Sex At Any Cost: How Gender Inequality, Capitalism, And Pornography Are Driving A $99 Billion Industry

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Sex At Any Cost: How Gender Inequality, Capitalism, And Pornography Are Driving A $99 Billion Industry is a well-researched Art and Humanities Thesis/Dissertation topic, it is to be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research

Abstract

There are more slaves today than at any other time in human history. In its 2017 report, “Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: Forced Labour and Forced Marriage,” the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that there are more than 40 million slaves worldwide.

This paper accompanies a 6-part webinar series that explores how gender inequality, capitalism, and pornography are driving a $99 billion illegal industry.

What is human trafficking?

According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), human trafficking is defined as: “The acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud, or deception, with the aim of exploiting them.” While the terms “human trafficking,” “forced labor,” and “modern-day slavery” are slightly different in meaning, they’re often used interchangeably.

I will be using them throughout this series, as well as the terms “sex trafficking” and “forced prostitution,” which are forms of human trafficking. Human trafficking and human smuggling are often confused. The two crimes are very different and it is critical to understand the difference between the two.

Human trafficking involves exploiting men, women, or children for the purposes of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation (a crime against an individual). Human smuggling involves transporting an individual who voluntarily seeks to gain illegal entry into a foreign country (crime against a state or government).

It is possible the crime may start out as human smuggling, but quickly turn into human trafficking. A key distinction between smuggling and human trafficking is freedom of choice (Stop The Traffik).

Many people think of slavery as having been abolished in the 19th century; in truth, it was only made illegal and pushed underground. Today slavery is less about people literally owning other people (although this still exists), and more about a victim being exploited for another person’s gain, and held against their will through force, fraud, or coercion.

Similar to slavery in pre-abolition times, victims of modern-day slavery are controlled by their exploiters, and do not have the freedom to choose what work they do, when they do it or receive or keep any earnings (Anti-Slavery International).

Of the 40 million people enslaved around the world today, ILO estimates that 25 million of them are in forced labor, and 15 million are in forced marriages — that’s approximately 5.4 victims for every 1,000 people in the world.

One in four victims of modern slavery are children (Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: Forced Labour and Forced Marriage). After drug dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second-largest criminal industry in the
world, and is the fastest-growing (UNODC).

Women and girls are disproportionately affected by modern slavery, accounting for 29 million of the 40 million victims worldwide. Women and girls make up 99% of the victims of forced labor in the commercial sex industry, and 84% of victims in forced marriages (Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: Forced Labour and Forced Marriage).

It is important to note that women are not victims because they are inherently vulnerable, but because of systemic discrimination and gender inequality. There are two main categories of slavery: labor trafficking and sex trafficking. Labor trafficking is the criminal act of recruiting, harboring, transporting or obtaining a person for labor or services through force, fraud, or coercion (UNODC).

In the U.S., labor trafficking is commonly found in domestic work environments (maids and nannies), restaurants and foodservice, health and beauty (nail salons and spas), construction, and traveling sales crews.

Industries that rely on slave labor include agriculture, coffee plantations, cacao farms (chocolate), cobalt mines (for electronics and cell phone batteries), clothing factories, and other types of factories.

The term “domestic servitude” refers to people working in private homes who are forced or coerced into serving, or lied to and told they can’t leave. Nannies and domestic servants make up a large number of such victims in the U.S.

These domestic workers perform work within their employers’ households and provide services such as cooking, cleaning, childcare, eldercare, gardening, and other household work. Because it is happening in homes, it is very difficult to
expose.

Victims of domestic servitude commonly work 10 to 16 hours a day for little to no pay. (Human Trafficking Hotline). According to ILO, domestic work is poorly regulated and undervalued. In many countries, domestic workers are not considered “workers” but rather as informal “help,” and are excluded from national labor regulations.

The term “forced labor” refers to people forced to work under the threat of violence and for no pay, who receive only food, water, and minimal shelter. These slaves are treated as property. In contrast, people in “bonded labor” are compelled to work in order to repay a debt and are unable to leave until their debt is repaid. This is one of the most common forms of slavery worldwide today.

Many forms of trafficking involve children. Child slavery is often confused with child labor. Many children in poverty are forced to work for their families, which is considered child labor. Child labor is harmful for children and hinders their education and development.

Child slavery or trafficking (including sold by their families to traffickers) is the enforced exploitation of a child for their labor for someone else’s gain using force, fraud, or coercion (Anti-Slavery International).

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Type:

Thesis/Dissertation topic

Category

Art and Humanities

No of Chapters

5

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Yes

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