Human Rights Careers

5 Essays On Human Trafficking You Can Access Freely Online

Every country faces specific human rights issues, but human trafficking is a problem for every place on the planet. Wherever there’s poverty, conflict, a lack of education, or political instability, vulnerable people are at risk. Human trafficking is the world’s fastest-growing criminal industry. Sexual exploitation brings in most of the billions of dollars of profit, but forced labor also generates wealth. The universality of human trafficking doesn’t negate the fact that the issue is multi-faceted and as a multitude of root causes . Certain countries are more dangerous than others and certain people groups are more vulnerable. To learn more about specific human trafficking issues and solutions, here are five essays you can read or download for free:

“Human Trafficking and Exploitation: A Global Health Concern”

By: Cathy Zimmerman and Ligia Kiss

While labor migration can be beneficial to workers and employers, it’s also a hotbed for exploitation. In this essay from PLOS, the authors argue that human trafficking and the exploitation of low-wage workers have significant negative health impacts. Because of the magnitude of human trafficking, health concerns constitute a public health problem. Thanks to certain business models that depend on disposable labor, exploitation is allowed to flourish while protections are weakened. The essay states that trafficking initiatives must focus on stopping exploitation within each stage of labor migration. This essay introduces a special collection from PLOS on human trafficking and health. It’s the first medical journal collection on this topic. It includes pieces on child sex trafficking in the United States and the slavery of sea workers in South East Asia. Cathy Zimmerman and Ligia Kiss, the guest editors and authors of the first essay, are from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“Introducing The Slave Next Door”

By: Jen Birks and Alison Gardner

Published in a special issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review on public perceptions and responses to human trafficking, this essay focuses on Great Britain. According to the essay, there’s been a shift in what the public thinks about trafficking based on local reporting and anti-slavery campaigns. British communities are starting to realize how prevalent human trafficking is in their own backyards. The essay takes a closer look at the media and campaigns, how they’re representing cases, and what people are doing with the information. While specific to Britain, it’s a good example of how people can perceive trafficking within their borders.

Jen Birks is an Assistant Professor in media at the Department of Cultural, Media, and visual Studies at the University of Nottingham. Alison Gardner is at the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham with a Nottingham Research Fellowship. She is part of the university’s Rights Lab.

“My Family’s Slave”

By: Alex Tizon

One of The Atlantic’s biggest stories of 2017, this essay tells a personal story of modern slavery. At 18-years old, Lola was given to the writer’s mother and when they moved to the United States, Lola came with them. On the outside, Tizon’s family was, in his words, “a poster family.” The truth was much darker. The essay sparked countless reader responses, including those of people who were once slaves themselves. Reading both the criticism and praise of the essay is just as valuable as the essay itself.

Alex Tizon died at age 57 years old before his essay was published. He had a successful career as a writer and reporter, sharing a Pulitzer Prize while a staff member at The Seattle Times. He also published a 2014 memoir Big Little Man: In Search of My Asian Self.

“Vietnam’s Human Trafficking Problem Is Too Big To Ignore”

By: Thoi Nguyen

In November 2019, 39 Vietnamese people were found dead in a truck container. They were identified as victims of a human trafficking ring. In Nguyen’s article, he explores the facts about the severity of human trafficking in Vietnam. For years, anti-slavery groups have warned the UK about a rise in trafficking, but it took a tragedy for people to start paying attention. Nguyen discusses who is vulnerable to trafficking, how trafficking functions, and Vietnam’s response.

Freelance journalist Thoi Nguyen is a member of Chatham House and a member of Amnesty International UK. In addition to human trafficking, he writes about the economy, finance, and foreign affairs. He’s a specialist in South East Asian geopolitics.

“History Repeats Itself: Some New Faces Behind Sex Trafficking Are More Familiar Than You Think”

By: Mary Graw Leary

This essay highlights how human trafficking isn’t only a criminal enterprise, it’s also an economic one. Leary looks specifically at how businesses that benefit (directly or indirectly) from slavery have always fought against efforts to end it. The essay focuses on government efforts to disrupt online sex trafficking and how companies are working to prevent that from happening. Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry, so it makes sense that even legitimate businesses benefit. Knowing what these businesses are is essential to ending trafficking.

Mary Graw Leary is a former federal prosecutor and currently a professor of law at The Catholic University of America. The Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission’s Victim Advocacy Group, she’s an expert in exploitation, missing persons, human trafficking, and technology.

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About the author, emmaline soken-huberty.

Emmaline Soken-Huberty is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon. She started to become interested in human rights while attending college, eventually getting a concentration in human rights and humanitarianism. LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and climate change are of special concern to her. In her spare time, she can be found reading or enjoying Oregon’s natural beauty with her husband and dog.

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Turning technology against human traffickers

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A researcher sits in an office looking at a computer monitor. On the left side of the monitor are several graphs. One the right side are four images of a woman's arm with a crown tattoo.

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Last October, the White House released the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking. The plan was motivated, in part, by a greater understanding of the pervasiveness of the crime. In 2019, 11,500 situations of human trafficking in the United States were identified through the National Human Trafficking Hotline, and the federal government estimates there are nearly 25 million victims globally.

This increasing awareness has also motivated MIT Lincoln Laboratory, a federally funded research and development center, to harness its technological expertise toward combating human trafficking.

In recent years, researchers in the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Systems Group have met with federal, state, and local agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and technology companies to understand the challenges in identifying, investigating, and prosecuting trafficking cases. In 2019, the team compiled their findings and 29 targeted technology recommendations into a roadmap for the federal government. This roadmap informed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s recent counter-trafficking strategy released in 2020.

"Traffickers are using technology to gain efficiencies of scale, from online commercial sex marketplaces to complex internet-driven money laundering, and we must also leverage technology to counter them," says Matthew Daggett, who is leading this research at the laboratory.

In July, Daggett testified at a congressional hearing about many of the current technology gaps and made several policy recommendations on the role of technology countering trafficking. "Taking advantage of digital evidence can be overwhelming for investigators. There's not a lot of technology out there to pull it all together, and while there are pockets of tech activity, we see a lot of duplication of effort because this work is siloed across the community," he adds.

Breaking down these silos has been part of Daggett's goal. Most recently, he brought together almost 200 practitioners from 85 federal and state agencies, NGOs, universities, and companies for the Counter–Human Trafficking Technology Workshop at Lincoln Laboratory. This first-of-its-kind virtual event brought about discussions of how technology is used today, where gaps exist, and what opportunities exist for new partnerships. 

The workshop was also an opportunity for the laboratory's researchers to present several advanced tools in development. "The goal is to come up with sustainable ways to partner on transitioning these prototypes out into the field," Daggett adds.

Uncovering networks

One the most mature capabilities at the laboratory in countering human trafficking deals with the challenge of discovering large-scale, organized trafficking networks.

"We cannot just disrupt pieces of an organized network, because many networks recover easily. We need to uncover the entirety of the network and disrupt it as a whole," says Lin Li, a researcher in the Artificial Intelligence Technology Group.

To help investigators do that, Li has been developing machine learning algorithms that automatically analyze online commercial sex ads to reveal whether they are likely associated with human trafficking activities and if they belong to the same organization.  

This task may have been easier only a few years ago, when a large percentage of trafficking-linked activities were advertised, and reported, from listings on Backpage was the second-largest classified ad listing service in the United States after Craigslist, and was seized in 2018 by a multi-agency federal investigation. A slew of new advertising sites has since appeared in its wake. "Now we have a very decentralized distributed information source, where people are cross-posting on many web pages," Li says. Traffickers are also becoming more security-aware, Li says, often using burner cellular or internet phones that make it difficult to use "hard" links such as phone numbers to uncover organized crime.

So, the researchers have instead been leveraging "soft" indicators of organized activity, such as semantic similarities in the ad descriptions. They use natural language processing to extract unique phrases in content to create ad templates, and then find matches for those templates across hundreds of thousands of ads from multiple websites.

"We've learned that each organization can have multiple templates that they use when they post their ads, and each template is more or less unique to the organization. By template matching, we essentially have an organization-discovery algorithm," Li says.

In this analysis process, the system also ranks the likelihood of an ad being associated with human trafficking. By definition, human trafficking involves compelling individuals to provide service or labor through the use of force, fraud, or coercion — and does not apply to all commercial sex work. The team trained a language model to learn terms related to race, age, and other marketplace vernacular in the context of the ad that may be indicative of potential trafficking. 

To show the impact of this system, Li gives an example scenario in which an ad is reported to law enforcement as being linked to human trafficking. A traditional search to find other ads using the same phone number might yield 600 ads. But by applying template matching, approximately 900 additional ads could be identified, enabling the discovery of previously unassociated phone numbers.

"We then map out this network structure, showing links between ad template clusters and their locations. Suddenly, you see a transnational network," Li says. "It could be a very powerful way, starting with one ad, of discovering an organization's entire operation."

Analyzing digital evidence

Once a human trafficking investigation is underway, the process of analyzing evidence to find probable cause for warrants, corroborate victim statements, and build a case for prosecution can be very time- and human-intensive. A case folder might hold thousands of pieces of digital evidence — a conglomeration of business or government records, financial transactions, cell phone data, emails, photographs, social media profiles, audio or video recordings, and more.

"The wide range of data types and formats can make this process challenging. It's hard to understand the interconnectivity of it all and what pieces of evidence hold answers," Daggett says. "What investigators want is a way to search and visualize this data with the same ease they would a Google search."

The system Daggett and his team are prototyping takes all the data contained in an evidence folder and indexes it, extracting the information inside each file into three major buckets — text, imagery, and audio data. These three types of data are then passed through specialized software processes to structure and enrich them, making them more useful for answering investigative questions.                                

The image processor, for example, can recognize and extract text, faces, and objects from images. The processor can then detect near-duplicate images in the evidence, making a link between an image that appears on a sex advertisement and the cell phone that took it, even for images that have been heavily edited or filtered. They are also working on facial recognition algorithms that can identify the unique faces within a set of evidence, model them, and find them elsewhere within the evidence files, under widely different lighting conditions and shooting angles. These techniques are useful for identifying additional victims and corroborating who knows whom.

Another enrichment capability allows investigators to find "signatures" of trafficking in the data. These signatures can be specific vernacular used, for example, in text messages between suspects that refer to illicit activity. Other trafficking signatures can be image-based, such as if the picture was taken in a hotel room, contains certain objects such as cash, or shows specific types of tattoos that traffickers use to brand their victims. A deep learning model the team is working on now is specifically aimed at recognizing crown tattoos associated with trafficking. “The challenge is to train the model to identify the signature across a wide range of crown tattoos that look very different from one another, and we’re seeing robust performance using this technique," Daggett says.

One particularly time-intensive process for investigators is analyzing thousands of jail phone calls from suspects who are awaiting trial, for indications of witness tampering or continuing illicit operations. The laboratory has been leveraging automated speech recognition technology to develop a tool to allow investigators to partially transcribe and analyze the content of these conversations. This capability gives law enforcement a general idea of what a call might be about, helping them triage ones that should be prioritized for a closer look. 

Finally, the team has been developing a series of user-facing tools that use all of the processed data to enable investigators to search, discover, and visualize connections between evidentiary artifacts, explore geolocated information on a map, and automatically build evidence timelines.

"The prosecutors really like the timeline tool, as this is one of the most labor-intensive tasks when preparing for trial," Daggett says.

When users click on a document, a map pin, or a timeline entry, they see a data card that links back to the original artifacts. "These tools point you back to the primary evidence that cases can be built on," Daggett says. "A lot of this prototyping is picking what might be called low-hanging fruit, but it's really more like fruit already on the ground that is useful and just isn't getting picked up."

Victim-centered training

These data analytics are especially useful for helping law enforcement corroborate victim statements. Victims may be fearful or unwilling to provide a full picture of their experience to investigators, or may have difficulty recalling traumatic events. The more nontestimonial evidence that prosecutors can use to tell the story to a jury, the less pressure prosecutors must place on victims to help secure a conviction. There is greater awareness of the retraumatization that can occur during the investigation and trial processes.    

"In the last decade, there has been a greater shift toward a victim-centered approach to investigations," says Hayley Reynolds, an assistant leader in the Human Health and Performance Systems Group and one of the early leaders of counter–human trafficking research at the laboratory. "There's a greater understanding that you can't bring the case to trial if a survivor's needs are not kept at the forefront."

Improving training for law enforcement, specifically in interacting with victims, was one of the team's recommendation in the trafficking technology roadmap. In this area, the laboratory has been developing a scenario-based training capability that uses game-play mechanics to inform law enforcement on aspects of trauma-informed victim interviewing. The training, called a “serious game,” helps officers experience how the approach they choose to gather information can build rapport and trust with a victim, or can reduce the feeling of safety and retraumatize victims. The capability is currently being evaluated by several organizations that specialize in victim-centered practitioner training. The laboratory recently published a journal on serious games built for multiple mission areas over the last decade.

Daggett says that prototyping in partnership with the state and federal investigators and prosecutors that these tools are intended for is critical. "Everything we do must be user-centered," he says. "We study their existing workflows and processes in detail, present ideas for technologies that could improve their work, and they rate what would have the most operational utility. It's our way to methodically figure out how to solve the most critical problems," Daggett says.

When Daggett gave congressional testimony in July, he spoke of the need to establish a unified, interagency entity focused on R&D for countering human trafficking. Since then, some progress has been made toward that goal — the federal government has now launched the Center for Countering Human Trafficking, the first integrated center to support investigations and intelligence analysis, outreach and training activities, and victim assistance.

Daggett hopes that future collaborations will enable technologists to apply their work toward capabilities needed most by the community. "Thoughtfully designed technology can empower the collective counter–human trafficking community and disrupt these illicit operations. Increased R&D holds the potential make a tremendous impact by accelerating justice and hastening the healing of victims."

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  • Report: "The Human Trafficking Technology Roadmap: A Targeted Development Strategy for the Department of Homeland Security"
  • Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Systems Group
  • Biotechnology and Human Systems Division

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  • Natural language processing
  • Social networks
  • Technology and society

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Human Trafficking Essay Topics, Outline, & Example [2024]

“People for sale” is a phrase that describes exactly what human trafficking is. It also makes for an attention-grabbing title for an essay on this subject. You are going to talk about a severe problem, so it’s crucial to hook the reader from the get-go.

Our specialists will write a custom essay specially for you!

A human trafficking essay is an assignment where you discuss causes, effects, or potential solutions to the problem of modern slavery. A well-written essay can help raise awareness of this complicated issue.

In this article by our custom writing experts, you will find:

  • 220 human trafficking essay topics;
  • a writing guide;
  • an essay sample;
  • helpful info on human trafficking.
  • 🔝 Top 10 Topics
  • ❓ What Is Human Trafficking?
  • ✍️ Topics for Any Essay Type
  • 📝 Essay Outline
  • 📑 Essay Sample
  • ✏️ Frequent Questions

🔝 Top 10 Human Trafficking Essay Topics

  • History of slavery.
  • Slavery in literature.
  • Human trafficking awareness.
  • Modern slavery: legislation.
  • Cultural background of traffickers.
  • Globalization and human trafficking.
  • Human trafficking vs. human rights.
  • Modern slavery and kidnapping.
  • Human trafficking rates by country.
  • Human trafficking effects on the economy.

❓ What Is Human Trafficking?

The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime determines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, harboring, or receipt of persons for the purpose of sexual slavery, exploitation, forced labor, organs removal, etc.

The picture shows the definition of human trafficking.

According to the recent reports of the Council of Europe,  human trafficking rates have reached epidemic proportions . Millions of people are being trafficked for different reasons, primarily for sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women and children are the primary victims of human trafficking , which makes the problem especially acute.

One of the most worrying factors that directly impact the increase in trafficking rates is the growing number of refugees and migrants. It’s the largest seen since WWII, and it has intensified during the last years.

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Types of Human Trafficking

Before you start writing your essay, it’s essential to review the forms of human trafficking. Knowing them will help you see the bigger picture. Here are the most common ones.

Additionally, victims of human smuggling and child trafficking are often involved in various kinds of labor. While sexual exploitation is one of the major reasons for trafficking, it’s not the only one. These are also serious problems that you can focus on in your essay.

According to Polaris Project, there are 25 types of modern slavery . Among them are:

  • Manufacturing in sweatshops;
  • Agricultural work;
  • Food and cleaning services;
  • Beauty and massage salons.

Note that each of these practices has unique traits. It means there are specific methods of recruitment and control associated with them. Make sure to take all essential features of human trafficking into account when writing your essay.

The History of Human Trafficking

If we go back in time, we can see that human trafficking has a long history. Here are some of its milestones:

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As you now know, human trafficking is inextricably linked to other crimes against human rights. And the eradication of this phenomenon depends on both governments and ordinary citizens.

What Is Being Done to Stop Human Trafficking

In recent decades, a lot has been done to curb slavery. The United Nations General Assembly has established the World Day against Trafficking in Persons on July 30 . It was done to raise awareness of the situation and promote and protect victims’ rights.

One of the essential frameworks used to combat human trafficking is the 3P: prosecution, protection, and prevention .

Sometimes “ partnership ” is added as the fourth P. Since human trafficking became a pandemic, it requires a combined effort of people working together to overcome this problem. You can learn more about the 3P paradigm from this article by the US Department of State .

You may ask, “What can I do?” Here are some ways in which anyone can help fight human trafficking:

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  • In each country, there is a hotline where you can report on a known case of human trafficking or an attempt at recruiting.
  • Be attentive to various kinds of controversial proposals and promises of a better life.
  • Try to avoid bad company.

These recommendations may seem simple, but they can help you stay away from danger, spread awareness, and even save lives.

Before you start writing a human trafficking essay, you need to find a compelling topic. Check out the following list of topics and prompts and choose a subject that interests you.

✍️ Human Trafficking Topics for Any Essay Type

Human Trafficking Argumentative Essay Topics

  • We should let survivors inform the public about the dangers of trafficking.
  • State laws should protect the rights of trafficking survivors.
  • Victim behavior is not the reason for the actions of criminals.
  • Present medical facts about the ability of humans to survive a trauma .
  • What psychological techniques do criminals use to lure victims?
  • School is a safe haven for children from disadvantaged families.
  • High social status is not a guarantee of protection against traffickers.
  • Deception as a tool for controlling victims of modern slavery.
  • Family can provide significant support to a victim of human trafficking.
  • Physical violence and threats are the chief tools for controlling traffickers.
  • Health workers should follow safety rules when rescuing trafficking victims .
  • Countries providing financial advantages for anonymous economic activities should be held accountable.
  • Psychologists should comply with ethical standards when assisting victims of trafficking.
  • Countries with high trafficking rates should develop maps showing hotspots.
  • Victims of modern slavery are not to blame: justification from the criminal perspective.
  • Whom should we hold responsible for what happens to the victims in captivity?
  • Will economic support for vulnerable groups help reduce the level of human trafficking?
  • Prolonged captivity reduces the chances of adaptation after release.
  • Exercise and physical activity help victims of trafficking to overcome trauma .
  • Medication alone is ineffective in combating PTSD among trafficking victims.

Human Trafficking Argumentative Essay Prompts & Tips

  • Who is responsible for human trafficking—the government, police , or society? There is no sufficient progress in stopping human trafficking. This is mainly due to the absence of an unequivocal opinion about who is responsible for the situation. Give your own ideas in this essay.
  • The need to inform the public about human trafficking. Demonstrate the necessity to convey this information to the masses. You can also suggest ways of doing it.
  • Immediate assistance for the victims of modern slavery. Show why it is important to provide psychological aid to rescued victims. What is the role of nurses and community organizations in it?
  • Psychological help to victims of human trafficking: group therapy . Group therapy is based on awareness and acceptance of trauma. These actions are the basis of PTSD treatment . Decide whether it’s the optimal solution for victims’ psychological rehabilitation.
  • Countries with widespread human trafficking should develop appropriate laws. Legislation changes are a crucial element of an integrated approach. In this essay, provide a list of existing laws and possible new regulations.
  • The devastating impact of modern slavery. Describe the disastrous consequences that victims of human trafficking face. Find stories describing their lives in various media. How did they become victims? What happened to them after release from captivity?
  • Tightening police measures as a way to stop human trafficking. Women and children are especially vulnerable targets for traffickers. Demonstrate the need to enable the police to protect them better.
  • The high rate of trafficking indicates a high crime rate in a country. Determine which countries have the highest human trafficking rates. What are the related crimes observed there? Is there a correlation?
  • The use of technology to catch criminals and traffickers. In this essay, discuss technologies that can help officials stop traffickers. For instance, satellite imagery allows identifying places of victims’ detention.
  • International financial law is one of the best ways to stop human trafficking. Would the right to disclose anonymous bank accounts help reduce such crimes? What new laws and agreements are required to allow this?

For an argumentative essay, you need to conduct extensive research and present evidence to support your claim (check out our argumentative essay guide to learn more.) Here are the main steps:

Human Trafficking Persuasive Essay Topics

  • An anti-trafficking tax will help decrease the modern slavery rates.
  • Is preventing new cases of slavery more critical than saving victims?
  • Modern slavery is a serious problem that the CIA should address.
  • Ignoring human trafficking is the same as neglecting Nazism .
  • Forced labor is an economic problem as it is caused by poverty.
  • Border control no longer solves the problem of forced labor.
  • Should producers of weapons pay an anti-trafficking tax?
  • Imprisonment for paying for escort services will stop human trafficking.
  • Will stricter gun control laws help stop human trafficking?
  • Victims of human trafficking should receive lifetime financial compensation.
  • Human trafficking is a national problem that requires coordination of efforts.
  • Treatment of human trafficking victims is a responsibility of society as well as psychologists.
  • Two-year state-funded hospital treatment will help survivors to cope with the trauma.
  • Are social networks a determining factor in the spread of human trafficking?
  • Assess gender disparity in using the labor of human trafficking victims.
  • Did the political polarization of society lead to an increase in people smuggling?
  • Immigration laws are an effective means of combating modern slavery.
  • Human traffickers’ family members capable of domestic violence should share responsibility with criminals.
  • Civil and human rights protection laws do not sufficiently address human trafficking.
  • People smuggling is not a crime from the criminals’ perspective: is this statement true?

Tips & Persuasive Essay Prompts Related to Human Trafficking

  • The President must take personal responsibility. The problem of human trafficking is more acute than ever. It requires the immediate intervention of the President and Vice President. For example, they can declare the upcoming year the year of the fight against human trafficking.
  • Criminals guilty of human trafficking should be kept in special prisons . The government should create special jails for rapists and human traffickers with a stricter regime. Moreover, we should prevent these criminals from becoming part of society again. Is this proposal fair?
  • Trafficking should be punished with life imprisonment . Today, life imprisonment is mainly reserved for murder. Should human trafficking be penalized to the fullest extent?
  • Can self-defense lessons help to avoid the risk of being captured by traffickers? Do you agree that schools should introduce a martial arts training system?
  • State laws should permit surveillance in regions with high trafficking rates. Debate whether security is more important than the right to anonymity. Should the government allow the police to access people’s data ?
  • Public organizations that help the survivors should take official responsibility. If non-governmental associations take it, they can receive financial support. It will help them cooperate more effectively with the police. Do you agree?
  • The existence of human trafficking in a country: deontology, utilitarianism and egoism. The United States is officially a democracy . However, the human trafficking rates show that America is close to a feudal society. Criminal ties among the upper class also enforce it.
  • Fines as a way to motivate social workers and patrol officers to fight human trafficking. Many activists and police officers work in areas with high human trafficking rates. Do you agree that governments should fine them? Would a system of moderate fines motivate them to be more responsible?
  • People who cannot pay rent are easy targets for traffickers. The government should prevent homelessness to combat human trafficking. For instance, it can compensate for the rent of vulnerable demographics.
  • Homelessness as the main reason for being captured by traffickers. Homelessness deprives a person of protection. States with the highest human trafficking rates should start building shelters for the homeless. The state should provide them with food, clothing, jobs, and education. This way, traffickers won’t capture them into slavery.

A persuasive essay aims to convince the reader to share your opinion. You can do it by citing facts and statistics (check out our persuasive essay guide for more info.) Here’s how to write it:

Human Trafficking Informative Essay Topics

  • How do international organizations fight modern slavery?
  • Human trafficking in developed African countries.
  • Outline the demography of human trafficking in the US .
  • How does society stigmatize trafficking survivors ?
  • Fair trade as a way to combat modern slavery.
  • Sex trafficking from a feminist perspective.
  • The role of photography in the fight against forced labor.
  • Fighting human trafficking on the dark web .
  • Media coverage of human trafficking : ethical aspects.
  • Review how anyone can help combat human trafficking .
  • Association of human trafficking with social insecurity.
  • How can medical institutions provide safety to victims of trafficking?
  • Review the political and economic effects of human trafficking in the US.
  • What lessons can the US learn from the trafficking situation in Eastern Europe?
  • Forced labor and higher education in the US: programs for survivors.
  • What US laws protect victims of slavery and define criminal activities?
  • Review government statistics on forced labor in the US over the last five years.
  • Which American states have the highest human trafficking rates?
  • Modern slavery in the Arab world : from ancient times to modern days.
  • Using technology to combat forced labor: the latest solutions.

Tips & Informative Writing Prompts for Human Trafficking Essays

  • Measures that governments can take to reduce human trafficking. Review legal and informative measures to combat modern slavery. You can base this essay on reports from official government agencies.
  • Human trafficking: types, symptoms , and effects. For this essay, present the kinds of trafficking according to the official categorization. It includes divisions according to age, gender, and type of forced labor. You can also describe the symptoms commonly found in victims.
  • The history of human trafficking: from ancient times to the 21 st century. Start by describing ancient cultures that used forced labor. Alternatively, you may focus on the history of slavery in the US . Include the latest statistics on reported cases of human trafficking.
  • Human trafficking and fundamental humanistic values. Outline humanistic values that are violated by forced labor. Back it up with arguments drawn from the works of famous humanists.
  • What are the consequences of human trafficking for victims? Describe the trauma that people develop while in captivity. Use reports from national and global organizations. What physiological symptoms are associated with adaptation after release?
  • How does the US deal with the problem of reporting on forced labor? Present ways of communicating the risks of human trafficking. Base this essay on government anti-trafficking reports. Include a list of trafficker indicators and other red flags.
  • Environments that put a person in danger of becoming a victim of human trafficking. These include unemployment , homelessness, and the absence of immigration status. You can base this essay on data from governmental reports.
  • Informing the population as means of reducing human trafficking rates. Does informing people actually reduce the number of potential victims? Review the best informing strategies used by community organizations.
  • Why are migrants the most vulnerable population group in terms of human trafficking? In this essay, provide information on migrants’ life circumstances. Mention the aspects that make them the most vulnerable demographic. Examples include unemployment and insecurity before the law. You can also present the most common schemes by which traffickers capture migrants.
  • New approaches to mitigating the effects of modern slavery in psychotherapy . Describe what methods therapists use to help slavery victims. You can present a list of optimal practices for restoring the integrity of survivors’ personalities. For this essay on human trafficking, use scientific articles and reports from practicing therapists.

An informative essay should educate the reader on something they didn’t know before. Have a look at this outline:

Topics for an Expository Essay on Human Trafficking

  • Assess social adaptation methods for victims of sexual slavery.
  • Social adaptation of men who worked for traffickers in captivity.
  • Police memo: evidence sufficient to detain a trafficker.
  • Describe how to identify a trafficker based on 7 criteria.
  • Power of the image: photo reports on human trafficking.
  • Anonymous story of a sexual slavery survivor.
  • Present a psychological and demographic portrait of a trafficker.
  • Describe the conditions of human traffickers’ detention.
  • Dealing with trauma in children who have been in labor slavery.
  • Human trafficking in the Southern and Northern states.
  • How to restore citizenship and documents after release from captivity.
  • How can human trafficking survivors get free medical care ?
  • Who is more effective in stopping human trafficking: government agencies or community organizations?
  • Being in captivity during the war , in forced labor, or sexual slavery: psychological consequences.
  • Gender differences in human trafficking victims’ labor.
  • Modern slavery’s connection to the criminal underworld in the Northern states.
  • Enumerate the reasons why homeless people can end up in captivity.
  • How many years does adaptation take for human trafficking survivors?
  • Explore the modern meaning of the word “slavery.”
  • Discuss ways of psychological support for the families of slavery victims.

Modern Day Slavery Writing Prompts & Tips for Expository Essays

  • Human trafficking and modern slavery: real stories told by the media. Review several articles about falling into slavery. You can focus on press coverage from the 2010s. The stories of survivors will speak for themselves.
  • Non-governmental organizations of the USA assisting victims: the power of community . Present five influential organizations from California, Texas, Florida, Ohio, and Nevada. Assess the personal contributions of staff. What is the role of local communities?
  • How to help a friend if they’ve become a victim of human trafficking. In this essay, list tactics and strategies for assisting forced labor victims. Pay particular attention to compliance with safety regulations.
  • What is it like to be a forced labor victim? A more creative task is to describe the situation from the inside. Can victims try to escape and free themselves from slavery? What is the role of psychological pressure from traffickers? How can an ordinary person cope with such a monstrous challenge?
  • Prostitution, forced labor, and organ trafficking : a comparison. In addition, describe what forms of modern slavery prevail in different countries.
  • Therapy methods in human trafficking survivors. Review what therapy practices are the most suitable for working with the survivors.
  • An overview of common human trafficking schemes. These often involve vulnerable demographics, including illegal immigrants and adolescents from underprivileged communities.
  • In what conditions do human trafficking victims live? In this paper, explain how life in captivity affects one’s mental health . Determine the connections between trauma and the body’s response to it.
  • Ways of integration of human trafficking survivors. Review the best strategies for their adaptation to everyday life. Give examples of social adaptation that include education and employment.
  • Human trafficking in the Southern and Border States. Study the situation in Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, and Arizona. Then, describe how to solve the problem. Don’t forget to emphasize the role of social work with illegal migrants.

An expository essay includes a thesis statement, evidence, and a logical conclusion. You can also use elements of creative writing in your paper (feel free to read our expository essay guide for more info.) Here are the main steps:

Human Trafficking Research Paper Topics

  • Survival in an unfamiliar city: is an escape from slavery possible?
  • What prevents citizens from recognizing victims of human trafficking?
  • Are monthly payments for human trafficking survivors justified?
  • Dietary adaptation for malnourished forced labor survivors.
  • How do the police investigate slavery markets?
  • Economic levers to combat human trafficking: practical approaches.
  • Describe global criminal connections that lead to modern slavery.
  • Being in captivity leads to psychological trauma inherited by victims’ children.
  • The use of figureheads on social media is a successful tactic against traffickers.
  • Five app projects that will help avoid becoming a human trafficking victim.
  • We should ban goods produced by forced labor worldwide.
  • Human trafficking transportation problems as an opportunity to catch criminals.
  • Research the use of symbolic language in informing victims of human trafficking.
  • Funding for the installation of video surveillance systems to catch traffickers.
  • People from what socio-economic background are the most vulnerable to child labour and exploitation?
  • How can we combat human trafficking during a pandemic ?
  • Ethics of business and economic relations as a way to combat slavery.
  • Informing vulnerable groups about human trafficking and attracting them to cooperation.
  • Coordinated interaction of police departments is the key to success in combating people smuggling.

Human Trafficking Research Paper Prompts & Tips

  • Deficiencies in US law determine success or failure in the fight against human trafficking. US legislation on human trafficking includes several rules. International acts and agreements also guide it. Nonetheless, the US laws, especially in the leading states, require urgent revision.
  • Human trafficking as modern slavery: history repeating itself. Draw analogies between the trends and schemes from the past and the present. What historical practices can be effective in combating slavery? In particular, this concerns the anti-slavery movement and public awareness.
  • Domestic human trafficking in the US shows increasing tendencies. Here, analyze the growth of domestic human trafficking cases. Demonstrate the need to create new approaches to catch criminals.
  • Technology companies can stop human trafficking. The luring of victims often occurs on social media . Should social networking companies be penalized for failing to act against criminals?
  • Can social media campaigns help protect potential victims? It’s necessary to create a program that will inform users about the dangers of trafficking . This method of targeted communication can be very effective.
  • City officials should be ready to engage in the fight against modern slavery. Provide examples of American cities that are actively fighting human trafficking. What approaches and practices can be adopted throughout the US?
  • Medical institutions are the main asset in combating human trafficking. More than three-quarters of victims receive medical care while in captivity. Health workers have the legal right to place a patient in a hospital and protect them from contact with criminals. This approach has been successful in many states.
  • The police have insufficient funding to combat human trafficking. The police are conducting successful investigations, and there are many cases of solved human trafficking crimes. The state can grant more money to the police to uncover more trafficking schemes. It will allow using more advanced technologies in search of criminals.

The picture shows a fact about trafficking laws in different states.

  • Hotlines should be more accessible to victims of trafficking. Hotlines are highly effective in combating human trafficking. They are easy to find on the Internet, but captive victims rarely have access to the network. How can we improve this situation?
  • Families of trafficking victims and their participation in the search. Demonstrate the need to establish a format for families’ closer cooperation with the police. Would it help to conduct police investigations more effectively? Should we allow families to conduct their own investigations?
  • The US is responsible for the success of international cooperation against human trafficking.

To write a research paper, you study the available information, analyze it, and make conclusions. Here’s a human trafficking research paper outline:

Causes of Human Trafficking Essay Topics

  • Discuss psychological factors of human trafficking.
  • What personal reasons make people become traffickers?
  • Greed as a major reason for human trafficking.
  • What are the major causes of sex trafficking?
  • Substantial profit as one of the human trafficking root causes.
  • Explore the reasons for forced marriages.
  • How does social media promote people trafficking?
  • Commercialized sex and its contribution to human trafficking.
  • Does authoritarianism promote human trafficking?
  • Compare the cases of human trafficking in the United States and Thailand.
  • Explore the court cases of traffickers. Does the judicial system cope with its duties?
  • Why are weak anti-trafficking policies the primary cause of people’s exploitation ?
  • Discuss the role of government in human trafficking.
  • Investigate the reforms on human trafficking. How effective are these measures?
  • Lack of relevant laws leads to more trafficking cases. Do you agree?
  • Should legal punishments apply to victims as well as traffickers?
  • Why is ethnicity one of the main factors of people trafficking?
  • Explore the connection between drug addiction and slavery.
  • Violent force and threats as major leverages of traffickers.
  • Naivety leads to becoming a victim of traffickers. Provide your arguments.

Causes of Human Trafficking Essay Prompts & Tips

  • What are the leading causes of human trafficking? Your essay may start with the definition of people trafficking. Think about social and economic factors. Dig into history to find the reasons. Most importantly, look at this issue from various angles.
  • Explore poverty as one of the reasons for human trafficking. How does poverty influence people? Can it force them to behave illegally? What are people ready to do for money?
  • Migration : is it a cause or a consequence of human trafficking? Some people are so eager to immigrate to developed countries that they can do anything. They are even ready to sell their children to get money or sell themselves into slavery. At the same time, others become traffickers to move to another country.
  • Discuss the connection between human trafficking and education. Think about the following: If a person lacks education, they lack knowledge about their rights. They can be deluded more easily. Following this logic, these individuals can become desired prey for traffickers.
  • What is the role of war in human trafficking? Do armed conflicts provoke or prevent the spread of slavery? How do they facilitate the development of this problem? Is smuggling flourishing in countries that are at war? These are excellent questions to start with.
  • What are the effects of cheap labor demand ? Supply and demand are two pillars of economics. If there were no need for a cheap working force, traffickers wouldn’t exploit people so easily. They force their victims to work almost for free while selling the goods at a high price.
  • Investigate institutional racism as a root cause of people trafficking. Who is the most vulnerable social class ? Naturally, these are marginalized groups. They lack protection at a constitutional level. That’s why they can become victims of traffickers.
  • Cultural and social causes of human trafficking. For some nations, selling children, slavery, smuggling, and bonded labor are commonplace. In some countries, such as Uzbekistan, people are forced to work in the cotton fields by the authorities. If you do research, you will see many similar examples worldwide.
  • How do natural disasters facilitate human trafficking? The consequences of some natural disasters force people to migrate and find alternative ways to earn money. Some of them have no other option but to let themselves be exploited. 
  • How does the absence of safe migration conditions assist people trafficking?  Many people from developing countries want to move to the United States to achieve their American Dream . Traffickers delude fortune seekers, promising well-paid jobs and help in crossing the border.

Discussing human trafficking in a cause-and-effect essay is an excellent way to investigate this issue in detail. You can learn how to write it from our article on cause-and-effect essays . Here’s a recap:

Solutions to Human Trafficking Essay Topics

  • How can employers help stop human trafficking?
  • Producing films about slavery : is it a problem solution?
  • How can we stop human trafficking by learning the indicators?
  • How can people protect themselves from traffickers when going abroad?
  • Why should employers stop using cheap labor?
  • Compare and contrast solutions to labor and sex trafficking.
  • The role of parents and caregivers in preventing forced labor.
  • How can civic awareness stop human trafficking?
  • What is more important: to persecute traffickers or to protect victims?
  • In what ways can attorneys help stop people smuggling ? 
  • Can creating a reliable online platform for job searching help reduce slavery?
  • Educational curriculum : should students be taught how to indicate and prevent human trafficking?
  • Investigate the list of goods produced by child exploitation as a form of human trafficking. How does this information influence people’s choices?
  • Forewarned is forearmed: discuss the effectiveness of anti-trafficking non-profit websites .
  • How can stricter validity checks on job-searching websites solve the issue of modern slavery?
  • Can the implementation of severe punishments for human trafficking help to curb the problem?
  • Legalization of prostitution as a way of preventing sex trafficking.
  • How can timely identification of human trafficking indicators save the lives of the victims? 
  • Fighting against poverty and unemployment as a means of preventing people smuggling.
  • Watching documentaries about modern slavery as a problem solution.

Solutions to Human Trafficking Essay Prompts & Tips

  • What are the primary solutions to human trafficking? Think about the following: How can this problem be solved on personal and national levels? It’s crucial to mention self-awareness , education, volunteering , and the role of charity organizations. You may also address the necessity to change the law.
  • Human trafficking: an international approach. The issue of modern slavery is a global problem. That’s why it should be dealt with at the international level. The authorities all over the world should unite to fight against people trafficking.
  • Compare and contrast the effectiveness of volunteering and adopting new policies. On the one hand, volunteers attract public attention to the issue of human trafficking. On the other hand, we should protect marginalized groups at the constitutional level. Otherwise, human trafficking will remain flourishing in the future.
  • Coverage of human trafficking cases in social media . Is it a good idea for the victims to share their stories on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook ? How can it help prevent this issue? Could it lead to the stigmatization of these people by others? You can start by brainstorming these ideas.
  • Discuss whether fundraising is an effective solution to human trafficking. Ponder on how holding a fundraiser helps bring awareness to the problem of modern slavery. What are some other benefits of fundraising, such as financial assistance?
  • Donations help prevent human trafficking. Do you agree? Every person can donate some money, clothes, or even shelter for the victims of human trafficking. Business owners may ensure employment opportunities, giving these people a chance for a better future. Focus on the importance of psychological and legal assistance .
  • How does the media help prevent human trafficking? The media attracts people’s attention to the problem. They become more aware and careful. The cases of victims are widely discussed, leading to more fundraising and volunteering .
  • Explore the anti-trafficking legislation in the United States. Discuss its strengths and drawbacks. What could be changed or done better? Is it effective? How are the rights of marginalized groups protected? These ideas are only the tip of the iceberg.
  • Education opportunities for disadvantaged groups as a way of preventing human trafficking. Should the government provide marginalized people with free education? How can it affect human trafficking? Discuss it in your essay.  
  • Why is a boycott an effective way of preventing human trafficking? If others start rejecting the goods produced by the victims of human trafficking, traffickers won’t get such huge profits. Everyone can make their contribution to the fight against this issue.

A problem-solution essay is particularly suitable for discussing modern slavery. Explore the facts and suggest how to stop this inhumane practice. Here’s how to write about problems and their solutions:

If you haven’t found a suitable topic, feel free to use our topic generator .

📝 Human Trafficking Essay Outline

Before you start writing, let’s have a look at some aspects to consider in your college essay on human trafficking. Here’s the basic template:

The picture shows the outline of a human trafficking essay.

Human Trafficking Essay Introduction: How to Write

The most important part of an essay introduction is a hook. A perfect attention grabber for a human trafficking paper would demonstrate the seriousness of the problem right away. It, in turn, would make your audience eager to read on.

Have a look at some of the ideas for your essay’s hook:

  • Cite statistical data related to the current situation with human trafficking.
  • Start with a stirring quote to appeal to readers’ emotions.
  • Pose a question related to your essay’s topic. Make the reader want to learn the answer.

Besides the hook, it’s logical to start your essay with some background information. This way, even an unprepared reader will understand your essay’s thesis. Think of what your audience may not know about your topic. It will help you determine what to include in this part of the introduction.

Here are some strategies:

  • Tell about the countries and regions with the highest trafficking rates—for example, Thailand, the Philippines, India, South Africa, and Eastern Europe.
  • Mention reasons behind this problem: unemployment, social discrimination, political instability, armed conflicts, etc.
  • Give a solid definition of human trafficking or its specific type. It’s better to formulate your own one rather than take it from a dictionary.

It’s important to notice that your hook and background information should be relevant to your topic. Make sure these elements help to further the understanding of your essay’s main point.

Human Trafficking Essay Thesis

A thesis statement is your essay’s main point formulated in one sentence. It outlines the paper’s direction and provides an answer to the problem stated in the title. You place it at the end of the introduction.

A good thesis statement for a human trafficking essay usually presents the solution to a problem. However, the thesis’ contents depend on your essay’s type. For example, in an informative essay, you don’t need to prove or suggest anything. Instead, you say what you’re going to explain and how you’ll do it.

Once you’ve written the thesis statement, how do you determine whether it’s strong? Well, one way is to answer the questions from the following checklist.

If your answer to all three questions is “yes,” you can be sure of your thesis’s effectiveness.

Finally, don’t forget that the rest of your essay should support your thesis. If necessary, you can rework your statement to better suit the body paragraphs, or vice versa.

Human Trafficking Essay: Main Body

How do you make your essay on human trafficking credible and persuasive? Naturally, you want to add evidence. Here’s how to incorporate it into your paper:

  • It’s better to start collecting your evidence before you start writing. Once you’ve found all the necessary information, it will be easier for you to structure the paragraphs. The point is to focus each section on a single aspect.
  • Start each paragraph with a topic sentence. It should present the main idea that you will then support with evidence. Ideally, your audience should be able to follow your logic by reading the topic sentences alone.
  • Finally, add your evidence. It can be statistics, facts from scholarly articles, quotes, or even anecdotes. Follow it with your explanation of this information. Say how it relates to the topic and supports your thesis.

Human Trafficking Essay Conclusion: Dos & Don’ts

A strong conclusion is a crucial part of any writing. In this final part, you synthesize your essay in a few sentences while adding a twist to it. If a conclusion is done right, it can leave a lasting impression on your readers.

This dos and don’ts list will help you write a perfect conclusion for a human trafficking essay. Check it out:

Don’t forget to introduce statistics in your essay on human trafficking. It’s available on numerous websites of governmental and non-governmental organizations dealing with the problem. You can find more ideas for your paper in our article about writing a child labor essay.

📑 Human Trafficking Essay Examples

We’ve prepared an outstanding sample essay on human trafficking that you can use as inspiration. You’re welcome to download the PDF file below:

Human trafficking is a global problem. It deprives millions worldwide of their freedom and dignity. Traffickers use various tactics to lure children, men, and women into the trap. For that reason, precaution measures should be taken. It is crucial to educate as many people as possible on the issue to ensure everyone’s safety.

Share your thoughts about human trafficking with us! Why do you think slavery is still in demand? If you were a politician, what would you do to prevent it? Tell us your suggestion in comments below!

Learn more on this topic:

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✏️  Human Trafficking Essay FAQ

Human trafficking is a topical issue in society because it’s an inhumane practice that affects millions of people worldwide. Writing on that topic helps understand why it is happening and what can be done about it.

Human trafficking is a very complex phenomenon driven by various economic, social, cultural, and other causes. Factors of a high human trafficking risk are poverty, social instability, exclusion, and lack of education and awareness (e.g., in South Africa.)

Pretty much every fact connected with human trafficking is horrifying. Nearly everything about this phenomenon can be considered a danger. As human trafficking is a form of slavery, it would be naive to presume there are any positive effects whatsoever.

Human trafficking is a serious problem, and you should be able to express your opinion on it. For example, it can be done in the form of an argumentative essay. It is vital to avoid using too many emotionally charged words. Remember to stay objective and provide facts and examples.

🔗 References

  • Tips for Organizing an Argumentative Essay: Judith L. Beumer Writing Center
  • Human Trafficking Essay: Bartleby
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment: NHS
  • Embrace AI, Technology to Beat Human Traffickers: Reuters
  • Essay Writing: Purdue University
  • What Is Human Trafficking: Anti-Slavery International
  • Human Trafficking: Encyclopedia Britannica
  • End Human Trafficking: United Way
  • Human Trafficking Facts: CRS
  • OSCE Resource Police Training Guide: Trafficking in Human Beings: OSCE
  • Study on the Economic, Social and Human Costs of Trafficking in Human Beings Within the EU:
  • Writing a Research Paper: University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Human Trafficking: FBI
  • Human Trafficking: Causes and Implications: Research Gate
  • Writing a Persuasive Essay: Hamilton College
  • Parts of an Informative Essay: Pen and the Pad
  • Expository Essay Outline: Columbus City Schools
  • Introductions & Conclusions: University of Arizona
  • Writing the Introduction: Monash University
  • How to Write a Thesis Statement: Indiana University Bloomington
  • Writing a Thesis Statement: Piedmont University
  • 4 Ways Anyone Can Fight Human Trafficking: The Muse
  • What Fuels Human Trafficking?: UNISEF USA
  • What Is Human Trafficking?: Homeland Security
  • Psychological Tactics Used by Human Traffickers: Psychology Today
  • Psychological Coercion in Human Trafficking: An Application of Biderman’s Framework: NIH
  • Warning Signs of Human Trafficking: State of Nevada
  • Human Trafficking: US Immigration and Customs Enforcement
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Essay on Human Trafficking

Students are often asked to write an essay on Human Trafficking in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Human Trafficking

Understanding human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a serious global issue. It involves the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain. Victims are often lured with false promises of well-paying jobs or manipulated by people they trust.

Types of Human Trafficking

The main types of human trafficking are forced labor, sex trafficking, and child trafficking. Forced labor involves making people work against their will. Sex trafficking involves forcing victims into sexual exploitation. Child trafficking includes all these forms but involves children.

Preventing Human Trafficking

To prevent human trafficking, we must raise awareness about its reality. Educating people about its signs and consequences can help prevent it. Additionally, supporting victim services is crucial.

Also check:

  • Paragraph on Human Trafficking
  • Speech on Human Trafficking

250 Words Essay on Human Trafficking

Human trafficking, a grave violation of human rights, is a complex issue that has plagued societies globally. It is a form of modern-day slavery, where individuals are exploited through force, fraud, or coercion for various purposes such as forced labor, sexual exploitation, or organ trafficking.

The Scale of the Problem

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reports that human trafficking is the third most profitable crime after drug trafficking and arms smuggling. This illicit trade thrives due to poverty, political instability, armed conflict, and corruption, affecting millions of victims, predominantly women and children.

Measures to Combat Human Trafficking

Addressing human trafficking requires a multi-faceted approach. Legal measures, such as strict laws and penalties, are crucial. The Palermo Protocol, adopted by the UN, provides a framework for criminalizing trafficking, protecting victims, and promoting cooperation among states.

The Role of Education and Awareness

Education and awareness play a pivotal role in combating human trafficking. By informing communities about the tactics used by traffickers and the rights of individuals, we can empower potential victims to protect themselves.

Human trafficking is a pressing issue that demands global attention and action. Through a combination of legal measures, education, and international cooperation, we can work towards eradicating this heinous crime and safeguarding human dignity.

500 Words Essay on Human Trafficking

Introduction to human trafficking.

Human trafficking, a grave violation of human rights, is a contemporary global issue that transcends borders, cultures, and economies. It is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that enslaves nearly 25 million people around the world. This heinous crime involves the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain and is often referred to as ‘modern-day slavery’.

The Mechanics of Human Trafficking

Human trafficking operates on the principles of supply and demand. The demand for cheap labor, sexual services, and certain criminal activities fuels this illicit trade. The supply side, however, is driven by factors such as poverty, lack of education, gender discrimination, armed conflict, and political instability. Traffickers exploit these vulnerabilities to lure victims with false promises of employment, education, or a better life.

Forms of Human Trafficking

Human trafficking manifests in various forms, including forced labor, sex trafficking, child labor, and organ trafficking. Forced labor, also known as involuntary servitude, is the biggest sector of trafficking in the world. Sex trafficking victims are often involved in prostitution, pornography, or sex tourism. Child trafficking, another gruesome form, involves the exploitation of children in labor, soldiering, or sexual slavery. Organ trafficking, a lesser-known form, involves the illegal trade of organs.

Impacts of Human Trafficking

The impacts of human trafficking are devastating and far-reaching. Victims often suffer physical and emotional abuse, rape, threats, and even death. Additionally, they often face long-term psychological trauma, disease, unwanted pregnancy, malnutrition, social ostracism, and death. The societal implications include the reinforcement of gender and social inequalities, perpetuation of poverty, and undermining of public health, safety, and security.

Preventing human trafficking requires a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach. It involves strengthening laws and regulations, enhancing victim identification and protection, promoting awareness and education, and fostering international cooperation. Governments, non-governmental organizations, and individuals all have crucial roles to play in this fight against human trafficking.

In conclusion, human trafficking is a global human rights crisis that requires urgent attention and action. While the task is monumental, with concerted efforts and a commitment to uphold human rights, it is possible to combat this modern-day slavery. Understanding the complexities of human trafficking is the first step towards developing effective strategies to prevent it, protect victims, and prosecute perpetrators. The fight against human trafficking is not just a legal or political issue, but a moral imperative that tests our values as a global community.

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FACT SHEET: The National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking   (NAP)

Globally, an estimated 25 million people are subjected to human trafficking and forced labor, which is responsible for an estimated $ 150 billion annually in illicit profits.  It erodes the safety and health of our communities and transportation networks, the security of our borders, the strength of our economy, and the rule of law.  The Administration is committed to keeping the fight to end human trafficking at the forefront of our national security agenda by releasing the new National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking .  What Has Changed Human trafficking disproportionately impacts some of the most vulnerable and underserved members of our society.  The updated National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking responds to this predatory behavior by addressing the needs of underserved individuals, families, and communities.  As such, it reflects the Administration’s commitments to gender and racial equity by taking action against the systemic injustices that communities experience, including underserved populations. The anti-trafficking efforts outlined in the National Action Plan are directly linked to our broader efforts to address inequities for marginalized groups.  These communities often experience overlapping social and economic inequities, and individuals may suffer multiple forms of abuse.  As a result, individuals from these communities may be more vulnerable to becoming victims of human trafficking. The National Action Plan also reflects the Administration’s commitment to workers’ rights and ending forced labor in global supply chains, which the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated due, in part, to job insecurity, supply chain disruptions, and exponential demand for essential medical supplies and services.  The National Action Plan also serves as an important component of advancing the Administration’s priority of ensuring safe, orderly, and humane migration.  As we continue to address the acute and long-term drivers of irregular migration, we must ensure our legal immigration pathways provide safe alternatives.  We must also reaffirm trust in the U.S. government’s commitment to protect individuals who have experienced human trafficking, including noncitizens. What Remains Consistent The National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking is grounded in an integrated federal response to human trafficking.  It emphasizes the importance of collaboration across government when investing resources in anti-trafficking policies and programs.  Because human trafficking is a complex issue that cuts across many federal agencies’ mandates, the National Action Plan is focused on actions and directs resources to where they are most needed.  The Action Plan also emphasizes collaboration with state and local governments, the private sector, and non-governmental partners. The Plan draws on survivor voices and recommendations over the years on how to prevent human trafficking and provide the appropriate resources to protect and respond to the needs of individuals who have experienced human trafficking. Survivor engagement is critical for empowerment and establishing effective victim-centered and trauma-informed anti-trafficking policies and strategies. The National Action Plan emphasizes recommendations from survivor-led groups, including the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, to include input from individuals with lived experiences within our strategic responses. The National Action Plan retains a central focus on the foundational pillars of U.S. and global anti-trafficking efforts – prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships: P REVENTION: Strategic prevention programs are wide-ranging, from educating vulnerable populations and mitigating risk factors to seeking to prevent goods produced with forced labor from entering U.S. markets.

  • Enhance education and outreach efforts, including for at-risk populations.
  • Enhance community-coordinated responses to human trafficking.
  • Strengthen efforts to identify, prevent, and address human trafficking in global supply chains.
  • Build capacity to prevent the importation of goods produced with forced labor.
  • Address aspects of nonimmigrant visa programs that may facilitate the exploitation of visa applicants and visa holders.

P ROTECTION: Protection encompasses the interventions, services, and supports needed to protect and assist victims of human trafficking.  Protection starts with robust outreach and proactive identification efforts, and includes providing comprehensive victim services and applying victim-centered, trauma-informed strategies.

  • Identify and engage with victims in a victim-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally competent manner.
  • Support survivor-informed interventions, in which survivors of trafficking are essential partners and help to improve service delivery and inform victim assistance policy decisions.
  • Seek to protect victims of human trafficking from incarceration, fines, or penalties for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being subjected to trafficking.
  • Improve access to immigration benefits to help provide assistance to victims of human trafficking.
  • Expand and improve assistance to victims of human trafficking encountered by law enforcement agencies.
  • Seek financial remedies for victims of human trafficking.
  • Increase access to social services for victims of human trafficking to increase short- and long-term stability.

P ROSECUTION: Prosecution involves holding individuals and entities engaged in human trafficking accountable and dismantling human trafficking networks.

  • Improve coordination among law enforcement to increase accountability for human trafficking.
  • Build capacity of Federal, state, local, Tribal and territorial law enforcement to investigate and prosecute human trafficking and its illicit proceeds using a trauma-informed, victim-centered approach.
  • Enhance efforts to bring traffickers to justice by deploying a broad range of tools, including, where appropriate, financial sanctions, federal contracting suspension and debarment, and travel restrictions.
  • Increase efforts to investigate and prosecute forced labor.

P ARTNERSHIPS: Effectively combating human trafficking requires collaboration to complement and support the other pillars of prevention, protection, and prosecution. 

  • Deepen our understanding of human trafficking networks that primarily impact or operate in the United States.
  • Enhance information sharing to inform a strategic outcome.
  • Strengthen Federal anti-trafficking efforts through external partnerships, including with the private sector, civil society organizations, and survivor input.
  • Cooperate with allies, including trade partners, bilaterally and in regional and multilateral fora to address and combat human trafficking and forced labor.
  • Continuously reevaluate the authorities and resources of the U.S. Government to combat human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is an evil practice that contradicts who we are as Americans and the rights we cherish. With this National Action Plan, we reaffirm our commitment to preventing and punishing human trafficking in all its forms and to addressing the social and economic conditions that can create greater vulnerabilities for marginalized groups,” said Assistant to the President and Homeland Security Advisor Dr. Liz Sherwood-Randall.

We recognize and express our gratitude to the community leaders, service providers, businesses, grassroots activists, and individuals with lived experience of human trafficking across the United States and around the world who continue to forge innovative anti-trafficking strategies and push various forms of government to improve their response to human trafficking.  This includes addressing the ways in which policies and actions may have contributed to disparities that marginalize certain communities, jeopardized safe, orderly, and humane migration, or emboldened traffickers.  This Administration will continue to partner with a growing cadre of interagency, civil society, and international partners – to include those who have experienced human trafficking – to improve our collective efforts to comprehensively address human trafficking.

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Paragraph About Human Trafficking

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Published: Mar 5, 2024

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Prevention, Prosection and Protection - Human Trafficking

About the author, ruth dearnley.

How much would you pay for a winter coat? How much would you pay for the child that made it?

Fifty years ago, the abomination of slavery seemed like a thing of the past. But history has a way of repeating itself. Today, we find that human slavery is once again a sickening reality. At this moment, men, women and children are being trafficked and exploited all over the world: 2.4 million have been trafficked into forced labour worldwide of these, 600,000 to 800,000 are trafficked across borders each year and 12,000 children are working as slaves on cocoa plantations in West Africa. It is impossible to ever reach a consensus on the true scale of the problem but, regardless of the figures, what matters is that human trafficking is big and getting bigger. What matters is that every number represents a human life destroyed. It is happening on every continent and in almost every country: whether the place we live is a source, destination or transit point for trafficking, none of us can claim to be wholly unaffected by this crime.

As the extent of human trafficking is recognized, a number of approaches to tackling it have been developed. Stop the Traffik is one such approach. Born out of witnessing first-hand the effects of human trafficking, we started out in 2006 as an informal coalition dedicated to raising awareness of trafficking and generating the political will necessary to stop it.

During our short existence we have found that one of the biggest impediments to anti-trafficking efforts is a lack of understanding of the issue. Trafficking, and consequently, the measures taken to combat it, is often entangled with people smuggling, immigration and asylum, prostitution and other forms of organized crime. It must be emphasized that the essence of trafficking is the forced exploitation of individuals by those in the position to exert power over them. While moving people is an intrinsic part of trafficking, this may occur within as well as across borders, and it may take a variety of forms. If they have been tricked or deceived, a person may even willingly transport themselves into a situation of exploitation. But unlike those who pay to be smuggled into another country, victims of trafficking have no prospect of making a new life for themselves.

International trafficking will inevitably raise issues of immigration, but its victims cannot simply be treated as illegal migrants, nor can the efforts to tackle it be reduced to stricter border controls. We can find sex trafficking abhorrent without taking a particular stance against prostitution, and policies to reduce or control the sex industry are just one approach to ending the trade of human flesh. Finally, despite the similarities between the organized trafficking of drugs, arms and humans, which may require comparable police tactics to combat, we commit a grave injustice against the victims of human slavery if we reduce them in our minds to the status of commodities.

The first step to preventing human trafficking and prosecuting the traffickers is therefore to recognize the complexity of the crime which cannot be tackled in a vacuum. Anti-trafficking strategies have to be embedded in every policy area, from improving female education in source countries so that girls are less vulnerable to trafficking, to increasing police pay in destination countries so that officers are less susceptible to bribery. We cannot allow ourselves to marginalize the issue of trafficking, viewing it as something that can be ended with a few extra taskforces or dedicated units. We need everyone to be aware of how it affects them, and what they can do to stop it. Laudable efforts in this direction have already been made. In 2000, the United Nations launched the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, which established a victim-centred approach to trafficking. It has since been signed by 177 countries. In 2005, the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings marked a step towards greater cooperation and dedication within Europe.

But more needs to be done. Many people still do not know what trafficking is, or do not care. We are working to change that, at every level of society. In February 2008 we delivered 1.5 million signatures to the UN from people calling for an end to human trafficking; as a result, our founder Steve Chalke was appointed UN.GIFT Special Advisor on Community Action against Human Trafficking. Since then we have continued to build on our grassroots support, firm in the belief that trafficking cannot be stopped by international conventions alone. Our focus is currently geared towards three key campaigns.

First is Start Freedom, our dynamic new global project run in conjunction with the UN that aims to engage and raise awareness among young people, helping them learn about the issues surrounding human trafficking. The fact that over half of all victims of human trafficking are under 18 empowers young people to realize the importance of their potential to prevent this illicit trade. Already we've had stories from source, transit and destination countries such as Greece, Mexico and Nepal, about how young ¬people, schools, faith groups and ¬communities are engaging with Start Freedom. Communities are at the heart of our campaigns. During Freedom Week in March 2010, young people will connect, engage and share in their communities varied and creative ways to mark their objection to human trafficking.

Our other key project at the moment is Active Communities against Trafficking (ACT), which aims to bring together members of a community under the umbrella of an ACT group. We equip these groups with an abundance of resources to help them identify trafficking, understand how it affects local communities, and learn how to help prevent its continuation. They can do this by asking questions about missing children and by forming connections with local authorities, professionals and community leaders. We believe trafficking starts in a community, and can be stopped by a community, and as the ACT project takes hold across countries, we are witnessing the profile of trafficking being raised, bringing together a diversity of people to help combat human trafficking in its various guises. The second stage of ACT, currently being piloted, will be launched in 2010. It is essentially a community research project that aims to gather information about human trafficking for sexual exploitation in local communities. This project has strong potential to contribute immensely to our key objectives: prevention of trafficking, prosecution of traffickers and protection of victims.

A third central focus is our Chocolate Campaign, which is informed by the fact that more than a third of the world's cocoa comes from Côte d'Ivoire, where child trafficking and forced labour has been widely documented and acknowledged by international initiatives, such as the International Cocoa Initiative. Since international deadlines for eradicating child trafficking were missed by manufacturers, we decided to campaign ourselves by trying to get the big chocolate manufacturers to tell us that their products are "traffik free". Up until very recently, most of them could not guarantee this -- quite simply because their supply chains were not free of child slavery. Our Chocolate Campaign encourages people to help spread awareness about child trafficking in the cocoa industry, and to pressurize big chocolate manufacturers to commit to certifications, such as Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance, which are currently the best guarantees we have to indicate that products are "traffik free". Our campaign strategy relies on our numerous grassroots supporters: people host Fair Trade Chocolate Fondue fundraisers, send letters and make phone calls to manufacturers, boycott brands until they become Fair Trade, and hold awareness-raising events to inform and empower others to make ethical decisions. Our successes so far have been fantastic: Cadbury committed to a Fair Trade Dairy Milk, and Mars promised to certify the Galaxy bar with the Rainforest Alliance by 2010, and their whole range by 2020. Within a few weeks of targeting Nestlé to commit to a fair trade Kit Kat, we got news that they too were following suit in the United Kingdom by introducing a Fairtrade four-finger Kit Kat in January. This is a start, but it is nowhere near the end.

Only with a concerted effort by governments, private companies, non-governmental organizations, and above all communities, can we hope to end the horror of human trafficking. Stop the Traffik has developed into an independent charity with over 1,500 member organizations and hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world who refuse to tolerate the existence of slavery in the twenty-first century.

People are talking, communities are rising, global networks are being forged and governments are responding to the united message that human trafficking must end.

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Human Trafficking: Slavery Issues Essay

Introduction, current policy towards human trafficking, what must be done, works cited.

Sexual slavery, forced labor, isolation, deprivation, violence, physical and psychological terror, early and untimely death. These are the words to describe the experiences of victims of human trafficking. According to the US Department of State, between 15,000 to 18,000 individuals are trafficked into the US every year (Burke 37). These include men, women, and children, many of whom do not survive captivity and never see the light of freedom again. Around the world, approximately 12 million people are in captivity at any given moment (Burke 15). As it stands, the US Government’s policy towards human trafficking is based on three pillars: Prevent, Protect, and Prosecute. The position of this essay is that the state does not do enough in the prevention aspect of the crime. US government should prioritize border control as a means of preventing human trafficking, because a strong border creates a bottleneck of access, which makes it easier to spot victims, and those responsible for it can be easily detained.

The US government seeks to prevent human trafficking, protect its victims, and prosecute the criminals. However, the crucial element of this system is prevention. Victims are in less need of protection if the deed is intercepted mid-way or dissuaded from happening entirely (Weitzer 42). As it stands, the prevention part of the policy focuses on public awareness, outreach, education, and advocacy (Weitzer 41). The prosecution part involves providing training and technical assistance to police, law enforcement, and judges. As it is possible to see, none of the motions currently in place explicitly mention border control.

One of the best places to intercept human trafficking into the US is at the border. While borders with its neighbors, such as Canada and Mexico, are extensively long, it is much easier to intercept a caravan filled with captured women and children being ferried into the country when it is passing a checkpoint (Farrell 40). The country area is much wider, and it is easier to find places there where victims can be isolated, exploited, and brutalized. Public awareness campaigns, outreach, education, and advocacy are useless when the victim is trapped inside a basement, or kept somewhere where people could not notice their dire situation. Most of human trafficking into the US comes through the US-Mexican border (Farrell 42). The likelihood of human trafficking interception is much higher when they are crossing the border rather than when they are already set-up inside of the country.

Conversations about tighter border control are considered a politically-charged topic these days. That is largely because of the ongoing immigration issue and diametrically opposite position on it by the two major political parties that dominate the US (Burke 79). However, a bipartisan consensus can be reached when the issue is framed in terms of human trafficking. While the legislative landscape can be changed to make legal entrance to the US easier, the physical process of crossing the border has to be under a more vigilant watch. While the infamous “Wall” project is both physically and economically improbably, it must be made so that every bit of border with Mexico is under direct or indirect supervision by the border control agencies (Burke 83). The proposed improvements to the existing border control include better funding for physical supervision, selective construction of physical barriers, and a much tighter control over officers, to prevent corruption and collaboration with criminals (Milivojevic 26). All of these measures combined ought to reduce the amount of human trafficking coming into US.

Human trafficking is a serious problem in the US, with thousands of victims being imported into the country on a yearly basis. The state is not doing enough to stop the caravans filtering through the borders. The proposed solution is to increase vigilance and accountability of the border control, to help prevent the crime at the bottleneck, and dissuade would-be criminals to attempt the deed. This should help achieve the long-term goal of destroying the local slave trade market due to a lack of supply.

Burke, Mary C. Human Trafficking: Interdisciplinary Perspectives . Routledge, 2022.

Farrell, Amy, et al. “Policing Labor Trafficking in the United States.” Trends in Organized Crime, vol. 23, no. 1, 2020, pp. 36-56.

Milivojevic, Sanja, et al. “Freeing the Modern Slaves, One Click at a Time: Theorising Human Trafficking, Modern Slavery, and Technology.” Anti-Trafficking Review , vol. 14, 2020, pp. 16-32.

Weitzer, Ronald. “Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.” Great Decisions, vol. 1, 2020, pp. 41-52.

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IvyPanda. (2024, January 19). Human Trafficking: Slavery Issues.

"Human Trafficking: Slavery Issues." IvyPanda , 19 Jan. 2024,

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IvyPanda . "Human Trafficking: Slavery Issues." January 19, 2024.

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Brevard business owner arrested, accused of human trafficking.

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Raymond Smith, owner of G & G Roofing in Rockledge, is accused of transporting migrants without documents to the Bahamas from the U.S. to work on his property in Lubbers Cay.

A cooperating source quoted in the federal criminal complaint from the Department of Homeland Security states, “At the direction of Smith, the undocumented aliens were to be transported to the Bahamas via vessel to avoid detection instead of flying on a plane where they would be required to present valid documentation to legally be admitted back into the United States.”

According to the complaint, those transported were also employees of G & G Roofing.

“Smith stated that he ‘would assume’ his company would go through all the proper protocols when hiring individuals,” the complaint said.

According to Smith’s statement in the court documents, the company has been in business for 17 years, with 80 to 100 employees on the payroll.

An additional source quoted in the federal case against Smith claims he witnessed workers, as he put it, ‘without papers’ working on the Bahamas property at least four times.

Federal agents conducted surveillance on Smith’s waterfront home on the Indian River Lagoon and followed his boat on April 19. After intercepting the vessel and conducting a search, the report states agents found four Hondurans on board, three of whom had pending immigration cases.

The fourth “has had an active expedited removal order against him since 2018 and has no current immigration documents to live, work or remain in the United States.”

WESH 2 spoke with someone at G & G Roofing who told us that the company is not making a statement on Smith’s arrest. They forwarded our request to his lawyer. We have yet to hear back.

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Government Surveillance Keeps Us Safe

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By Matthew Waxman and Adam Klein

Mr. Waxman served in senior national security roles in the George W. Bush administration. Mr. Klein served as the chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board from 2018 to 2021.

This is an extraordinarily dangerous time for the United States and our allies. Israel’s unpreparedness on Oct. 7 shows that even powerful nations can be surprised in catastrophic ways. Fortunately, Congress, in a rare bipartisan act, voted early Saturday to reauthorize a key intelligence power that provides critical information on hostile states and threats ranging from terrorism to fentanyl trafficking.

Civil libertarians argued that the surveillance bill erodes Americans’ privacy rights and pointed to examples when American citizens got entangled in investigations. Importantly, the latest version of the bill adds dozens of legal safeguards around the surveillance in question — the most expansive privacy reform to the legislation in its history. The result preserves critical intelligence powers while protecting Americans’ privacy rights in our complex digital age.

At the center of the debate is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Originally passed in 1978, it demanded that investigators gain an order from a special court to surveil foreign agents inside the United States. Collecting the communications of foreigners abroad did not require court approval.

That line blurred in the digital age. Many foreign nationals rely on American providers such as Google and Meta, which route or store data in the United States, raising questions as to whether the rules apply to where the targets are or where their data is collected. In 2008, Congress addressed that conundrum with Section 702. Instead of requiring the government to seek court orders for each foreign target, that provision requires yearly judicial approval of the rules that govern the program as a whole. That way, the government can efficiently obtain from communication providers the calls and messages of large numbers of foreign targets — 246,073 in 2022 alone.

Since then, Section 702 has supplied extraordinary insight into foreign dangers, including military threats, theft of American trade secrets, terrorism, hacking and fentanyl trafficking. In 2022 intelligence from 702 helped the government find and kill the Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, one of the terrorists responsible for Sept. 11. Almost 60 percent of the articles in the president’s daily intelligence briefing include information from Section 702.

Although Section 702 can be used only to target foreigners abroad, it does include Americans when they interact with foreign targets. Not only is such incidental collection inevitable in today’s globalized world; it can be vital to U.S. security. If a terrorist or spy abroad is communicating with someone here, our government must find out why.

Some of what is found via Section 702 is therefore sent from the National Security Agency to the F.B.I. The F.B.I., which investigates threats to national security in the United States, can then check that database for Americans under investigation for national security reasons.

We agree that those queries raise legitimate privacy concerns. And those concerns are especially acute for public officials and journalists whose communications with foreign officials and other potential intelligence targets may be sensitive for political or professional reasons.

It is also true that the F.B.I. has broken the rules around these 702 database checks repeatedly in recent years. Agents ran improper queries related to elected officials and political protests. The wiretaps of Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser, also involved numerous violations of FISA rules. The Page wiretaps involved traditional FISA orders, not Section 702, but the bureau’s many errors there raised understandable doubts about whether it can be trusted to comply with other FISA rules.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent abuses of Section 702 without compromising its critical national security value. The bill passed by Congress contains numerous reforms that will dramatically improve compliance. It sharply limits the number and ranks of F.B.I. agents who can run 702 queries, imposes strict penalties for misconduct and expands oversight by Congress and the courts.

Some of the bill’s critics argued that the F.B.I. should be required to obtain a warrant from a special FISA court before using the information collected under 702 when investigating Americans who may be involved in terrorism, espionage or other national security threats. But requiring such a warrant would have been unnecessary and unwise.

Getting a FISA court order is bureaucratically cumbersome and would slow down investigations — especially fast-moving cybercases, in which queries have proved especially useful. It would cause agents to miss important connections to national security threats. And because this information has already been lawfully collected and stored, its use in investigation doesn’t require a warrant under the Constitution.

Another problem is that the probable cause needed for a warrant is rarely available early in an investigation. But that’s precisely when these queries are most useful. Database checks allow an agent to quickly see whether there is a previously unnoticed connection to a foreign terrorist, spy or other adversary.

Balances struck between security and privacy need continual refinement. Recent years have shown Section 702’s great value for national security. But they have also revealed lax compliance at the F.B.I. The latest reauthorization boosts privacy without blinding our country to threats in today’s dangerous world.

Matthew Waxman is a Columbia University law professor who served in senior national security roles in the George W. Bush administration. Adam Klein is the director of the Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas, Austin, and served as the chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board from 2018 to 2021.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

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Long flu season winds down in US

FILE - A sign for flu vaccination is displayed outside of a grocery store in Glenview, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024. On Friday, April 26, 2024, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week, for the third straight week, medical visits for flu-like illnesses dipped below the threshold for what's counted as an active flu season. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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The U.S. flu season appears to be over. It was long, but it wasn’t unusually severe.

Last week, for the third straight week, medical visits for flu-like illnesses dipped below the threshold for what’s counted as an active flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

Other indicators, like hospitalizations and patient testing, also show low and declining activity. No state is reporting a high amount of flu activity. Only New England is seeing the kind of patient traffic associated with an active flu season right now, but even there flu impact is considered modest.

Since the beginning of October, there have been at least 34 million illnesses, 380,000 hospitalizations and 24,000 deaths from flu, according to CDC estimates . The agency said 148 children have died of flu.

CDC officials called that a “moderate” flu season, an assessment shared by other doctors.

Even at the peak, “we felt strained but never over-capacitated” said Dr. Jay Varkey, infectious disease physician at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital.

“It felt more like a traditional respiratory virus season than when we had massive upswings of COVID confounding it,” he added.

For much of the season, most illnesses were attributed to a milder flu strain, and one that officials say was well matched to the seasonal flu vaccines. Preliminary data presented in February suggested the vaccines were around 40% effective in preventing adults from getting sick enough from the flu that they had to go to a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital.

COVID-19 illnesses seem to have peaked at around he same time as flu. So too did illnesses caused by another respiratory virus, RSV.

CDC data indicates coronavirus-caused hospitalizations haven’t hit the same levels they did at the same point during the last three winters. Earlier this year, COVID-19 was putting more people in the hospital than flu. But right now the hospitalization rates are about the same, CDC data shows.

Although the season wasn’t particularly bad, it was long — and springtime upticks in flu are always possible.

COVID-19 scrambled the ways health officials track respiratory viruses.

The agency used to count the number of weeks of elevated visits to doctor’s office for flu-like symptoms, but COVID-19’s flu-like symptoms muddied that up. Now, the agency focuses on the number of weeks that a high percentage of specimens tested positive for flu.

Under the new measure, the 2023-24 flu season was 21 weeks long. Under the previous measure, flu seasons before the COVID-19 pandemic tended to run between 11 and 21 weeks.

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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