Although the days of slavery are decades in the past, cruel and tragic abuse of people continues to this day. Across the world, vicious transactions have led to the movement of thousands of innocent persons. These citizens are then subjected to intensive work, ranging from prostitution to mining. Sadly, this type of enslavement is most prominent in underdeveloped nations, with the most concentrated areas of human trafficking being in Africa. Of these third-world countries, the island of Madagascar stands out, being an isolated location.
While it may appear that human trafficking would be difficult to execute in such a far-off location, various statistical studies would suggest the contrary. As this intolerable handling of innocent civilians occurs on a daily basis, the United Nations must take instantaneous action by sending more rescue workers and shackling down faulty businesses. In addition, the United Nations must aid victims of human trafficking by returning them to their hometown or bringing them to a First World country as an immigrant, and assisting the liberated workers in finding new jobs.
Finally, an effective mechanism to terminate this trafficking must be implemented in the form of rigorous observation, as well as sprinkled investigations into suspicious activities to locate domestic slavery victims even in the most obscure of crevices. According to the United States’ 2010 report on human trafficking statistics, Madagascar is a source country for women and children who are subjected to trafficking, especially that of prostitution and forced labor (Madagascar – Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons).
In fact, an estimated 6,000 Malagasy women are employed in the country of Lebanon, most of whom are illiterate and poorly educated. Sadly, this means that they are most prone to maltreatment or deception at the hands of their employers. Additionally, children in rural areas are victims of forced labor, as well as kidnapping operations. Conversely, the most wretched element of human trafficking in Madagascar is that of younger children.
As reported by the 2010 U. S. government analysis of Madagascar, “A child sex tourism problem exists in coastal cities … as] some children are recruited for work in the capital using fraudulent offers of employment as waitresses and maids before being force rced into the commercial sex trade on the coast. ” ( Madagascar – Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons). Furthermore, it was reported that the majority of the clients of these child prostitutes were foreign visitors, making the situation for Malagasy citizens even worse as they are exploited by sordid foreigners. As these gruesome data show, the United Nations needs to put its foot down on human trafficking briskly to prevent further or possibly worsening abuse.
Pathetically, Madagascar’s attempts at ending human trafficking “were insufficient and decreased during the year – especially in the area[s] of prosecuting trafficking offenders [and] identifying and protecting victims” (Madagascar – Office to Combat Trafficking Persons). This clearly conveys that Madagascar requires foreign help from the United Nations in order to achieve its goal, which can be done by spreading investigational authorities to locate and shut down trafficking business and their owners.
This will greatly increase the area of observation for potential trafficking sources, and would likely lead to the removal of several slave-trade operations. As such, the United Nations needs to consider the facts and spark a movement to end trafficking hastily, sparing hundreds of lives and improving the country’s overall life quality in the process. Regrettably, some especially hapless individuals are inflicted with greater pain, as they are deceived into taking job offers into locations such as the Middle East.
Often, after arriving in countries such as Jordan or Kuwait, they are stripped of any potential they have, and the true, fraudulous, nature of the employment offer is exposed. In fact, one such story of a survivor was brought to public attention in August of 2011. As Abeline Baholiariosa recalls, her life was turned upside down as soon as she boarded the plane for Beirut, where she was promised a nursing job for three years with an eight-hundred dollar monthly salary.
However, in a sickening twist, her employers immediately retracted their contract, claiming that it was now utterly worthless. To rub salt in Baholiariosa’s metaphorical wounds, they also pilfered her papers upon arrival. Baholiariosa was then forced to laboriously tend to a wealthy family’s needs, along with another Malagasy woman. “We didn’t have time to eat or sleep – night and day”, she recollects, “we didn’t even have time to clean ourselves” (Baholiariosa, quoted in McNeish).
Baholiariosa would go on to endure this type of horrifying abuse for twelve more years, as she lacked the documents she needed to return home. During this time, she would witness numerous other cruelties being committed to fellow workers. Fabienne Marie Ange, who works for the Madagascar Union of Qualified Domestic Workers, an organization founded to help trafficking victims like Baholiariosa, says that the wily bosses of these domestic slaves often exert harsh tactics to keep the servants in check.
As Ange describes, “sometimes in Lebanon the boss gives [the workers] drugs to make them strong. They have to work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and they don’t eat properly” (Ange, quoted in McNeish). However, this further degrades the mental health of the domestic workers, and as Baholiariosa puts it, leaves them with an empty mind. Bahaliariosa’s story, however, is not a rare one, dishearteningly. Annick Andriahsatovo, another Malagasy resident, has experienced a similar nightmare.
When she was offered a handsome sum as a domestic servant in Kuwait, Andriahsatovo hastily accepted, needing money to support her family. Once she touched down in Kuwait, her employer sold her to another man, who then forced her to handle an innumerable amount of chores. After running away from her jobs several times, she was eventually detained after giving birth to her son and was kept in a cramped facility for months on end. The conditions in such a brutal place were, unsettlingly, described by Andriahsatovo as “no place for a human being” (Andriahsatovo, quoted in Ross).
Tragically, these women are only two in thousands who have been impacted by the massive trafficking scandals that plague Madagascar. In direct response, the United Nations must rapidly offer more aid to the victims. As advocated earlier, returning these survivors to a safe locale is of paramount importance, followed by the regrowth of a stable career. If this proposition were followed, a successful and fulfilling life could be granted to the multitudinous civilians who have suffered at the hands of human traffickers.
In order to combat the growing predicament in human trafficking, swift movements must be made to halt this vicious treatment of Malagasy citizens. As multiple personal accounts and studies show, the problem largely lies in corrupt businesses, who have swindled countless desperate applicants, a large majority of them women. As this is the main route that human trafficking follows in Madagascar, an effective mechanism to abolish the practice would need to target this type of chicanery done by Middle Eastern proprietors, in addition to ending other human abuse cases in Madagascar itself.
Such a mechanism would function through a similar and jointed method to the previously proposed plan to reduce trafficking altogether. To ensure that Madagascar conforms with the international human trafficking prevention standards, investigators would be dispersed throughout the country to monitor their local areas and report back any findings, as well as put an end to any illegal activities. This mechanism is needed due to the ascending number of cases that are popping up, from children being forced to work in mines to women having their children taken and sent abroad.
In fact, “police have reportedly smashed five networks dealing in the illicit adoption of children aged between two months and ten years”, (Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery – Madagascar), but this number is pitifully low, and must be vastly improved. According to the Madagascar board for modern day slavery, Madagascar’s laws do not even fully prohibit human trafficking, which is a large muddle in itself. This is caused by the lack of comprehensive legislation in the government, although minor pornography and labor are banned.
The stone cold truth to this, however, is that the Malagasy government’s efforts to end the cruel misuse of human beings are simply not focused enough. As mentioned previously, it was reported that the government’s effort to eliminate trafficking dwindled as the course of that year went on, as is the trend even today. And although the stakes are unbelievably high, as shown by the fact that “children are often exposed to very serious dangers [when in forced labor] … and] between 30 percent to 50 percent of all sex workers in two of [the] country’s main cities were children under the age of 18 (Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery – Madagascar). As is evident, the United Nations must lend a consolidating hand to Madagascar and aid its efforts to eradicate human trafficking, and the implementation of an investigative force to crack down on domestic slavery operations is crucial to the success of this goal.
By and large, human trafficking is an enormous dilemma in the underdeveloped land of Madagascar. Although there are organizations in place to impede the encroaching progress of domestic slavery, these institutes are not enough to deter this behemoth of a crisis. As such, the United Nations needs to take brisk action in stopping human this growing abuse through the deployment of more foreign workers to keep watch over Madagascar, as well as monitor widely spread areas for signs of abuse or latent slavery.
Furthermore, the United Nations must avail victims to restore their lives and become contributing members of their communities, and unchain their full potential. Lastly, the United Nations must institute a valuable mechanism to deter the extension of human trafficking, such as government-backed investigation centers, which would probe around their respective areas for potential trafficking incidents or odd disappearances. Only with this handful of succor can Madagascar’s domestic slavery predicament be wholly resolved for the better of both the citizens and the United Nations.