End of the Semester Recap on Human Trafficking

My topic is on what human trafficking really is.

In the first essay I used the arguments as to what human trafficking is and how bad it really is to define what this business is. Next, I implemented the legal definition of human trafficking and multiple personal accounts of survivors to tell why human trafficking is morally/ethically wrong. I then used both of these essays to come up with a few proposals to ending human trafficking that all tie into the idea that we have to take a step out of our own worlds to see things from others’ perspectives. My writing process was inspired by me being scattered in putting my ideas together, so I start out writing a skeleton of my essay and then go back to fill it in.

As for my research, this was mostly me going into Google to look for news articles, pieces ending in .org, .gov, etc., and there were also a source from the EBSCOhost database. I looked for new articles when an idea popped into my head of what to add to my essays, as well as when I wanted to back up what I was saying with legitimized sources to strengthen what I was saying. My third essay was very heavily inspired by my History of American Education professor, who was also a psychology major in college, in that the core of this essay was on how in order to end human trafficking, we have to open our eyes to what’s going on around us and not just live in our own worlds. That whole idea of making change happen came from her in one of our class discussions, I just applied it to changing human trafficking.

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Image Website

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35846207. This article was one of the main personal accounts that I kept referring back to in all three of my essays to emphasize what human trafficking does to people.

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html.    This article gave me the legal definition for human trafficking, which was brought up and referred to in all three of my essays.

search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=74701222&site=ehost-live.       I referred to this article in my first and third essays. I feel like it gave me some statistics about how many victims human trafficking claims. It also gave me a lot of information on why there is an argument about what human trafficking is and how bad it really is and what the argument is.

When I first started planning for the first essay, my topic was the argument on the mental health of millennials, but I couldn’t feel a real strong connection to it. Then, when someone started talking about human trafficking with me, I realized that this is what I want to write about because I’ve always been interested in the topic. I felt a strong connection with this topic, so I didn’t mind the research because I just wanted to know more about it. This led me to learn why human trafficking victims often don’t come forward, why people think human trafficking isn’t the worst thing, and just how prevalent the crime truly is. My new perspective on human trafficking is that I want to work towards helping stop it because it causes more damage than I once thought and people need to know what it is and what it does to real people. This led me to take the chance to email a colleague of my History of American Education professor that she recommended I talk to because she is a graduate student here very involved in the fight against human trafficking. I told her colleague that if she was interested, I was interested in helping her fight the major crime. Human trafficking surrounds us whether it is living around the actual ongoing crime or us living with the victims, and we don’t even know it. This is why one day I hope to see people look at the world from a different perspective outside of their own to help bring human trafficking to an end.


Human Trafficking Pre-Writing Essay #3

For the third essay I plan to discuss what steps we can take to solve the issue of human trafficking. I will briefly cover again what human trafficking is and why it’s such a large issue in desperate need of attention. It will also include the numerous solutions people are already taking to abolish human trafficking. I would like to change how people (especially those in authority) view human trafficking because one of the big problems with solving human trafficking is that people think victims are lying or just teenage runaways trying to make some extra money. One policy I would like to implement is that people work to raise awareness for human trafficking in order to bring it out of the dark corners the business thrives in. If you look at the U.S. Department of State’s “15 Ways You Can Hep Fight Human Trafficking,” you will notice that almost all of their points involve raising awareness to human trafficking.

To supplement this proposal, we should also learn to have more faith in people telling the truth, take a step out of our own worlds to notice what’s going on around us, not put people into situations where they get desperate for money to survive, and be stricter with laws to penalize human traffickers. Unfortunately, there will always be some people out there with a broken moral compass for one reason or another, we can’t change that, but what we can change is how we react to and think of human trafficking.



Visual Argument: Stop Human Trafficking

The visual argument I made is a combination of various human trafficking ads I found impactful. Each ad brought it’s own specialty to the party, but didn’t seem to fit quite what I had in mind, so I combined them. Human trafficking is an umbrella term with many types/meanings, so it seems fitting to illustrate it as multiple ads combined into one. The one picture depicts the side of human trafficking that has to do with how victims of the business are controlled by traffickers and provides statistics to help back it up. Next, two of the chosen pictures show the brutal honesty of what human trafficking is and illustrate humans as mere products. Then, the next ad gives a definition of human trafficking, provides a support number for child abuse, and hits home by saying this is happening to our children. The last visual is a cartoon depicting humans as retail items with the powerful saying “It happens here. It’s happening now. Stop the sale. We’re not born with a barcode.” I found this quotes particularly striking because it’s bringing awareness to the fact that human trafficking is happening all around us whether we care to admit it or not.

All of these pictures are connected in that they show that people are not meant to be sold or controlled by others. They also illustrate how human trafficking is wrong and show the horrors of the buScreen Shot 2018-04-12 at 12.44.13 AMsiness via hitting home, telling the facts of the crime, and/or symbolizing what human trafficking is like for the victims. I chose to put these pictures together because they all bring these different aspects together into one setting to make an impactful, informative visual argument.



Human Trafficking – Prewriting/Research Update

For the second essay, I plan on using the format of an ethical argument. This is because I find that one of the biggest issues with human trafficking is that it is morally wrong, which leads to people fighting against it. To do this my thesis will be something like human trafficking is wrong because it violates the principle of humanity. By this, I mean that human trafficking strips people of their lives whether they survive long enough to escape or not. This is because even if victims manage to escape, there is a good chance that for the rest of their lives they will suffer from physical, mental, and emotional damage. This being said, how can people lose their sense of moralsenough to put others through this torture?

I plan on avoiding the argument as to what human trafficking is defined as and just go with what it is legally defined as to avoid the repetition of this. I also want to research more personal accounts of human trafficking to add the emotional connection to strengthen my argument of it being ethically wrong. This will bring my paper away from mere facts that people can’t connect with because personal accounts allow people to see themselves or loved ones in the victim’s shoes. The following is a link to a potential source in which various human trafficking survivors’ stories are told.


“Woman Seen As A Product”. campbellawobserver.com. http://campbelllawobserver.com/human-trafficking-a-problem-close-to-home/#prettyPhoto

Human Trafficking Annotated Bibliographies

Emily Brennan


Berlatsky, Noah. “”Human Trafficking” Has Become a Meaningless Term.”                                          newrepublic.com. https://newrepublic.com/article/123302/human-trafficking-has-become-meaningless-term.   26 February 2018.

There is also an argument that human trafficking is not as bad as people make it out to be. Noah Berlatsky writes that according the Getting Screwed: Sex Workers and the Law, Alison Bass, human trafficking is defined as it is now as a result of 9/11. Bass says that this tragic event gave the State Department a reason to overgeneralize the definition of human trafficking as so in order to justify their actions of imposing immigration restrictions and surveillance. According to Berlatsky, contrary to many people’s beliefs, sex trafficking is rarely forced prostitution because in many cases, it’s actually people running away from tough situations and trafficking themselves. I will use this article to introduce the argument against human trafficking being a big deal. This article appears  to be more of an opinion piece as to what human trafficking should be defined as because Berlatsky bases his definition of human trafficking off of another source.  


“Human Trafficking.” UNODC.org.  https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html.  26 February 2018.

This piece works to define human trafficking by law and address what the issue of it is. In this article, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) goes on to write that the victims of human trafficking may undergo sexual  exploitation, forms of slavery, forced labor, removal of organs, and servitude. The organization also breaks the crime up into describing what it is, how it’s done, and why it’s done. The UNODC’s fight against human trafficking is broken down into the three steps of researching and raising awareness, promoting “the Protocols and capacity-building,” and fortifying partnerships and coordination. From this informational piece, I will use the UNODC’s definition of human trafficking to tell the argument of what human trafficking is from a legal standpoint.   


Woworuntu, Shandra. “Shandra Woworuntu: My life as a sex-trafficking victim.” bbc.com. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35846207. 02 March 2018.

This article is written by sex-trafficking victim, Shandra Woworuntu and it tells her story of what she went through, and what she continues to struggle with to this day. Her story shows us that anyone can become a victim of human trafficking, not just teenage runaways trafficking themselves and illegal immigrants. Woworuntu in search of a new career in the hotel business, but instead she was welcomed with months of torture. She tells of the horrors she experienced, such as being continually raped and manipulated, watching others be beaten, and so much more. Woworuntu then goes on to describe how she managed to escape her new trafficker and sought out the police. After a couple of   tries in getting authority figures to believe her story, she finally found a sailor who believed her and helped her to free her friends from the brothel. Woworuntu still suffers from nightmares, constantly worrying about her traffickers finding her, anxiety, and knowing that she may never be truly happy. I will use this personal account to add more meaning to what human trafficking really is and to argue why this crime is such an atrocity.  

Human Trafficking Synthesis

While researching human trafficking’s disputed definition and the argument as to how severe the issue truly is, I have come across several differing articles. One of these was Noah Berlatsky’s article “”Human Trafficking” Has Become a Meaningless Term,” in which he discusses how the government has upscaled what the term “human trafficking” truly means in order to justify their reasoning for imposing immigration restrictions and surveillance. Not only this, but Berlatsky also backs up the argument that nowadays, human trafficking is used to describe teenage runaways or people sex trafficking themselves to get away from bad situations. There probably are teenage runaways out there who get incorrectly labeled as trafficking victims, but I think that Berlatsky is making an overgeneralization in order to minimize the issue that is human trafficking. 

Another article/video I found was a TED Talk by Noy Thrupkaew in which she explains how human trafficking is all around us, and we don’t even realize it. She states that 68% of human trafficking victims are subject to forced labor.  Noy Thrupkaew isn’t just some researcher on human trafficking; rather, she’s a journalist who talks to real victims and whose “dear auntie” was even a victim of human trafficking and Thrupkaew didn’t even know it. Every situation is different and Thrupkaew knows this form both personal experience, as well as listening to a multitude of other’s personal stories.

Both of these articles tell how the term human trafficking is used in many instances, but Berlatsky gives more factual claims supported by other authors and comes off as reluctant to believe the amount of cases of human trafficking out there. He doesn’t seem to be listening to the millions of stories out there, while Thrupkaew is. For this reasoning, I believe Noy Thrupkaew’s article was better because not only did she provide facts about human trafficking, but she also had real evidence from real victims that she both interviewed and lived with for several years right under her nose. 


Berlatsky, Noah. “”Human Trafficking” Has Become a Meaningless Term.”   newrepublic.com.   https://newrepublic.com/article/123302/human-trafficking-has-become-meaningless-term.   26 February 2018.

Thrupkaew Noy. “Human Trafficking is all Around You. This is How it Works.” Noy     Thrupkaew at TED2015 Vancouver, BC, Canada. March 2015. Report. 02 March 2018.