The Unprotected Backyard Of Human Trafficking Victims

The Unprotected Backyard Of Human Trafficking Victims

Some of the most attractive cities in the United States often mask some of the most devastating realities.


This is part one of my research paper on human trafficking legislation in America.

Some of the most attractive cities in the United States often mask some of the most devastating realities. For example, Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States and ranked amongst the top three cities for the largest human trafficking hubs in America. The problem with the abundance of human trafficking conflicts arises due to the improper protection of victims. The Prosecution of State-Level Human Trafficking Cases in the United States, written by Amy Farrell, Monica J. DeLateur, Colleen Owens and Stephanie Faby, supports my idea that in the United States, legislation lacks the number of effective laws to protect human trafficking victims evidently through the analysis of court cases, the unknown effectiveness of trafficking laws, and the treatment victims through law enforcement.

To begin, the authors of The Prosecution of State-Level Human Trafficking Cases in the United States analyzed a sample of court cases in order to prove that "only a small number of human trafficking cases have been prosecuted in the last fifteen years" (48). Evidently, one detective claimed in the article that because "trafficking law hasn't been used that much… as a prosecutor, you don't want to be the only one using it, and all of a sudden your case doesn't go forward" (60). The warrant is that because many prosecutors run a high risk of losing their cases due to an unfamiliar trafficking law, many human trafficking cases often get lost in the concern of the prosecutors own reputation. This warrant is valid because if people think more for their own interests, they are more inclined to do what may help them the most if a law has a gray area that most people may find difficult to interpret. That way, it proves the low 24% prosecution rates in human trafficking-related crimes. Ultimately, the article helps to support the lack of effectiveness from the law to offer victims protection against their predators.

Next, the unknown effectiveness of trafficking laws makes it difficult for most victims to be protected under legislation. To support this claim, it states in the article, "prosecutors are often unaware that their state has a trafficking law and are unfamiliar with the legal elements necessary to prove a trafficking charge" (50). The base of the warrant is that if prosecutors do not understand the laws involving human trafficking, then the perpetrators run the risk of settling with little to no sentencing. The warrant is valid because the victims may run into the danger of falling back into the trafficking ring where there may lie even more dangerous consequences to their physical and mental state than from before. From there, the likelihood of a victim seeking protection the second-time decreases. Although people may argue that human trafficking laws are difficult to interpret against other sensitive crimes (like prostitution for example), it is still no excuse to risk a victims safety. Thus, The Prosecution of State-Level Human Trafficking Cases in the United States helps prove the ineffectiveness of human trafficking laws because prosecutors have a difficult time in distinguishing between other sensitive crimes and human trafficking crimes.

The final claim, in addition to the unknown effectiveness of human trafficking laws, is that the occasional poor treatment from higher officials often leads to the failure to protect victims from their perpetrator through the law. Moreover, it is evident through The Prosecution of State-Level Human Trafficking Cases in the United States that victims often feel insecure in giving their testimonies because "there was not a safe and secure place to house the victims… victims were arrested or sent to juvenile detention… to keep them in a secure facility long enough to get them to cooperate" (63). The underlying warrant is that if victims do not feel secure in the environment, then they will not testify against their perpetrator. To further elaborate, the warrant is valid because if the men or women are uncertain about their protection due to the officers handling them in an accusing manner, then they would not feel safe. Victims would feel as if they are running the risk of falling back into the same environment with punishment if there is a failure in persecution. Although it is true that there have been cases in which the victims testify through these methods of "protection," "when physical or corroborating evidence is hard to come by, the case ends up resting on the believability of the victim" (62), and that has its own risks of failing for the victim. Overall, the article supports the idea that the law ineffectively offers protection for human trafficking victims because they feel unsafe in their testifying environments.

All in all, in America, human trafficking has been a huge problem that many people seem to underlook. With the growing normalization of sex culture through porn and prostitution, it becomes harder to identify the victims involved in human trafficking. The lack of proper protection for victims is a pressing issue that concerns anyone who has a caretaker, or a friend of the same or opposite gender because slavery is in their own backyards. Our loved ones could be standing in the victim's shoes. The Prosecution of State-Level Human Trafficking Cases in the United States, written by Amy Farrell, Monica J. DeLateur, Colleen Owens and Stephanie Faby, aids my insight over why the laws in the United States are simply not enough to protect victims of human trafficking.


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The Importance Of Listening To Both Sides Of An Argument

Choosing to ignore the side of the argument you don't agree with only weakens your own.

When it comes to arguments I'm passionate about, my automatic reaction in the face of the opposition is to flee. Scroll past it, exit the tab or fast-walk past that mess.

Listening to an opposing side of an argument can be very uncomfortable, especially if it's one that touches on something very personal to you or is being argued in an aggressive manner. Enough to make you not want to look into it at all.

But then why is it important to force yourself to investigate where the opposition is coming from?

Biased Arguments Risk a Loss of Credibility

I'm biased, you're biased. No need to deny it. But there are times and places it is not necessarily in your best interest to allow your bias to present itself like some flashing neon sign. Depending on the forum in which you're expressing your argument—Twitter, a liberal/conservative news site, your chemistry class—your bias has the power to either garner support from those who already agree with you or earn disdain from those who are already looking for a reason to invalidate whatever it is you're saying.

Obviously that's a problem. You want to be taken seriously. Even in satirical argumentative pieces, I would venture to think there's at least some small hope that the audience will extract some morsel of truth from what may otherwise just consider itself a humor piece.

When it comes to these issues that you feel passionate about, if you want to be taken seriously you need to be informed on both sides of the issue, or the gray area in-between if relevant. That doesn't mean you need to Google every news piece commenting on whether trigger warnings should be implemented in university classrooms or not, but it's a good idea to figure out the primary points being expressed from each side.

It Can Strengthen Your Argument

Or it may lead you to modifying your argument some, either because you've realized you weren't expressing something clearly enough, or you weren't aware of all the facts.

The danger of reading extremely biased articles, or listening to a biased speaker, is the chance of being fed misinformation. Unfortunately, not everyone is honorable enough to not use whatever mischievous tactic they can to get others to follow them.

Furthermore, if this did happen and you went on to cite their misinformation to support your own argument, it would lessen your credibility as well as reassert the unreliability of theirs. This is only if the source isn't trying to address both sides themselves. They, as well as you, don't need to agree with both sides or remain objective in their stance on the matter, but cherry-picking things that only work to strengthen your side of the argument can actually hurt it.

However, if you read rebuttals, or listen to people who have just as much stock in their oppositional argument that you have in yours, you can gain new perspective. You can see where the opposition is coming from and modify it to strengthen your own argument in a way that can better address your points.

Once you take the time to assess the points of people who think differently than you, if you decide afterwards that you're still satisfied with your argument as it is, the information is still useful. An instance could occur where someone tries to criticize you for not knowing what you're talking about, and if they do, then you'll be able to say that you have actually read up on both sides of the argument and/or other resources, and therefore do know what you're talking about. Depending on the person, they may not care much, but forcing yourself to still pay attention to that information does matter.

Facing the Discomfort Will Become Easier

There may be times you're not in the right head-space to face the nay-sayers, the "haters," or any other name for the opposition. Not every person asserting their argument online or even in person does so respectfully—and I use "respectfully" loosely in this case, meaning no death threats, slurs or other personal attacks.

There are days I may post something controversial online, or text someone something that I'm not sure how they'll react to, and afterward decide to wait some time before looking at any replies. Maybe you've had a long day and don't want to face any trolls who have replied to your tweet about feminism or the 2016 presidential election.

We've all been there—sometimes we need to take a breather. Letting yourself decompress might actually save you from responding to them in an aggressive or angry way that you'll regret later on. I mean, you won't always regret it, but especially if this is an offline deal, not every response can be edited or deleted.

Arguments aren't just one-sided, as much as we might sometimes wish they were. If they were only made up of one side, it would be so much easier to win. But such is life, and facing perspectives different from your own is a part of that; even if you feel other perspectives are harmful and perpetuate hateful ideals that you can't even try to understand on a personal level.

You can hope that everyone will come to see things the way you do, but until then, give 'em hell by proving that you've got the knowledge to back yourself up and rid them of any leverage they might have been prepared to place on your assumed ignorance.

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My Heart Was Broken On Philippine Election Day

Don't ask me to move on just yet.


I woke up to the unofficial, partial results of the midterm elections.

Quite predictably, the wife of Philippines' wealthiest topped the senatorial ladder. As my eyes slowly checked who completed the magic 12, tears started to appear out of nowhere.

Waves of emotions kicked in and swiftly bombarded me. I was left appalled, dejected, and miserably confused.

I felt defenseless.

My beloved nation has spoken and decided to resort to personality politics. The clodhopping charisma of action stars like Lapid and Revilla garnered more votes than the legal competence of Diokno and Hilbay. The strong machinery of the Cayetano and Angara political dynasties triumphed over the modest, but determined Colmenares and Macalintal. Not to mention, Bato and Go's mere proximity to the president placed them in the top five, quickly dismissing the daring spirit of Marawi City's Gutoc.

During the campaign period, citizens witnessed candidates who claimed to always care, but were front runners in promoting abuse of power and violence. Candidates who chose to dance their way through the stage instead of joining debates. Candidates who blatantly bought votes, rather than woo citizens with their credentials and platforms.

But why did they still win?

This might be the question of many.

This year's turnout is at its highest. Yes, voters were mobilized, but were they given enough framework to practice their suffrage strategically? The bulk of this year's votes came from class D, most popularly known as the masa. They encompassed 78 percent. Meanwhile, class E occupied 16 percent. Generally, these classes have a higher tendency to fall under the trap of gimmicks and entertainment, which the opposition clearly didn't provide. The remaining 6 percent were from classes ABC.

To be quite honest, I might have been too invested in this year's midterm elections; way more than ever before. But how can I not be when my nation's at war with itself? This time around, we actually had capable senatorial candidates who were worthy of the positions, but were still denied the chance. They didn't have enough financial backing and only volunteers and social media supporters kept their campaigns going.

My fellow men are continuously being blinded due to history's reinforcement. There is this deeply-rooted belief in the superiority that claimed dominance over others — creating an even wider disparity between the rich and the poor.

It is so easy and convenient to put the blame on the voters; to think that it was in their control. We seem to downplay that the crack is at the foundation. The existing systems that we trust, which supposedly build bridges, are in reality the ones burning bridges.

Amidst it all, even with self-preserved lapdogs dominating our government, I can't help but cling on to hope.

Hope comes in the form of the youthful Vico Sotto who ended the 27-year reign of the notorious Eusebio clan. In the form of Magdaleno Marcellones, Jr., a security guard who bravely went against the presidential daughter for the mayoral race in Davao City. In the form of everyone who voted and who will choose to vote again.

May these little beams of hope shed light into a better future, no matter how difficult.

Greater things await you, Philippines.

But you have to fight for it.

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