The relationship between human trafficking (forced labor and sex trafficking), globalization, and economics is very complex and has many different dynamics to it. While my project aims to dive into the nuances and intricacies of the relationship I hope this post will provide some basic background of this relationship.
A plethora of research has been conducted trying to understand why human trafficking occurs. According to the Institute of Faith Work and Economics, sex trafficking is one of the most profitable businesses in the world and human trafficking generates profits of 150 billion dollars annually. The ability to sell and exploit a trafficked individual multiple times makes them highly valued.
In order to compete in a globalized world with low prices and extensive competition, amongst both local and global suppliers, producers take advantage of modern slavery so that the labor cost is almost insignificant. The lower the prices of goods, the demand for the good increases, following the economic principle of price elasticity of demand. The low cost and increased efficiency of transportation — effects of globalization and improvements in technology– has made the selling of humans to become much cheaper and easier than before. According to Siddharth Kara from Harvard University, “ today’s slaves sell for a global weighted average of US $420 and can generate 300 to 500 percent or more in annual return on investment”.
In the next few weeks I will be doing a more in-depth study behind how globalization affects different countries and their economies and how this impacts trafficking. Once again, thanks for reading and feel free to ask me any questions!