Resources for Teachers - Essay Questions:  Human Trafficking, including modern day slavery, contemporary slavery, debt bondage, serfdom, forced labor, forced marriage, transferring of wives,  inheritance of wives, and  transfer of a child for purposes of exploitation.  Also forced prostitution, child prostitution, sale of children, and trafficking in children.

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Resources for Teachers


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1.     When the Trafficking Victims Protection Act was passed in 2000, it had wide bipartisan support in Congress, with the working definition of trafficking broadly understood as the transport of persons for the purpose of forced labor in a wide variety of sectors, most notably agriculture, domestic servitude, manufacturing and sex work.  In the ensuing years, the focus has been primarily on the last of these, and the definition of trafficking in persons broadened to include transfer for the purpose of prostitution even when the element of coercion was not present.  How do you perceive this focus affecting the success of the effort to stop human trafficking and to put an end to modern-day slavery?

2.     How does a repressive society compare to a free society with respect to human trafficking for purposes of forced labor?

3.     Using “map-view”, find a country whose tier rating stands out when compared to the ratings of adjacent countries.  Try to explain the disparity.  What is the country doing (or not doing) to improve its current position?  [Suggestions: Venezuela, Columbia, Belize, Cuba, Morocco, Uzbekistan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea, North Korea]

4.     Choose an unranked country and assign your own tier rating by averaging the ratings of adjacent countries.  Then assign a tier rating based on the country's report.  How do you account for the difference, if any?

5.     The Western Hemisphere inherited a large part of its culture from Europe during the Age of Exploration.  How is this reflected in the tier ratings?

6.     What impact, if any, does religion have on a country's ability to deal with human trafficking?  Consider which religions are prominent in each region and the moral implications of slavery in that religion.

7.     Can slavery be viewed as beneficial within societies where unemployment and starvation are endemic?

8.     Can we judge the level of trafficking in a country by counting the number of reports posted for that country on the web?  Which factors influence the number of postings?

9.     The U.S.A. has not been assigned a tier rating.  Rate it now, basing your rating on the posted country report.  How does the rating that you assigned compare with your personal impression of the level of human trafficking in the U.S.?

10.  Italy has been assigned a tier rating of 1.  Review the links to reports of Human Trafficking in Italy and assign your own tier rating.  How do you account for the difference, if any?

11.  Venezuela has been assigned a tier rating of 3.  Review the links to reports of Human Trafficking in Venezuela and assign your own tier rating.  How do you account for the difference, if any?

12.  How would the legalization (decriminalization) of prostitution impact sex traffickers and the sex industry in general?  Specifically, how would decriminalization affect forced prostitution, child prostitution, and the trafficking of women and children for purposes of sexual exploitation?

13.  List three major societal factors that contribute to the existence of modern-day slavery.  How do they contribute and how might they be mitigated?

14.  In 2005, listed the top-10 poorest countries in the world as follows: East Timor, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Tanzania, Burundi, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Comoros, and Eritrea.  Furthermore, listed the top-10 richest countries in the world: Luxembourg, Norway, United States, San Marino, Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland, Austria, Canada, and Ireland.  Focusing only on Africa, Mauritius and South Africa were listed as the two richest countries.  How does a poor country compare to a rich one with respect to the prevalence of human trafficking?

15.  Create a new rating system based not only on trafficking activity, but also on financial capacity to deal with trafficking.  In this rating system, poorer countries should not be rated as stringently as wealthier countries.  Select a region and using your new rating system, re-color its component countries.  Explain the reasoning behind your rating system.  How does your rating system change the complexion of the region’s map?