Economic Migrant Trafficking

| February 19, 2010 Print

In an increasingly globalized world, goods and ideas cross borders, but so do people as they search for jobs, safety, opportunity and survival. Many people are finding it ever-more difficult to maintain a dignified life for themselves and their families in their home countries or communities, and are thus forced to migrate.

As conflicts spread, environments are destroyed, agrarian economies collapse and land is turned over to huge corporations for natural resource exploitation, people are pushed into urban areas and across borders, unable to sustain themselves at home.

Migrant workers are some of the most exploited in the world, yet migrant labor provides the backbone of many economies. Institutions, such as the World Trade Organization, and trade agreements that seek to commodify migrant labor, recognizing only its economic potential, dehumanize migrant workers, robbing them of their fundamental human dignity.

Guest-worker programs too often feed in to this cycle of abuse and exploitation, leaving migrant workers at the mercy of traffickers and employers. Contract violations, physical and verbal abuse, including the sexual abuse of women, and xenophobia and discrimination, both at work and in society at large, are not atypical of the migrant experience.