HIV/AIDS and Human Trafficking

Posted by Puteri | 8/22/2007 11:05:00 AM | | 0 comments »

About 300,000 women and children are trafficked across Asia each year, accelerating the spread of HIV/AIDS, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

"Trafficking ... contributes to the spread of HIV by significantly increasing the vulnerability of trafficked persons to infection," said Caitlin Wiesen-Antin, HIV/AIDS regional coordinator, Asia and Pacific, for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

"Both human trafficking and HIV greatly threaten human development and security."

Major human trafficking routes run between Nepal and India and between Thailand and neighbors like Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. Many of the victims are young teenage girls who end up in prostitution.

"The link between human trafficking and HIV/AIDS has only been identified fairly recently," Wiesen-Antin told the International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific.

"Neither HIV/AIDS nor human trafficking have been integrated or mainstreamed adequately, either at policy or programmatic level."

Source: Reuters
It is hard to believe that human trafficking goes on in this modern day and age. Human trafficking is no different than slavery. From the UN report it seems not much is actually being done by governments to stop this modern day slavery from happening. Human trafficking is not confined to poor countries, it seems human trafficking happens in rich countries too.

According to an FBI report -

Traffickers include:

* International criminal syndicates with “diversified trafficking portfolios” that smuggle drugs and guns along with people and use the same routes for all three;
* “Mom-and-pop” family operations that often have extended family on both sides of the border and lure victims by striking up romantic relationships;
* Independently owned businesses with contractors/agents who provide laborers for menial jobs; and
* Individuals, such as diplomats or foreign business executives who arrive with “servants,” pimps, and sometimes even neighbors and friends of the victim.

Further Reading: HUMAN TRAFFICKINg - An Intelligence Report