Topic: Human Trafficking
Delegate: Gabriel Goudreau
School: Williamston High School
One of the most persistent threats facing the world in the 21st century is the rise of human trafficking as a major form of criminal exploitation. Not only is this issue found worldwide, but it is also a growing problem in the Middle East, especially as it combines with the impact of conflict and the rising refugee streams trying to reach Europe. Across the globe, approximately 40 million people are roped in human trafficking. Human trafficking includes forced labor, forced sex trafficking, and forced organ donation. The industry is a lucrative one, reaching at least $150 billion in profits yearly according to the International Labour Office. Although there are uncertainty and debate about exact numbers, it is believed that within the realm of human trafficking the most common form is forced sexual trafficking, though forced labor is a major component as well. The majority of victims of human trafficking are women and young girls, and approximately 25% of victims are children. Around 600,000 victims of human trafficking are present in the Middle East and represent around 45 nationalities. Around 51% of the victims are from the Middle East itself. While the Middle East experiences less human trafficking than other regions, it is still a relevant factor in the stability and security of the region. Additionally, trafficking patterns differ within the region itself.
Although Afghanistan made some efforts to eliminate the worst forms of human trafficking, government officials are complicit in the use of forced commercial sexual exploitation of boys through the practice of bacha bazi. The government opened a juvenile rehabilitation center for children previously engaged in armed conflict and provided services to 34 children. It also opened child protection units in 27 provinces, which helped prevent the recruitment of 364 children into the Afghan National Police. The Child Protection Action Network provided educational and social services to at-risk internally displaced families and removed 50 children from mines where they engaged in child labor and enrolled them in schools. However, despite new initiatives to address child labor, the government was also complicit in the use of forced child labor. Our government lacked the political will to enforce laws prohibiting bacha bazi and, despite receiving more than 63 cases of bacha bazi among Afghan military and police, did not initiate any prosecutions or achieve any convictions for bacha bazi. Children in Afghanistan also engage in other worst forms of child labor, including in armed conflict and forced labor in the production of bricks and carpets. Afghanistan’s Labor Inspectorate is not authorized to impose penalties for child labor violations, and the government lacks sufficient programs to eliminate the worst forms of child labor and human trafficking.
Afghanistan wishes to eliminate human trafficking in the country and across the world, however, the Afghani government is split on removing the practice of bacha bazi, being one of Afghanistan’s darkest secrets members of the government wish to keep it quiet and not take any action on this dark practice, along with paid child labor which speeds our economy. The Afghani military and investigative departments will begin to battle those involved in human trafficking, imposing severe penalties for those convicted of these heinous crimes, the great nation of Afghanistan will take measures to move past our history of trafficking and build a better, safer nation.
- Gabriel Goudreau