Essay text: Kelly) Prostitution is sexual abuse and must be eradicated by any means necessary.
The Marxist concept of the “primitive accumulation of capital” helps us to understand better the emergence of this subhumanity, of which human trafficking is such a singular expression.
For Marx, one of the conditions of capitalist wealth was the exploitation of labour.
During the past decade the problem of human trafficking, although not new, has been the subject of reinforced legislation designed to combat it.
This includes, in particular, criminalisation of the phenomenon and its active agents, and enhanced rights and support for its victims.
When we consider human trafficking and the way in which this phenomenon has gained importance, we also find transnational flows which follow the logic of economic gain without any respect for the self-determination of individuals.
Although it is true that this illegal, informal phenomenon run by criminal organisations has a completely different role from that of slavery, which was central to the formation of the world system, it is still inextricably related to it.
The point is that, whilst the practices of trafficking are not central to the global transnational markets or the global world in which we live, as slavery once was, they are nevertheless embedded in the inequalities and injustices of the distribution of wealth promoted and encouraged by the world system.
Thus, although colonialism and the legitimate trading of individuals between countries have ended, the profound inequalities between North and South are nowadays the driving force behind a clandestine logic that leads to subhumanity (Santos, 2007).
Secondly, human trafficking brings with it issues that cannot be ignored when formulating a legislative response: the control of state borders, the fight against terrorism and the way in which each country deals with prostitution. Kempadoo, 2005a), the fight against human trafficking may have different impacts in different countries in the global North and South.
These two aspects converge, particularly in what concerns the arena legal, in the form of a significant discrepancy between what is prescribed in legislation and its practical application, which is full of stereotypes and preconceptions.