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Human trafficking is, unfortunately, big business. According to a 2011 report titled “Transnational Crime in the Developing World” by James Haken, it is a $32 billion annual business. The FBI states human sex trafficking alone is the third largest criminal enterprise in the world. Thus, combating such an industry is a serious challenge. There are many anti-slavery advocacy groups, fundraising campaigns, and sectors of law enforcement around the world.

However, Tim Waldron, UK anti-slavery organization Love146’s chief executive, reports that lack of collaboration among such groups makes implementing change extremely challenging. He says, “The problem is that modern-day slavery is a labor issue, it’s a human rights issue, a migration issue, a criminal issue, and work on this extends from front-line rescue operations through to high-level political lobbying, campaigning and coordinating with partners working in often incredibly dangerous and tense environments around the world.”

Unsurprisingly, different agencies and organizations have a hard time agreeing on who can do what best. Roger Plant, the head of the International Labour Organisation, says that jealousy and infighting often cause agencies to “trip over each other” and needlessly duplicate efforts.

However, recently there have been gains in collaboration. Groups like The Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST), The Child Labour Coalition, and the Cotton Campaign have all been lauded for their inter-organizational coordination. ATEST is actually a group of 12 United States organizations that worked together to push the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 through the Senate.

Thankfully, organizations dedicated to fighting modern slavery are starting to take note of their deficiencies in this area. With the welfare of millions of men, women, and children at stake, fighting slavery has never been more important.

– Samantha Mauney

Source: The Guardian
Photo: Release