chapter  3
22 Pages

Organized crime or crimes organized?: Isolating and identifying actors in the human trafficking chain


The specter of human trafficking highlights the fundamental contradiction that exists within a world and society dominated by globalization. Through the spread of market economies and accompanying Western ideals, expectations of improved living standards, equality, and human rights, and the right to live in a society that provides for the basic human needs, i.e. food, shelter, and security, are inherently undermined as economic and social polarization abound. Arguments pointing to the benefits of globalization to comparatively deprived societies have ignored the fact that this process, which has led to exponential economic success in the West, has simultaneously created conditions ripe for human exploitation. Robert Cox was therefore astutely accurate in suggesting that globalization has divided the world’s population into a three-part hierarchy that provides a foundation from which the human trafficking chain can be explored and identified (1996: 26).