Human trafficking is described as the trade in humans, especially for the purposes of sexual slavery, forced labor, commercial sexual exploitation, forced marriages, or organ harvesting, among others. This reveals a fundamental problem in human nature—an inability to see other humans as persons, and not just as objects to trade and exploit. International organizations and countries all over the world have stringent laws and statutes on human trafficking, but it seems to persist all the same. Here is a list of the top 10 countries famous for human trafficking.
China starts off the list of the top 10 countries famous for human trafficking. China has been more and more present in the global scene, being touted as the superpower-in-waiting to follow America. Countries around the world seem to be getting afraid of China’s political and economic might. However, a closer look suggests that China is not doing so great after all—behind the glitter of cities like Shanghai and Macau, there are numerous villages where impoverishment is the norm. These villages are so poor that they attract human traffickers looking for prostitutes or cheap labor—and since the population is so high, traffickers could buy these people for a pittance.
Next is Ghana, a country in the Northwestern portion of the African subcontinent. Ghana is famous for its mines—and due to the high demand for precious stones and minerals on the international market the country is a magnet for traffickers. Children are forced to work in the mines, sometimes even without pay. Others become prostitutes, or are forced into begging.
Uganda is not known only for its prevalent bouts of civil armed conflict, but also for human trafficking. Being poor, Uganda has no means to recruit soldiers, so its leaders look to employ children as hired guns. Boys are sold into the military or rebel groups, while girls are sold into sexual slavery. Others even have their organs harvested and sold in the black market.
Human trafficking is also a big issue in Nepal, where women are trafficked into India by the thousands on a yearly basis. Nepali women seem to be highly favored in India because of their lighter skin. Aside from prostitution, Nepal also provides cheap labor which India, as a quickly developing country, direly needs.
The same goes with India. Individuals are trafficked inside and outside the country for cheap labor or sexual exploitation. Children are sent off to work in dangerous factories. Women and girls are sexually exploited, or are forced to become surrogate mothers. Traffickers also get big payoffs from having these children beg in the streets—sometimes even maiming these children to attract more alms. Organ harvesting is also a serious problem in the country.
Pakistan similarly faces a big challenge in human trafficking; individuals are sent in and out of the country for prostitution, begging, armed services, sweatshop work, or forced marriages, among others. The biggest problem, however, is bonded labor. In Sindh and Punjab, many individuals are trafficked as domestic helpers, industrial workers, or miners.
The South American country of Haiti is also infamous for human trafficking. It should be noted that Haiti ranks among the world’s poorest, and its main source of income is the tourism industry. This is where human trafficking comes in—girls are sexually exploited by tourists from North America and Europe looking for young virgins. Girls as young as twelve years old are paid a pittance, and they usually have to beg for coins during the day to have a hot meal.
Brazil, like India and China, is a quickly developing country. The same pattern of uneven development in China also prevails in Brazil. The huge gaps between the rich and the poor create a big opportunity for human traffickers to exploit the less fortunate. Many women are trafficked as prostitutes for the tourists coming into the country and men are trafficked as cheap labor.
2. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is also a hotspot of human trafficking. Outside Sri Lanka, many individuals are trafficked for prostitution, cheap labor, or domestic help. Even inside the country, however, human trafficking is prevalent in the form of buying children for use in the military. At times, these children are even forced to join armed groups. The combination of prevalent civil armed conflict and poverty creates a vicious cycle of human trafficking.
The dubious honor of topping the list of top 10 countries famous for human trafficking, however, goes to Bangladesh. This makes sense geographically; its location gives it access to more areas in the world, making it a common transit point for trafficked individuals. Men, women, are children are trafficked extensively, for a wide range of purposes including prostitution, cheap or forced labor, and organ harvesting.