Humanity’s Travesty: The Trafficking and Smuggling of Humans as a Commodity

Debbie L. Rogers CAMS-FCI

Every 30 seconds another person becomes a victim of human trafficking. While collaborative effort exists throughout the world, slavery lives on in the global economy. The trafficking of humans, as a commodity, is the fastest growing and the third most lucrative criminal industry in the world today as listed by the U.N., following drug trafficking and counterfeit goods. Based on 2014 data, the Walk Free 2014 Global Index estimates there are 35.8 million victims enslaved and the number is growing. Also, based on 2014 data, the International Monetary Fund Finance and Development Report of June 2015 estimates the illicit proceeds of forced labor globally, to be $150 billion U.S. annually.

The goal of this paper is twofold:

The first being broad in scope through education of the general reader by defining human trafficking and human smuggling (which can often lead to becoming a victim of human trafficking). By understanding the background, geography, methods of recruitment and who is at greatest risk of being victimized we can increase general awareness and identify possible solutions.

The second is more narrow in scope and specific to suggesting viable tactical processes that can improve the financial sector’s ability to identify and report this (and other) illicit activity through more advantageous use of financial investigation unit (FIU) resources.

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