Human trafficking is considered the third largest illicit business in the world, surpassed only by trafficking in drugs and arms, said Carmen Gabriela Ruiz Serrano, academic of the National School of Social Work (ENTS) of the UNAM.
This criminal enterprise is increasingly highly lucrative. In fact, the United Nations Organization (UN) estimates that it generates profits ranging from 32 billion to 36 billion dollars annually.
Addressing the Conference on Human Trafficking: Contemporary Slavery, she said that conditions such as poverty, corruption, violence and lack of opportunities in one’s environment make a difference. "Not only the poor are victims, but there are conditions that make them more vulnerable than other populations," she added in the 'Auditorium March 8, 1857' of the University.
Inequality, impoverishment and educational and labor shortages are an important backdrop, because although those who commit such abuses do not discriminate based on age, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, potential victims usually belong to groups subject to exclusion, discrimination or precarious economic situations, Ruiz Serrano said.
Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation or receipt of people to take advantage of them by force, fraud or deception. It is a crime against humanity that violates all individual rights and is known as the slavery of the XXI century, she said.
This crime can take on different forms and manifestations such as servants, prostitution, pornography, sexual or labor exploitation, begging, using children under 18 in criminal activities or illegal adoption, forced marriage, organ trafficking or illicit biomedical experimentation.
For Ruiz Serrano, child trafficking is not a form of work, "but an abuse, because the child cannot be a prostitute, he or she is prostituted.”
According to the report entitled "Break the chains of child slavery" from Save the Children, poverty, globalization and the consequent demand for goods and cheap labor have led to an unprecedented demand for non-adult workers.
The ability to travel through the world more cheaply, along with increased migration flows, has made it easier trafficking children from one country to another, which organized mafias have taken advantage of.
That report highlights that sometimes the parents themselves are the ones who sell or rent their children to potential employers. This represents an attack on their security and makes the family setting a dangerous and hostile place, because the parent or parents are the primary source of attachment of the child. An act of this caliber impacts how they live and perceive the world, she concluded.