People dollars for criminal groups. According to a report

People
were created to be loved, things were created to be used

 

According to Richard (2000),
trafficking women from Eastern to Western Europe now constitutes one-fourth of
the world trade. Human trafficking belongs to one of the biggest black-market
industries in Europe with an estimated value of $3 billion dollars for criminal
groups. According to a report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
(2008) 140.000 persons are being subjected to sexual exploitation or forced
labour. In addition, vast of the majority are women and are subjected to
violence, rape, imprisonment, drugging and other types of abuse (Stephenson,
2010). Eastern Europa counties such as Belarus,
Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, Russia and Ukraine are one of the biggest sources
of human trafficking according to Europol (2009) and the International Labour
Organization (2005). There are many factors that influence and causes this
occurrence, which will be discussed throughout this article, by answering the
question: To what extend is sexual exploitation in Europe ethical? An extensive
literature review will be done in order to answer this question. The review
consists of academic articles related to sexual exploitation and human
trafficking in Europe, and whether this is ethical or not. 

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In 2016, a total number of 40.3
million people are in modern slavery, including 10 million children and 24.9
million people imprisoned in forced labor. This means that for every 1000
people, there are 5.4 victims of modern slavery and 1 in 4 victims of modern
slavery are underaged (ILO, 2017). In addition, 71% of the victims are sexually
identified as female. These females are mainly victim of forced sexual
exploitation and forced marriage.  Furthermore,
statistics of the International Labour Organization (2017) shows that approximately
152 million children, aged between 5 and 17, were a victim of child labor.

 

 

 

The problem of slavery and
involuntary bondage is still faced although these should be outlawed by the
Thirteenth Amendment and The Slave Trade Act of 1807. In modern times, slavery
still exists but in other forms such as bonded labor, human trafficking and
forced labor (Quirk, 2006). Everyone could be a victim of slavery, but it is
more likely to occur where corruption is extensive, poverty rate is high or
when people are discriminated based on their gender, race or social class.

There  is a common misconception that sexual
exploitation in Europe mainly occurs in the Eastern countries, but even in
first world countries like The Netherlands the problem is faced. According to
The Global Slavery Index (2016) approximately 17,500 people are victims of
sexual exploitation, this is estimated 0,1% of the whole population of the
Netherlands. These are huge numbers and are happening under our very own eyes.
The toleration policy of prostitution in Amsterdam only stimulates human
trafficking and sexual exploitation in the Netherlands.

            There
 is a common misconception that sexual
exploitation in Europe mainly occurs in the Eastern countries, but even in
first world countries like The Netherlands the problem is faced. According to
The Global Slavery Index (2016) approximately 17,500 people are victims of
sexual exploitation, this is estimated 0,1% of the whole population of the
Netherlands. These are huge numbers and are happening under our very own eyes.
The toleration policy of prostitution in Amsterdam only stimulates human
trafficking and sexual exploitation in the Netherlands.

            Sexual exploitation is one of many
black markets based on captive employment. Captive employees are employees with
an occupational choice in their career. Cronley et al. (2016) have done
research and found that young women, living on the street or in shelters, with
limited education and employment opportunities, are at high risk of entering
prostitution. Furthermore, in a study by Fergusson et al.                              reporting child sexual abuse respondents were
significantly more likely to come from families characterized by physical
punishment, heavy use of drugs and alcohol, and physical punishments. Likewise,
significant differences has been found regarding parental separation between
the prostitute group and the control group in a study of Potter et al. (1999).
Running away and being alone on the streets and thus being vulnerable to pimps
and pornographers may contribute to the links found between childhood sexual
abuse and later high-risk sexual behaviours according to Widom and Kuhns (1996).

            Individuals
that face horrific living conditions want to emigrate to higher developed
countries in West-Europe. Without money, an education, home and limited career
opportunities, they get involved in the sex industry. The standards of living
are thus improved but the victims are sexual exploited. Sexual exploitation
means taking the advantage of sexuality and attractiveness of a person to make
a personal gain or profit. It is the abuse of a position of vulnerability,
differential power, or trust for sexual purposes (USLegal, 2016). This is a
dilemma many victims of sexual exploitation are facing. Several studies have
shown that many migrants don’t consider themselves victims even if they have
experienced an action of deceiving from someone (Agustín,  2007; Breuil et al. 2011; Davies, 2009;
Siegel and Bovenkerk, 2000; Siegel and Yesilgoz,

            2003; Verhoeven and van Gestel, 2011).
This is because many migrants have already worked in prostitution previously
and are motivated to support their family members or they want to improve their
personal development (Agustín 2007; Aronowitz ,2009; Kapur, 2008). In addition,
these migrants can relatively earn a lot compared to what they should have
earned if they would have stayed in their home country (Agustín, 2007; Kligman
and Limoncelli, 2005; Skilbrei and Tveit, 2008).

            Survey
data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM)  have been used by Quinsey et al. (1993), to
study victims for sexual exploitation. 4.554 females, mainly coming from
Eastern European countrieswhere used for this study. The average income of
these victims before being trafficked was $52 per month, while they were being
sold for approximately $4,659 per month. In addition, Bettio and Nandi (2010)
investigated which factors influence the violation of basic rights (free
movement, access to medical care, physical integrity, the use of condoms, and
the exercise of choice over sexual services) among victims of sexual
exploitation. The overall main findings are that the working location and
country are the main determinants of rights enforcement. Individual and family
characteristics play a marginal role. (Jakobsson and Kotsadam, 2013). Bad
working conditions could damage an industry’s reputation and confidence levels
according to Rob Wayss (Abrams & Sattar, 2017).

 

There are various factors that could
explain the high number of victims of sexual exploitation in Europe,
specifically;

 

Huge
profits are made in the black market industry of sexual exploitation. According
to Interpol (1999), a pimp in Europe can earn approximately €110.000 per year. According
to The European Parliament (2000). The penalties of sexual exploitation  are significantly lower than for other crimes,
as a result criminal groups are moving into human trafficking. For drug
trafficking, sentences range from ten to twelve years in prison, while for
trafficking in woman penalties are rarely higher than two years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because
of the proximity of the countries concerned to European Member States, the
import of women is less expensive. Furthermore, trafficking is
higher in high-migration area’s because the costs in those areas are
significantly lower and because those who are wishing to depart to
high-migration area’s can more easily be deceived (Omar, Mahmoud and Trebesh,
2010).Because
of the relaxation of visa requirements, transporting women from Poland, the
Czech Republic and Hungary is less complicated. In countries for whose national
visas are not required, women are temporary moved. This way these women are
kept out of reach of the police.

 

Because of the newness of the
phenomenon, there is a lack of legislation. In most West-European countries, a specific
offence of trafficking in women is not defined. The concept is classified under
other concepts, such as illegal immigration. Furthermore, the mafia
organization is based elsewhere and can operate with impunity because the
actual offence is committed in another country. When the victim is arrested and
proceeded to court, it is likely that the woman will be deported and thus
evidence against the trafficker is unable to give.

            Victims
of sexual exploitation are often afraid to testify because they have the fear
of being discovered by the trafficker if they return home after testifying.
There are some countries such as Belgium, that has adopted administrative
measures to prevent automatic expulsion of victims. In Antwerp, Belgium’s main
centre for traffickers in women, 57 women from Eastern European and African
countries took out lawsuits in 1997 (European Parliament, 2000).  Some other countries have begun to take
measures. For example, in the Netherlands traffickers could now get up to eight
years of prison instead of one.

           

            When
prostituted adults are arrested, incarcerating them could be a solution to make
these adults law-abiding citizens again. However, exiting prostitution is a
much more complicated process. There are several factors that could influence
this process in a positive or negative way (Hedin & Mansson, 2004; Herman,
1992). Motivation and willingness to change are key to successful exiting
(Hedin & Mansson, 2004). Sanders (2007) found that several clients were
motivated to exit prostitution alongside their drug or alcohol addiction. In
addition, Williamson & Folaron (2003) found that the motivation came from
becoming progressively disillusioned with their life. Several researchers claim
that cognitive behavioural treatments for sex offenders are the most
consistently effective (Hall, Shondrick & Hirschman, 1993). However,  the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural
interventions in reducing the recidivism of sex-offenders has not been
demonstrated according to Quinsey et al. (1993). The Economist (2017) claims
that employment upon release is perhaps one of the
best ways to prevent recidivism.

            The
nature and strength of the criminal networks in the country seems to be an
important factor as well because these networks control human trafficking. Countries
such  as Albania should be associated
with higher risk of violence because it is well known that Albanian pimps have
traditionally used a combination of romantic engagement and violence to control
the victims (Kaye, 2003). In addition, in Italy, Albanians are the market
leader in human trafficking, although they operate under the aegis of local
organised crime thus this reasoning may apply to Italy as well (Becucci, 2006).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However this paper provides many
factors and arguments, there are some limitations and further research need to
be done because it is a literature review and no research is done. This paper
claims that many women that are being forced to deceive from someone have no
education, money or a home. But it doesn’t talk about the women with an
education, money and a home. Further research need to be done in order to
confirm or falsify the claim that all the women in human trafficking face
poverty. Furthermore, the paper claims that some first-world countries are
taking measures against sexual exploitation. However, the mafia organisations
are based elsewhere so the problem should be tackled in the home-country.
Further research need to be done in order to consider if it is possible to take
measures against these criminals in the country where they are based.  

 

This article has provided information
about the ethical perspective of sexual exploitation. Mostly women, are being
trafficked and forced into sexual exploitation as if they were worthless
objects. Several factors that has been discussed provide information to obtain
a better understanding of this serious problem.

            Research
show that high poverty in the victim’s country and a lack of legislation are
one of the main causes of the high number of victims of sexual exploitation,
therefore the European Union should assist in developing Eastern countries and
fight poverty. As a result, the problem of human trafficking and criminal
groups are easier to fight. In addition, many women who don’t have money or an
education, end up in the sex industry. They live in horrific working conditions
and are being underpaid.

            Huge
profits, low risks and penalties, significantly lower cost in migration areas, dysfunction
of the economic systems, and the relaxation of visa requirements could explain
the high number of victims of sexual exploitation. Furthermore, victims of
sexual exploitation are often afraid to testify because they have the fear of
being discovered by the trafficker if they return home after testifying.
Additionally, the criminal groups are often based elsewhere and thus can
operate with impunity.

            Sexual exploitation is a serious issue that affects young
people and families across Europe. The findings of this paper suggests that the
legislation against human trafficking should be improved in order to prevent
sexual exploitation. Until the problems of unemployment, poverty, the economic
system, and the lack of education are dealt with, it is likely that countries
in Eastern Europe will remain a major source of trafficking victims and thus
sexual exploitation will exist.