The History of Human Trafficking

Posted by Huibert Fousert on

By the end of the 1800’s most countries had abolished slavery. However, by the early 1900’s slavery had increased to a larger demographic and gained the name of “white slavery.” Many women were speaking out against white slavery, but there is a small debate on whether it was a concern of trafficking in persons or losing young women to jobs in Europe.

In 1927 the League of Nations was created after World War 2. The League of Nations, as part of world inclusion, changed the focus from suppression of “white slavery” to suppression of “traffic in women and children.” While the League of Nations did not last, by 1948 the United Nations (UN)--three years after it’s creation--adopted a worldwide article claiming no person shall be kept in slavery.

In 2003 only 33 countries in the world had actual legislation against trafficking in persons that enabled criminals to be prosecuted. In 2003 the UN issued the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, Punish Trafficking in Persons. By 2016 158 countries had legislation against human trafficking.

The understanding and scope of human trafficking has been under flux and gone through various stages of understanding. It’s now acknowledged that trafficking affects every country, gender, and both adults and children. As well as, trafficking can be in effect even if no borders are crossed. While some form of slavery has always been in existence, it’s encouraging to know the world sees it as an evil and wants to eradicate it. Help us join the fight by partnering with businesses that are doing something about this issue!


written by Natasha Komen

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