Top 10 Human Traffickers

Human Trafficking is a major issue in today’s globalizing world. It is part of organized crimes committed on almost every continent. Here are the top 10 human trafficking countries.

This list is assessed in accordance with the United States’ 3 tier system:

Tier 1: Countries fully compliant

Tier 2: Countries Not Fully Compliant/Making Effort

Tier 2 Watch List: Countries Not Fully Compliant/Making Effort/Not Enough Done

Tier 3: Countries not Fully Compliant/Not making effort


1. Burma (Tier 3):

Burma is a major source and transit country for victims of human trafficking. Burmese Women (especially Karens) are forced into prostitution in countries such as China, Thailand, Bangladesh, and India. Children are furthermore being obliged to beg and to work. The lack of job opportunities and the desire for higher income is the major push for the Burmese to migrate. The military Junta are not co-operative as they use children for the military themselves. The Burmese Junta in 2006 claims to have rigorously prosecuted 400 traffickers, but the problem has not been alleviated.


2. Somalia (Special Case):

The situation in Somalia is out of control. There is no central government in Somalia to take care of the issues of human trafficking. Human Trafficking is internal and done within self-declared Somali tribes. Poor economic conditions have forced many families to also give up their children. Those who are in displaced camps are the most vulnerable as they are willing to move to other countries. This is when human traffickers take advantage of them in the worst case scenarios.


3. Turkmenistan (Tier 3):

Turkmenistan is a major source of human trafficking and forced labour. Many men and women are subjected to forced labour and prostitution in Turkey, Russia and the United Kingdom. Turkmenistan is not doing its part to enforce anti-trafficking laws and is not meeting minimum standards of eliminating human trafficking. They have done little to none to protect and prevent victims and to prosecute traffickers.


4. North Korea (Tier 3):

The conditions in North Korea are beyond severe and are dire. North Korean women and children flee to China where they are forced into prostitution and involuntarily labour. Many of them have no choice since their status is not recognized. China has not helped with the situation. They return most of the victims back to North Korea, where they are faced with execution. North Korea, as we all all know it, is the most repressive regime.


5. Venezuela (Tier 3):

Venezuela is a source, transit and destination country for human traffickers. Many women and children are taken from poor and rural homes to urban areas where they are forced to prostitute. Many victims are recruited through false job hopes and offers from strangers. The government in Venezuela has done little to help. Although they have a law which bans trafficking, it has not set up shelters and relies on NGOs for help. Given the political instability in the country, a prevention plan is not in place.


6. Yemen (Tier 3):

Many Yemenite children, especially males, are forced into labour and begging. Many are taken across borders to Saudi Arabia for those reasons. The Yemenite government is not in full compliance to eliminate human trafficking. In fact it has enacted article 161, which legalizes prostitution. This has not helped the country prosecute traffickers who use women for sexual exploitation.


7. China (Tier 2 Watch List):

China is a major source, transit and destination of human trafficking for sexual and labour purposes. The number of victims range from 10,000 to 20,000 per year. Those who are trafficked are given false hopes and promises. The government`s actions are not enough as many organizations are complicit. However, it does provide health care and shelter for those who are affected.


8. India (Tier 2):

India is a source, transit and d

estination for human traffickers. Men, women and children are lured into forced labour in factories. Women and children, who are part of the lower castes, are forced to roam the streets and prostitute. One boy named Aakash miraculously survived brutal conditions for 9 years. Many children, like Aakash, are offered a reward to come with strangers into a car. They are locked inside a room where they are working under brutal conditions. Aakash’s two friends never survived to see freedom. Although not fully compliant, India has enacted the Comprehensive Scheme for Strengthening Law Enforcement Response in India. This law is willing to improve India’s response time to human trafficking.


9. Moldova (Tier 2):

Moldova is a major source and transit and destination country for women subjected to sex trafficking. Moldovan women are brought to Canada, United States, Turkey, Russia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, the United Arab Emirates, Kosovo, Israel, Indonesia, Italy, Greece, Ukraine and Romania where they are sexually exploited. Additionally, many women, men and children, from different countries such as Azerbijan, come to Moldova where their labour is exploited. Many are also forced to beg on the street. The government of Moldova, according to the Trafficking in Persons Report, has unevenly dealt with trafficking issues. However, new laws are now hunting down on human trafficking slowly. Most Moldovan women are being trafficked by someone they know.

Notable Case: 2008: An East European woman stumbled into Toronto police that she was being trafficked. (2008)


10. Japan (Tier 2):

Japan is a major transit and destination country of human trafficking. Many women and children are being trafficked from China, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. All women are coerced into the organized crimes. They are promised money and affluent life. When they arrive at their destinations, their passports are confiscated. They are given no other choice but to work to pay off their owners. Japan has not been in compliance with Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Many women who are trafficked and released are put into shelters. The government has handed out brochures in various languages to get their anti-trafficking messages across.


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