Human Trafficking Both Human Rights Issue, Security Challenge

Washington Post: Human trafficking isn’t just morally repugnant. It’s also a security threat.
Jamille Bigio, senior fellow, and Rachel Vogelstein, Douglas Dillon senior fellow and director, both in the Women and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations

“…Every year, tens of thousands of Nigerians are trafficked, primarily to Europe and across west Africa. … Ninety-one percent of Nigeria’s trafficking victims are women, with 78 percent reporting sexual exploitation at the hands of their traffickers. Why does the plight of Nigeria’s trafficking victims matter? To be sure, this crime is a tragic violation of basic dignity and rights, one that rightfully inspires moral outcry. But human trafficking is not only a human rights issue — it is also a security challenge. … [T]oo little has been done to address this practice as a threat — not only to human rights, but also to international stability. To address this gap, governments ought to prioritize investigation of the sophisticated criminal and extremist networks that perpetrate this crime. Law enforcement should be better trained to identify trafficking victims, traffickers should be held accountable — as well as any public officials who may be complicit in the crime — and comprehensive care should be offered to survivors. Given the many ways in which human trafficking fuels transnational crime and extremism, this scourge must be treated as a hazard to both human dignity and international security. Nothing less than our collective safety is at stake” (2/12).

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