"Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs..."
In the Kyeongyang magazine a lawyer, working for a human rights group, writes about human trafficking and slave labor in the 21st century. Part of the Palermo Protocol, quoted above, is the United Nations' internationally accepted definition of human trafficking.
The article begins with the story of Lia a girl from the Philippines who had a talent for singing. She heard about a girl from her village who was going to Korea to work in the entertainment field, and she wanted to do the same. She was introduced to the entertainment agency and came to Korea. She ended up in a night club exclusively used by foreigners, it was next to an American military base.
Lia had the job to fill the glasses of the customers with booze. Each month her quota was more than 300 glasses, if she did not achieve that goal she would receive a Bar Fine-- which meant that she would have to sell herself for sex. She refused but she was told they would send her to a even more difficult club, so she chose the Bar Fine.
Lia told the owner of the club she wanted to return to the Philippines; and was told she had a contract for 6 months, and if she left she would have to pay the debt incurred by coming to Korea. She was deceived into taking a stimulant to help her in her work that was supposed to be for health. She complained to the agency that arranged her trip to Korea, and was sent to another more inferior establishment.
The article mentions the abuses that an Indonesian citizen received on a Korean deep sea fishing vessel that was sailing from New Zealand. He received the work by giving his house ownership documents as security. He was abused, overworked and given little food. Because of the documents he left at the agency in Indonesia he was afraid he would not be making the 300 hundred dollars per month, that had been promised.
He recounts many other incidents in the article that show slavery and human trafficking is not something of the past. We may look at the past and lament at the cruelty and inhumanity of the treatment, but many have no idea of what is happening in many parts of society even today with the handicapped, women and foreigners.
He concludes his article by wondering what will future generations think of us. Are we concerned with those who are treated as slaves and have lost their freedom as humans? Our answer to that question will determine how the future will look on this generation.