several occasions resulted in death.

Human trafficking victims, mainly women, are sexually assaulted, either during transportation or once they get to various destinations. In return, they are exposed to sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS or syphilis. Some of them end up pregnant, but with the rules and regulations of some countries, especially those in the Middle East, they are forced to undergo abortion which may result in death. As a result of different types of assault, the victims also end up bruised and with scars on every part of their body. According to the United Nations Human Rights Council (2016), estimated 20% of the female victims were infected with sexually transmitted infections in the year ending 2016. The male human trafficking victims are also not spared since some of them are assaulted sexually and forced into prostitution. They are faced with harassment, intimidation and a certain degree of violence that ends up leading to broken bones and internal body injuries.

Psychological Effects

Human trafficking is a vice that has a lot of mental effects on the victims. The shipment of individuals from their home country or region to an unknown destination leaves most of them devastated, anxious and hopeless. As a result, their stress levels also shoots at the thought of evil happenings that may befall them upon reaching those regions where they are being trafficked to. “Human Trafficking: A Research Synthesis On Human-Trafficking Literature In Academic Journals From 2000–2014” reports that children and women, as the primary targets for human trafficking, are emotionally affected compared to the adult male (Russell 1-24). A sense of fear escalates especially the information on the services and tasks that they will provide once they get to their destinations.

One of the psychological effects that come along with human trafficking is depression. Most of these victims are forced to work in harsh environments, and they are denied proper foods and good living conditions. According to UNHRC report on human rights, North Korea is one of those countries that are notorious for human trafficking, and most of the victims are transported to Russia and China. The report further states that a majority of the North Korean trafficked victims are depressed especially with treatment that they receive in foreign countries. Apparently, based on the UNHRC report, it is evident that depression comes along with emotional and physical abuse that individuals receive from their bosses and foreign countries where they work. Human trafficking victims working as commercial sex workers, for instance, regularly face physical violence from their clients and a majority knows that they are at risk of sexually transmitted infections. Such thoughts leave most of these persons depressed, and they contemplate suicide as an option to escape the challenges.

In several instances, those people that are trafficked have a lot of trust issues and this negatively impacts their social life. Close relatives and friends have on several occasions been faulted for being the main promoters of the vice. A good example of broken trust is one where a family decides to send their girl child to prostitution with the goal of benefiting financially. Such a child will never trust her family again. According to the "Framing Human Trafficking: A Content Analysis Of Recent U.S. Newspaper Articles," journal, the victims of human trafficking experience trust issues almost in the entire part of their lives. Most of them live in fear and find it hard to maintain stable marriages because of the fear that their partners may turn into enemies and betray them (Sanford, Rachealle, Daniel and Ronald 139-155).

Human trafficking victims are faced with high levels of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and this significantly affects their daily lives. Forced labor and poor working conditions have a direct relationship with increased stress levels, and this provides a clear picture of the feelings that the victims generate in foreign countries (Russell 1-24). In the industries where they work, for instance, managers require them to be perfect in everything that they do and that they abide by the set rules and regulations, failure to which they are physically abused. Such occurrences leave most of these individually, particularly women and children, devastated and psychologically tormented. Increased Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) levels may contribute to memory loss and traumatic brain injuries. It also leads to insomnia, since the affected find it hard to sleep due fear and anxiety.

The victims also have a prolonged feeling of unworthiness and self-shame. Those involved in commercial sex, for instance, are regularly forced to do things that are not to their liking, and this lowers their esteem and increasing their feeling of lack of attraction and shame. In a society where moral judgment is high such victims feel out of place, with some having suicidal thoughts. Sadness and irritability also set in especially as a result of the dejection that they have to face at the workplace or in the hands of their bosses. Some of them experience a decline in pleasure or interest in activities and they withdraw from any social interaction due to the feeling of inappropriate guilt and worthlessness (Sanford, Rachealle, Daniel and Ronald 139-155). The vice also affects children psychologically, in that it defines their lives. Most of those children, according to the UNHCR that have been victims of human trafficking at some point in time struggle to have normal lives. With their education having been impaired, most of them miss out on that stage of life, and this means that getting a good job becomes a complexity. A bigger percentage of the post human trafficking victims live in fear, afraid of a similar happening taking place in the future.

Social Impacts of Human Trafficking on the Victims

Victims of human trafficking are subjected to various negative social impacts. Firstly, when they are trafficked into a new and strange locality, they experience the cultural shock that makes it hard for them to lead their normal lifestyles. "Global Human Trafficking Unmasked: A Feminist Rights-Based Approach," journal states that human trafficking victims, on several occasions, find it hard to adapt to the foods and the strange cultural beliefs in the new lands and this force a majority of the victims to distance from public life. Lack of linguistic capability is a communication barrier that makes their lives harder (Pourmokhtari 147-150).

Human trafficking victims feel isolated and with low self-esteem. Their sense of worthless and a feeling of lack appreciation from the bigger social divide is high, thus prefer to withdraw from social life. The victims are left alone to carry out forced labor, and this denies them an opportunity to interact with people. During those moments that they perceive as free time, several of these victims engage in substance use such as excessive consumption of alcohol, cocaine, and heroin to help them overcome the torments and dejection that they are exposed to in those areas where they work (Pourmokhtari 147-150). Children, as early as ten years, which are forced to prostitution end up abusing drugs due to a sense of guilt and shame. As they grow, they find it hard to maintain healthy relationships due to trust issues.

Most of the trafficked persons experience social ostracism, and this mostly occurs as a result of stigma and isolation. Those victims that end up with sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS are occasionally exposed to sigma, and this makes it hard for them to freely interact with the public. Some of them end up sterile and with sexual dysfunction, and this hinders them from stepping into marital life (Pourmokhtari 147-150). Human trafficking victims, resort to prolonged evil thoughts as a result of the lack of social interactions. Some contemplate suicide while the daring ones take away their lives to avoid social stigma and guilt.

Solutions to Human Trafficking

There are various measures that can be put in place to help in eradicating human trafficking. One of these solutions is the implementation of stringent regulations that focus on wiping out the vice. According to “Human trafficking,” by Fisanick, those found contradicting the regulations have to be arrested and given long jail terms. Another solution entails raising public awareness campaign that educates people on the negative effects that come along with the social vice. State and federal governments in collaboration with criminal and police officers have to ensure that they promote surveillance and crack down to track traffickers (Fisanick 56). Utilization of Google alerts can help administration and patrol officers in keeping up to date with those currently involved with the vice. In so doing, this will help in eradicating instances of human trafficking.


Human trafficking has over the years been on the rise and this has been attributed to the failure by the necessary bodies in coming up with suitable measures. There are various devastating effects that come along with the vice, and these are divided into physical, psychological and social impacts. Physical effects, based on the above information include burns, sexually transmitted infections, and bodily injuries. Poor working conditions in those industries where some of these victims work leave them fatigued and malnourished. Psychological effects entail memory loss, low self-esteem high-stress levels, and trust issues. Trafficked victims are also slapped with social impacts such as social withdrawal, the isolation that contributes to prolonged suicidal thoughts and stigma. In the quest for dealing with human trafficking, there are various solutions that can be implemented. Some of these measures include implementation of stringent regulations and laws and promotion of awareness campaign that educate masses on the negative effects of human trafficking on the victims. All in all, human trafficking is illegal and has negative effects on the victims. It is, therefore, a high time that it was eradicated.

Works Cited

"OHCHR | UN Human Rights Expert to Assess the Situation of Trafficking in Persons in Cuba." Ohchr, 2017.

Davy, Deanna. Understanding the Support Needs of Human-Trafficking Victims: A Review of Three Human-Trafficking Program Evaluations." Journal of Human Trafficking, vol. 1, no. 4, 2015, pp. 318-337.

Fisanick, Christina. Human trafficking. Greenhaven Press, 2010.

Pourmokhtari, Navid. "Global Human Trafficking Unmasked: A Feminist Rights-Based Approach." Journal of Human Trafficking, vol. 1, no. 2, 2015, pp. 156-166.

Russell, Ashley. "Human Trafficking: A Research Synthesis on Human-Trafficking Literature in Academic Journals From 2000–2014." Journal of Human Trafficking, 2017, pp. 1-23.

Sanford, Rachealle, Daniel E. Martínez, and Ronald Weitzer. "Framing Human Trafficking: A Content Analysis of Recent U.S. Newspaper Articles." Journal of Human Trafficking, vol. 2, no. 2, 2016, pp. 139-155.

November 03, 2022

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