Burundi: Human trafficking like any other business

The cross-border human trafficking market is becoming another facet of disenchanted globalization, as Burundi police arrest two traffickers of twelve women before yesterday. Damien Glez , a cartoonist-editorialist from Burkina Fasso argues in Jeune Afrique.

In the big supermarket that has become the globalized world, some offer themselves human beings like others buy necessities. Who would acquire the twelve women intercepted on November 8 by the Burundian police in the province of Muramvya, about forty kilometers from Bujumbura?

Bus-driven to slavery by two human traffickers, they were on way to Kampala, then to embark for Oman, the southeastern state of Arabian Peninsula. Last year, eleven networks of Burundian, Kenyan and Ugandan traffickers were dismantled by the Burundi police.

Trafficking in human beings includes several forms of exploitation ranging from slavery to organ trafficking, to assimilable activities such as servitude, forced begging or prostitution.

The phenomenon is not limited to Africa. July 30 was declared “World Day for the Dignity of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings”. The countries providing victims or executioners are on several continents, from China to Albania, through Syria or North Korea. Juicy, trafficking would constitute, according to the statistics of the United Nations and the Council of Europe, the third most widespread form of trafficking in the world, after the drug business and the illegal arms trade.

A turnover of 32 billion dollars

The sale of human beings would generate about $ 32 billion in annual sales. Downstream, the exploitation of forced laborers – including tariffed sex services – would result in illegal profits of up to $ 150 billion, according to the International Labor Office. These economic “performances” would be made possible by the marketing of 2.5 million people, mostly women and children.

The vulnerability of victims is prized by traffickers who try to limit the use of pure force, often favoring the simple abuse of authority by financially compensated parents, or deception consisting of promises of lucrative and educational travel quickly replaced however by phone confiscations or intimidating rituals.

The human trafficking is like jihadist gangrene: as they proliferate in regions with evaporated or perforated borders, the response must be nurtured by increased international cooperation.

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