The Government Can Do More To Stop Human Trafficking

The Government Can Do More To Stop Human Trafficking

Are there effective laws to help combat human trafficking in the United States?

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Slavery hides within many places in the modern world, including developed countries. Many adults and children are victims of human trafficking in the United States, but just how much is the government involved with extinguishing the issue? Mark P. Lagon and Laila Mickelwait wrote, "The U.S. Government Turns a Blind Eye to Policies That Fuel Sex Trafficking," to convey how they believe that there are currently ineffective laws to combat human trafficking in the United States. On the other hand, Alex Trouteaud wrote, "Anti-human Trafficking Laws Have Made Great Progress," in order to express his views on how he believes that there are enough effective laws in the United States to combat human trafficking. Although their views may differ when it comes to the amount of effective legislation in America in combatting against human trafficking, they reach common ground through one aspect: human trafficking grows with the demand for commercial sex.

To begin, Mark P. Lagon and Laila Mickelwait contend that the government's legislation is not effective in combatting human trafficking. Lagon and Mickelwait express that "year after year, the department sidesteps the most critical aspect" (Langon and Mickelwait 1) of setting sustainable efforts in eliminating the trafficking issue. They claim that although there are laws in place for the purpose of abolishing the issue, "it seems the department doesn't want to ruffle feathers by turning words into action" (Langon and Mickelwait 1).

The authors analyze the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and express that their law is outdated in their methods of reducing sex trafficking crimes because they do not assess sex consuming laws. They argue that "it is high time to stop saying "boys will be boys" and recognize that abolishing sex trafficking requires placing the stigma on the purchaser rather than the commodified women and girls they buy" (Langon and Mickelwait 1).

In other words, they believe that even when the government recognizes the problem, they are not taking enough action to help prevent sex trafficking culture from growing because the negative connotation has been placed on the victims, rather than the traffickers. Their argument in this context appeals to government and legislation because it gives insight over how some people may feel over current human trafficking legislation.

In contrast to Lagon and Mickelwait's article, Alex Trouteaud stands in disagreement with the claim that human trafficking legislation in the United States is not effective. Trouteaud, as a "Director of Policy and Research for Demand Abolition, an organization that fights to combat the illegal commercial sex industry in the U.S.," (Trouteaud 2) notices that the government is taking the necessary action to improve human trafficking legislation. Thus, throughout his argument, he says that "members of Congress… are writing smarter laws that address the problem at its roots" (Trouteaud 1). Traditional laws have not effectively addressed the human trafficking issue because they have not targeted the root of the problem. But, because Congress identified the source, they have since updated their policy. According to Trouteaud, the government established The Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act to help fund operations that seize traffickers. In addition, he claims that they have implemented the Trafficking Victims Protection Act to prevent the demand for sex from women and children from rising. To Trouteaud, he believes that only when Congress had updated their policies by holding commercial sex buyers accountable for their actions, have the human trafficking laws been most effective. Therefore, in this context, his argument gives insight to those who feel as if human trafficking laws are ineffective.

Despite the differing views between Lagon and Mickelwait's claim, and Trouteau's views on whether or not human trafficking laws are effective, there is common ground. Both sides have identified the main source of the growing sex trafficking culture, which is due to the high demand for commercial sex. Lagon and Mickelwait use an economic theory of supply and demand by stating that "when a country allows for the legal purchase of sex, demand increases, as does the supply of women and girls needed to meet that demand" (Lagon and Mickelwait 1). Lagon and Mickelwait have been appalled by the results, and state a call to action for the government to recognize the root of the problem. Furthermore, Trouteaud stated that "high frequency buyers, who purchase sex dozens of times each year, are responsible for three of every four transactions in the illegal sex trade" (Trouteaud 1). Trouteaud has identified that the government has found the root of the human trafficking problem, similar to what Lagon and Mickelwait have identified. By both authors holding the same supply and demand theory, and attitude over the identification of the root of the problem, a common ground is reached.

Although Lagon and Mickelwait's views and Trousseau's claim prove to be opposing ends of the human trafficking legislation argument, a compromise can be reached. Since the concerns between both sides address the effectiveness of the human trafficking legislation and are within the same vicinity, which is over the concern of the effectiveness of the law, a solution can be made. The concerns between both sides may be addressed if they are willing to listen to the opposing point of view. In that way, they may find that because both sides agree in the common root of the sex trafficking issue, people in the United States can continue to push for more effective legislation that targets the problem of the high demand for commercial sex.

Thus, the government can pass more effective bills to create better laws for combatting human trafficking and ultimately, protect those who are most vulnerable as victims.

Works Cited

Lagon, Mark P., and Laila Mickelwait. "The U.S. Government Turns a Blind Eye to Policies

That Fuel Sex Trafficking." The Washington Post, WP Company, 1 Feb. 2016, www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-us-government-.... Accessed 15 Mar. 2019

Trouteaud, Alex. "Anti-Trafficking Laws Have Made Great Progress." TheHill, 17 Aug. 2017,

thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/crime/346642-anti-trafficking-laws-have-made-great-progress. Accessed 13 Mar. 2019

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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Supporting Late-Term Abortion Is Actually The Opposite Of Feminism

Feminism is about gender equality and women supporting women- so shouldn't we support the unborn women of tomorrow?

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Before you read this, if you are someone who feels strongly that abortions are the "right" choice and that supporting late-term abortions is a step for woman anywhere, I do not suggest you read this article. However, I do want to write that I support conditional abortions- situations where the birth can kill the mother or where conception occurred because of rape. If someone rapes you, that is not okay by any means, and a baby conceived of rape can be terminated by the mother to avoid PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and any other mental health diagnoses. Of course, if a woman can bring a baby into the world to keep or give up for adoption, even if it was the product of rape, she should seek life for the innocent child rather than death. And what a rape victim chooses to do is neither here nor there- and it damn well is not anyone else's business.

So why should it be my business (or anyone's) if women have late-term abortions? Agreeing to murder out of convenience should not be societally accepted as okay. When the law passed in New York for late-term abortions, I did not picture 39-week pregnant women rushing to Planned Parenthood to abort their child because they got cold feet. I highly doubt that is the exact scenario for which the law went into effect for, and that was more so intended for women who did not realize they were pregnant and missed the time period to get a legal abortion.

Not that I support early-term abortion, because all abortion is the same regardless of when it happens during the pregnancy. Killing someone sooner rather than later does not make it less worse.

Excuses about how women are not ready to be mothers, do not have the financial means, would ruin their futures, they would get kicked out, lose their bodies, etc. are just that- excuses. Carrying a child for nine months might be an inconvenience, but killing someone will be on your conscience forever. If murders pleaded their motives to police as a way to justify what they did (excluding self-defense), what difference is it if a woman kills her unborn child?

Planned Parenthood might be taboo and have a stigma attached to it, but it does so much more than kill babies. Planned Parenthood is a place where girls can go to see OB/GYNO, get birth control, and learn about safe sex, protection, STDs, etc. Instead of stigmatizing it, young women should be encouraged to go to this institution for woman and feminism. Let high school health classes plan field trips there so that everyone becomes more educated on female health (boys included!). Female health education is very limited, especially in school, and many women feel that an abortion is their only way out, however, it's not. By becoming more educated, the rate of teen pregnancies can go down, as well as the need for abortions. Women educating other women should be the goal of Planned Parenthood, and abortions should be reserved for those who got raped or whose pregnancy cause death, health complications, etc.

Abortion might be giving women a choice- but who is giving the unborn babies a choice?

And of course the only way to 100% prevent pregnancy is abstinence, and if that is your choice then good for you, and if you choose to have sexual intercourse, good for you too. Be safe. No slut shaming here. Women need to continue supporting other women, regardless of their sex life. Women who have abortions are not "whores" and should not be labeled as such- they are just people whose biology reacted to another person's biology.

If you truly do not want to have a baby, please please please give it up for adoption and do not kill it. It did nothing wrong, and yeah, it might be a little inconvenient to be pregnant, especially if you are in school, but there are hundreds of thousands of people that would love nothing more than to raise your baby. Be a woman supporting other woman and give the gift of motherhood.

If you take away anything from this article it's this:



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