Apple’s $14.5 Billion Tax Evasion Bill from the European Union

Caleb Larkin – Synthesis Paper 1 – September 21st, 2016 – IAGE 6800

Apple’s $14.5 Billion Tax Evasion Bill from the European Union

Business and politics often clash with conflicting interests. In cases where an institution is large enough to deal in state to business trading, the corporation has the ability to represent its nation of origin in international trade, resulting in highly complex business to state interactions. Such complexities are exemplified in the European Union’s recent $14.5 billion tax evasion bill issued to Apple.

Apple’s business practices in Ireland and the consequential European Union’s policy responses can be viewed in two separate and conflicting perspectives. (1) Apple’s practice to decrease corporate taxes is simply good business, making the tax evasion bill a targeted, political action or (2) the European Union has every right to require taxes for businesses operating within their boundaries and to pursue as well as collect from any corporation participating in tax evasion.

As simple as these two views seem, the complexity of the situation requires business and economic experts as well as political representatives to balance economic prosperities, cultural consequences and political policies. Yet in the ultimate end, for both business practices and political enforcement, organizations act to preserve their interests to maintain economic and political power.

Apple’s International Business Practices and Economic Justifications

Analyzing Apple’s grounds for operating under correct and ethical business practices, begins with understanding the business ideals from Apple’s nation of origins: The United States. Business practices in America are founded on the ideals of capitalism and competition. In a sense, the ethical guidelines are based on gaining a competitive advantage to increase revenues while simultaneously increasing market share percentages. For Apple to take full advantage of international trade, the company needed to establish a location offering the most benefits. CNN’s Ivana Kottasova reported that “in 2014, the corporate giant [Apple] paid just $50 in tax for every million it made selling iPhones and iPads to most of the world outside America. That’s a tax rate of just 0.005 percent” (Kottasova, How Apple paid just 0.005% tax on its global profits, 2016).

How did Apple achieve such an incredibly low corporate tax rate? The answer lies in several strategic moves to position themselves to the point where their tax rate was virtually zero percent in 2014. The first step came in choosing the correct location for a European headquarters. “Apple has funneled most of its profits from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India through Ireland for decades” (Kottasova, How Apple paid just 0.005% tax on its global profits, 2016). Apple purposefully chose Ireland for its comparatively low corporate tax rate at just 12.5 percent, significantly lower than the 35 percent tax rate in the United States (Goulder, 2016).  Yet Apple was not paying anything close to the standard 12.5 percent tax rate by 2014. Instead they were able to negotiate advance tax rulings in Ireland on two separate occasions, in 1991 and 2007 to reduce their corporate tax even further. The rulings allowed for Apple’s tax rate to drop to one percent in 2003 and finally to 0.005 percent in 2014 (Goulder, 2016).

Apple also arguably maintains an absolute advantage, originating from the US and Silicon Valley, in producing a finished product that cannot be replicated in a comparable way in Ireland. Therefore, the product itself would also essentially be irreplaceable for the Irish people. The absolute advantage also gives the company a unique balance of power in their trades and business conduct, allowing them to negotiate better tax rates.

Apple is also a transnational corporation, and as such is a “critical actors in the international economy because they operate in markets that span national borders and often transfer badly needed resources and know-how to developing countries” (Balaam & Dillman, 2014, p. 434) Therefore, Apple’s power rivals that of nations, including the European Union. It is only rational that a TNC would act in its own best interest and negotiate the lowest corporate tax rate possible. McKinsey’s Lowell Bryan, in a 2007 Quarterly article, asserted that “in the digital age, there is no better use of a CEO’s time and energy than making organizations work better.” In his view, that involved “remaking the organization to mobilize the mind power of the workforce and tap into its underutilized talents, knowledge, relationships, and skills.” With this mindset, Apple pursued international business tactics to increase their competitive advantage and tap into these underutilized resources in Ireland, including the simple resource of tax benefits.

Apple’s Cultural Impact in Ireland and Europe

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, responded to tax evasion bill by asserting Apple’s long standing positive economic benefit in both Ireland and Europe. Cook addressed the bill by stating that “Thirty-six years ago, long before introducing iPhone, iPod or even the Mac, Steve Jobs established Apple’s first operations in Europe. At the time, the company knew that in order to serve customers in Europe, it would need a base there. So, in October 1980, Apple opened a factory in Cork, Ireland with 60 employees” (Cook, 2016). Cook went on to explain the poor living conditions, economic prosperity and high unemployment rates in Cork at the time. He claims that “Apple’s leaders saw a community, rich with talent, and one they believed could accommodate growth if the company was fortunate enough to succeed” (Cook, 2016).

The economic and cultural impacts of Apple establishing a base in Cork were consistent with Cook’s claim of promoting economic prosperity in the Ireland as well as Europe. “Apple had helped create and sustain more than 1.5 million jobs across Europe, follows the law and pays all the taxes it owes,” Cook wrote. “The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process,” (Cook, 2016).

Despite the European Union’s potential to collect on the tax bill, not all nations are behind the action. One nation that is surprisingly against the action is Ireland itself. Forbes reported on the irony of the situation. “It’s the obligation of governments to impose tax and collect revenue. So you’d think Ireland would be happy about this. Except you’d be wrong” (Goulder, 2016). Ireland does not want to collect and even plans to appeal the decision on grounds that these taxes were never owed in the first place. “I’m sure Ireland has a few roads that need paving, or a few teachers who could use raises. But Ireland doesn’t want the money” (Goulder, 2016).

Kottasova from CNN Money also discussed Ireland’s unique position on the tax bill. “Ireland said it will appeal the decision, saying Apple paid what it owed” (Kottasova, EU hits Apple with $14.6 billion tax bill, 2016). Ireland’s stance shows that it is not just interested in the immediate economic benefits of a huge tax bill; the Irish are more concerned with long term economic effects. Ireland sees the bill not only affecting their relationship with Apple, its base in Cork and local economic benefits, but also other corporations becoming discouraged to setup business in the country. If tax processes and policies change in Ireland, the Irish government fears the loss of jobs and economic investment would outweigh any immediate benefits from a one-time tax evasion bill.

Forbes went further into putting the decision into layman’s terms by asking “why would a country turn away such a large economic windfall? In the case of Ireland, it’s the fear of losing foreign direct investment. What if other multinational corporations start to worry their tax incentives are also in jeopardy? They might take their business (and their jobs) elsewhere” (Goulder, 2016).

Apple’s Political Argument

Cook’s response also indicated Apple’s stance that they had not evaded taxes, but instead the EU had targeted the company without “basis in fact or law” (Cook, 2016). Cook went on the offensive in stating that “at its root, the Commission’s case is not about how much Apple pays in taxes. It is about which government collects the money” (Cook, 2016).

The idea of “which government collects the money” is arguably supported with Irish government officials position to appeal Apple’s tax bill. The European Union, instead, appears more concerned with collecting a significant payday than a best interest focus on Ireland’s economy.

Apple also took the ground that they are “responsible corporate citizens” and hold their position as a promoter of economic development across the globe. Apple claimed to not only be the “largest tax payer in the United States, but the largest taxpayer in the world” (Cook, 2016). With this claim they also stressed that they have always abided by Irish tax law. In fact, Apple claims Irish tax authorities advised Apple on how to correctly follow local tax law policies.

After the European Union issued the bill opinion on August 30th alleging that Apples tax deals with Ireland showed favoritism, Apple responded by further proclaiming Ireland’s position on the bill. Cook wrote, “We now find ourselves in the unusual position of being ordered to retroactively pay additional taxes to a government that says we don’t owe them any more than we’ve already paid” (Cook, 2016).

“The Commission’s move is unprecedented and it has serious, wide-reaching implications,” Cook continued. The CEO argued the European Union “replaced” Irish tax policies and reacted retroactively to how “the law should have been.” Apple also alluded to future complications with the EU asserting power over its sovereign states. “This would strike a devastating blow to the sovereignty of EU member states over their own tax matters, and to the principle of certainty of law in Europe” (Cook, 2016). The allusion comes at a critical time with the recent Brexit movement.  Other nations may have a weakened trust the in European Union, diminishing its power, influence and credibility.

The European Union’s Political and Survival Justifications

However, the European Union’s for political authority may be just as valid as Apple’s “good business practices” argument. The EU reasoned the bill neither targets Apple nor surpasses its realm of political authority. Fortune reported that “the European Commission denie[d] that its shock demand that Apple hand 13 billion euros in back taxes to Ireland is, in the pungent phrase of Apple CEO Tim Cook, ‘total political crap’” (Rueters, 2016). Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission chief, felt the decision came as an effort to “restore citizens’ trust in the global economy” through fair taxation. Juncker holds to the claim that the European Commission did not target Apple based on bias and asserted that “all companies must pay their fair shares of taxes in the countries where they make profits” (Rueters, 2016).

The European Union as a governing entity has a right to tax corporations who conduct business within nations under the union. Apple’s bill may be unprecedented, but their tax evasion practices may show an equally unprecedented effort. Fortune reported “the decision comes amidst a coordinated global initiative to crack down on tax evasion by multinational companies, spearheaded by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)” (Reuters, 2016). The European Union is not the only political organization concerned with TNC tax evasion.

In maintaining economic credibility, power, and control, the EU must exercise authority within nations under their jurisdiction. The European Commission’s desire to maintain authority in Europe may have led to the decision to slap Apple with a $14.5 billion bill in back taxes. With the United Kingdom’s recent withdrawal from the European Union or Brexit, EU officials needed to position their organization as a “trusted” organization in the global economy. To achieve greater trust, an organization must have power, authority, and the ability to enforce their policies. The European Union is arguably revealing itself as the dominant governing force in Europe through action. What better way to do that then to issue a $14.5 billion tax bill on a multinational corporation with origins outside Europe?

Just as Apple practices good business tactics to gain a competitive advantage to drive up profits, the European Union will continue to act in rational, self-preserving ways to continue to maintain high levels of credibility, loyalty and trust from its citizens. When a governing body loses its ability to enforce its own laws and policies, faith in the system will start to falter.

Sophie in’t Veld’s statements as deputy leader of the centrists group in the European Parliament countered the political targeting argument. “It’s political in the sense that, if the Commission is prioritizing the allocation of its resources, then clearly tax evasion and tax avoidance are very high on the political agenda everywhere” Veld said (Reuters, 2016). She concluded with emphasizing that citizens are highly concerned about corporate tax evasion and rightly so.

As Apple, and other TNCs, continue to grow in economic power and presence, the EU will work to control that power as an attempt to check and balance the European economy. From the European Commission’s viewpoint, Apple, is acting as a transnational corporation. The corporation is increasing its power as a world actor through “exploiting cheap labor and resources” as well as dominating “production, investment, sales and employment” (Balaam & Dillman, 2014, p. 435). In order to maintain its governing, cultural and economic autonomy and power, the EU is forced to enact laws to curtail corporations’, like Apple, power and dominion in the Europe.

However, Fortune also reported that “the ruling against Apple has pushed the issue into the limelight and raised the risk of significant push-back from the United States, analysts say, where some lawmakers are saying the result represents a European encroachment on the U.S. potential tax base” (Reuters, 2016). The European not only has to battle Apple as a TNC, but also its political backer: The United States.

The EU’s Political Strategy and Consequences

Some EU officials, however, do not attempt to conceal the political motive behind the tax bill. A senior EU Official said, “The $14.5-billion demand which angered the United States and worried Apple’s peers was engineered for shock and awe” (Rueters, 2016).

A US Treasury spokesperson spoke out disputing the retroactive tax and its long reaching political consequences. “The Commission’s actions could threaten to undermine foreign investment, the business climate in Europe, and the important spirit of economic partnership between the U.S. and the EU,” the Treasury spokesperson said (Kottasova, EU hits Apple with $14.6 billion tax bill, 2016).

Alan Rappeport, with the New York Times, on the other hand, reported the American official’s response as hypocritical. “Lawmakers have for years been assailing companies for dodging taxes with overseas maneuvers. But now that the European Union has done something about it by trying to wrest billions of dollars from Apple, those officials have offered a response viewed by many as rife with hypocrisy: collective outrage” (Rappeport, 2016) . Rappeport argued that American politicians are not upset that the tax bill is unfair, but are jealous they are not getting the benefits. “And for at least some American politicians, the anger stems from a simple calculation: The tax money that the European Union extracts from Apple should be going to the United States Treasury, not that they have figured out how to make that happen” (Rappeport, 2016).

Clark Gascoigne, deputy director of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition found the entire situation “terribly ironic.” Gascoigne argues that it is “remarkable to think that the administration has been flying over to Brussels on taxpayers’ dollars to lobby the European Union against collecting taxes owed in Europe when they’re not collecting the taxes owed here” (Rappeport, 2016). The political backlash, therefore, is not over the act itself, but instead that the U.S. did not have the prowess to enact and collect the tax bill themselves. The resulting political strain with the U.S. could arguably be out of envy not injustice, further assuring the EU’s stance. For if another governing body could enforce the tax, they would.

Economic Arguments for the European Union

Perhaps the European Union’s greatest argument lies in following the money. Kottasova reported, “In 2011, Apple Sales International made 16 billion euros in profits. Less than 50 million euros were allocated to the Irish branch. The rest went to the ‘head office,’ out of reach of any tax authority” (Kottasova, How Apple paid just 0.005% tax on its global profits, 2016). Not only was Apple paying .005 percent on corporate taxes, but it was funneling its profits away from nations where it conducted business and created the revenue. The Irish government benefited from the arrangement as well, attracting new corporations, higher employment rates and increased living standards for its citizens.

So who lost on this deal? The answer is most obvious: the European Union. “The European Commission, which administers EU law, said the Irish government had granted illegal state aid to Apple by helping the tech giant to artificially lower its tax bill for more than 20 years” (Kottasova, EU hits Apple with $14.6 billion tax bill, 2016). Even though the tax ruling is the “biggest the European Union has ever made regarding a single company” the hugely unfavorable agreement struck between Ireland and Apple forced the European Union to act out of self-interest and preservation.

Without the economic gains from a giant corporation operating inside their boundaries, the European Union continually lost power and credibility. The EU had to turn the tides in order to take advantage of the enormous wealth of opportunity from this one transnational corporation. The process had been overlooked for years. The retroactive tax bill covered from 2003 to 2014. Despite the bill’s huge sum, “Apple has more than $231 billion in cash on its balance sheet to cushion the blow” (Kottasova, How Apple paid just 0.005% tax on its global profits, 2016). The motivations are clear, the European Union needed to act to maintain their judicial teeth, assert political and cultural independence, but most importantly gain from the economic profits. The “unfairness” of the retroactive bill can be left up to debate.  However, in many ways the European Union let Apple get off with an interest free $14.5 billion loan for 11 years, where their corporate tax was virtually zero. Now they are finally wanting to collect.

Conclusion

Apple, as a transnational corporation, is trying through business practices and loopholes to make economic policy on their own terms. Apple would only be expected to attempt in every way to avoid corporate taxes, establish headquarters in location with the lowest cost, and perpetuate further profits. The corporation will do all they can through cultural appeals, political threats and backing, as well as economic factors, to continue their business practices and drive revenue.

The European Union desires to maintain its governing power in Europe. To do so the organization must be able to enforce laws, the most significant laws dealing with economic prosperity and stability. Despite the obvious political assertions and positioning for more cultural autonomy, the European Union, just like Apple, is driven by economic gains.

In the end the state institution and the corporate firm, in conducting trade together, must find a balance between industrial policy, government restriction and checks on power, with the transnational corporation’s interests. As states begin to lose the authority of control, and multinational corporations continue to rapidly expand in economic power and influence, more extreme cases of restricting laws will appear. As firms continue to show power above and beyond that of the state, nation or union, the balance in economic power will shift towards TNCs and away from the governing states. If states wish to maintain power, they must act, even gamble with extreme displays of power.

Works Cited

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Philippine President Duterte’s New Foreign Policy

Caleb Larkin – Synthesis Paper II – November 6th, 2016 – IAGE 6800

Philippine President Duterte’s New Foreign Policy

Newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte recently set into motion political and economic changes to significantly distance the country’s once flourishing relationship with the United States. From extreme policies on vigilantism use against the war on drugs, to unprofessional criticism of President Obama, the Philippines deliberately weakened ties with the United States, damaging a long history of allied support. Immediately as President Duterte loosened relations with the US, he positioned the Philippines for an improved alliance with China. The change in international relations, foreign aid and investment, as well as economic trading agreements mark a drastic shift in United States efforts and influence in the area.

Although the Philippines’ population may desire more autonomy from the US policies, Duterte’s actions do not appear to calculate all the benefits and losses in such a political move. Instead his actions appear motivated by personal grudges and shortsighted advances. The Philippines, who’s political practices and societal needs have often aligned with US involvement and INGO aid, will find themselves greatly lacking if they sever ties with the United States. Yet the US also stands to lose a strategic military stronghold in a highly disputed area in South East Asia and the Pacific.

US and the Philippines: Political Policies

The Philippines and United States have remained in close ties since “1942 [when] the islands fell under Japanese occupation during World War II. US and Filipino forces fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. On 4 July 1946 the Republic of the Philippines attained its independence” elevating its status from an American colony to a sovereign nation (Central Intelligence Agency, 2016). In addition to political policies, synergy through a focus on democracy, and strategic military alliances, the Philippines and the US have also maintained a close trade relationship for over a century. “[The United States] meets regularly with the Philippines under the auspices of a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) signed in November 1989” (Office of the United States Trade Representative, 2014). Duterte’s severing of ties calls into question many solidified and arguably mutually beneficial trade agreements between the two nations.

However, as close and as beneficial as relations with the United States are for the Philippines, it is no secret that the US uses the political ally to establish strategic military bases for its own gain. As recent as this year, even with Duterte as president, “a new agreement between the United States and the Philippines clear[ed] the way for a new permanent American military presence across five bases that will support rotational deployments near the contested South China Sea” (Tilghman, 2016). Although this agreement highlights a strong alliance dating back to the time where the Philippines was an American colony, the agreement did not pass without opposition. Some Filipinos held to the “once fiercely opposed” viewpoint that nearly led to the complete US withdrawal in the early 1990s, that the misconduct among troops led to persecution and abuse of the locals (Tilghman, 2016). Deteriorating relations with the United States and aversion to new and evolving military bases in the country did not originate with Duterte’s presidency.

Yet the alliance is far from one sided. Despite a powerful ally in the US, the Philippines is not known for stability, especially in politics. “A 20-year rule by Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986, when a ‘people power’ movement in Manila forced him into exile and installed Corazon Aquino as president” (Central Intelligence Agency, 2016). Chinese influence is also not a new establishment with Duterte’s policies, yet most often the influence is marred by tension or disputes. “The decades-long Maoist-inspired New People’s Army insurgency also operates through much of the country. The Philippines faces increased tension with China over disputed territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea” (Central Intelligence Agency, 2016). The United States has had a repeated history of supporting Filipino interests in the region and providing aid to stabilize the country in times of political upheaval. Notwithstanding the history of strong relations with the United States and strained or unwanted Chinese influence in the country, the popularity of the newly elected and volatile president, Rodrigo Duterte, changed the flow of politics, relations, trade and potentially aid to the country from the United States toward China. 

Duterte’s Presidency and Policies

“On May 9, 2016, Duterte won the Philippine presidential election, His administration vowed to pursue an ‘independent foreign policy’ that would reject any meddling by foreign governments” (Wikipedia, 2016). Duterte quickly began to “make good” on his promises, seeing the United States as “meddling” in foreign policy in the Philippines.

Arguably the severing of ties initiated not because of a political campaign promise, but as a personal disagreement on brutal vigilantism to fight the drug war in the Philippines. CNN reported on Duterte’s position to promote citizen violence against drug lords. “Faced with criminals who resist arrest or threaten citizens, the controversial politician suggested that it was fine for citizens to take the law into their own hands” (McKirdy, 2016). Duterte also put a bounty of 5 million pesos for drug lords and encouraged citizens to use deadly force against drug dealers who threaten them, with a dead or alive order (McKirdy, 2016). However, when President Obama condemned the brutal and lawless promotion of vigilantism, Duterte retaliated with personal attacks against Obama and allowed the disagreement to adversely affect relations with the United States. He chose to distance the Philippines’ relations with the United States, while simultaneously favoring improved relations with the Chinese.

Duterte’s fellow compatriots and citizens showed overwhelming support for both the vigilantism and the distancing relations with the US, believing both are working to make the Philippines a safer and more independent country. “On July 20, 2016, Pulse Asia released a poll conducted on July 2–8 which showed that 91% of Filipinos trust Duterte, making him the most trusted official in the Philippines since Pulse Asia started its trust surveys” (Wikipedia, 2016). Reuters reported Duterte as “volatile” and “crime-busting” but that he initially down played the “separation” from Washington. Duterte said “he was not planning to change alliances and was only seeking to build trade and commerce with China” (Petty & Sieg, 2016).

James Clapper, Director of U.S. National Intelligence, did not buy the claim and asserted Duterte “was playing to a domestic audience. President Duterte has a point of view, I think conditioned quite a bit by his own life and his apparent resentment of the United States and its relationship with the Philippines, so he has reached out to the Chinese,” he remarked at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York (Petty & Sieg, 2016). Duterte may be seeking more independence and control through these tactics, but he may be giving up the aid needed to gain that self-sufficiency. Along with strong political relations with the United States, the Philippines is a recipient of aid to combat hunger, poverty, corruption and natural disaster relief. Duterte’s decision to sever ties may have long reaching and unforeseen difficulties for aid to reach those in desperate need in the Philippines.

US Aid in the Philippines through INGOs

The Philippines has been a nation that has struggled not only with political upheaval, but natural disasters, poverty, disease and drug issues. With a GDP per capita of $7,300, 153rd in the world, Filipinos combat daily for basic needs. In addition to the extreme poverty, the country lies “astride a typhoon belt, is usually affected by 15 and struck by five to six cyclonic storms each year” (Central Intelligence Agency, 2016). In addition, the Philippines frequently experience landslides, active volcanoes, destructive earthquakes, and tsunamis. The CIA categorizes the country’s major infectious disease degree of risk as high. Both food and waterborne diseases are rampant including: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, dengue fever and malaria. Finally, illicit drugs such as methamphetamine has been growing in production, “despite government crackdowns” (Central Intelligence Agency, 2016). Even with Duterte’s extreme policies and fight against drugs, experts see the battle as far from being won.

The Philippines, with its steady close relations with the United States, became a destination with a dire need for aid and therefore a beneficiary state during the 1970s explosion of NGO activity. The Philippines required assistance in all three main categories for the nonprofit sector: development assistance in poverty reduction, humanitarian assistance in natural disaster recovery, and recovery and rehabilitation with rampant crime as well as drug trafficking (Stoddard, 2012). Duterte’s new, “separation” policy with the United States is moving the country from a partnership/corporatist mode of government-nonprofit relations, to less cooperative in a government-dominant or social democratic regime type (Salamon, 2006). The change may affect how or if the Philippines accepts aid from INGOs originating out of the United States.

Duterte’s “independence” approach to foreign policy has left the Philippines in a self-reliance IPE development strategy, where economic growth comes, but not at the expense of the masses. The strategy presents roadblocks to long-term planning, allows for too many variables and does not enact formal policy tools for trade policies or economic market strategies (Balaam & Dillman, 2014, pp. 274 – 281). In limiting foreign relations with the US, Duterte abandons a possible better long-term development strategy in the economic liberal perspective for short-sighted gain seeking.

USAID reported that the Philippines is on a path to make significant strides in development. “In recent years, the Philippines has made substantial economic progress, although one-fifth of the population still lives in extreme poverty. Through the Partnership for Growth (PFG), a White House initiative implemented in only four countries worldwide, the United States and the Philippines collaborate to address the country’s most serious constraints to lasting equitable growth” (USAID, 2016). The exclusive PFG deal will certainly meet unprecedented challenges in adapting to new political relations, possibly disappearing for the Philippines altogether. Such a loss would be devastating to the Filipino population.

“Since 2012, the U.S.-Philippines Partnership for Growth has addressed the Philippines’ most binding constraints to inclusive and sustainable growth: ineffective governance, insufficient public financing, inadequate infrastructure and weak human capacity.” (USAID, 2016). Even still the Philippines is a promising region for real development. The country has shown a 6.7 percent average growth in domestic product. The Philippines also arose as one of the fastest growing economies in the Pacific. “For the first time, the Philippines has received investment-grade sovereign debt ratings from three of the world’s leading credit rating agencies. In 2014, the Philippines’ ranking in the Corruption Perceptions Index improved by nine points over the previous year, and, in the Global Competitiveness Index, the Philippines’ position improved by 33 places over its 2010 ranking—the biggest global jump for that period” (USAID, 2016).

Duterte’s new foreign policy may strain USAID in continuing with the promising progression in the country. The United States donated $240 million in disaster relief to the Philippines since 2006, but as relations adapt and drift, the Philippines could separate from such a huge source of relief aid (USAID, 2016).

Gains and Loss: the US, Philippines and China

Losses

First, by conducting a statistical analysis on the United States and Philippine relations, one can better judge the potential for loss. CNN reported that four million US citizens originate from the Philippines. In economic terms, one third of the $17.6 billion Filipinos living abroad send back to their home country originates in the United States. Tourism in the island nation gains significantly from the 650,000 Americans visiting the Philippines each year. This number could easily decrease or completely dry up if Duterte’s separation policies continue. “According to the US State Department, over $25 billion in goods and services are traded between the US and the Philippines each year. The country could lose up to $1.3 billion in foreign direct investments, not to mention more than $150 million in development aid if Duterte goes through with his threats to cut economic ties” CNN reported. “US companies have invested more than $4.7 billion in the Philippines. Duterte clearly hopes that China will more than make up any shortfall” (McKirdy, CNN, 2016) .

The United States would also see a great loss. Without its strategic military stronghold in the Philippines, combating against Chinese territorial expansionism in the South China Sea could prove difficult. “Before Duterte’s rise to power, the nation was expected to be a key ally in defending the maritime rights of a number of Southeast Asian nations embroiled in a long-running dispute with China” (McKirdy, CNN, 2016).

Duterte recently also “questioned the 10-year Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) signed in 2014, which expanded military ties between the two nations and enabled the United States to deploy conventional forces in the Philippines for the first time in decades, rotating through five bases” (Denyer, 2016). Obama hoped the agreement would allow a strategic alliance to balance and promote US relations in Asia as well as stability in the region. “If U.S. troops eventually were forced out of the Philippines, it is unclear where else they could deploy to effectively monitor the South China Sea, experts said, with Singapore and Malaysia quite far south and Vietnam very unlikely to welcome them” (Denyer, 2016).

Gains

President Duterte’s most obvious gains come in forming better relations with the political and economic superpower in the region: China. The New York Times reported Duterte and “China’s leader, Xi Jinping, agreed to resume direct talks on disputes in the South China Sea after years of escalating tension, a sign of warming relations with Beijing” (Perlez, 2016). The timing of such talks aligns with the Philippines “separation” from the United States, weakening military strength for the US in the area. China is slowly lifting caution in moving forward with strengthening relations with the Philippines. “In a gesture to Philippine fishermen, China’s vice foreign minister, Liu Zhenmin, said China would provide assistance with aquaculture and the commercial processing of fish, an issue that Mr. Duterte has emphasized. Mr. Liu said that the countries’ relationship was back to ‘full recovery’ and that they would hold talks on broader defense and security issues, which had also been halted under Mr. Aquino” (Perlez, 2016). Yet many Chinese officials are still uncertain about strengthening ties with a president they see as “volatile” and potentially unstable.

Duterte hopes that severing ties and aligning with other superpowers will put the Philippines on the map. “And maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world: China, Philippines and Russia. It’s the only way” (Griffiths, Rivers, & Boykoff, 2016)With such a long and deep running history with the United States, both in political policy, economic trade agreements and foreign aid for development, Duterte’s goal for independence and self-sufficiency simply shifts dependency to a more reluctant partner, China, and comes at an unknown and potentially high price.

Works Cited

Rise of Nationalism in Modern India

Caleb Larkin – Final Paper – December 7th, 2016 – MID E 5644

Rise of Nationalism in Modern India

Indian’s modern uprising in nationalism resulting in independence from Britain has lead the nation to discovery what it means to be Indian. The country’s current struggles to form a nation with one unique identity, place it as a significant country of study to understand an ethnic identity created on the ideals of constructivism, where primordial and instrumentalist ideas are breaking and dividing the country. The divisions come through differences in language, religious beliefs, and economics. The caste system strongly ingrained in Indian culture, also divides the people, despite being the largest democracy in the world, the country is far from united in identity, beliefs, policies, or standards. Yet the country survives and thrives despite vastly different identities.

History

Mark Twain summarized the history of India as “the cradle of human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most astrictive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only!” (History of India, 2016). Known as the birthplace of two of the world’s major religions: Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as strong ties to Islam and Sikhism, the country experiences strong contrasts in religious identities. “Two of the world’s greatest epics find their birth in Indian settings – the Ramayana, depicting the exploits of lord Ram, and the Mahabharta detailing the war between Kauravas and Pandavas, both descendants of King Bharat” (History of India, 2016). The nation’s population is made up primarily of Hindus at nearly 80 percent of the population, with Muslims making up just over 14 percent and Christians and Sikhs adding to approximately 5 percent of the population (Central Intelligence Agency, 2014). With 1.266 billion people and 22 official languages, with 880 languages still in use in the country today (Read Me India, 2016).

Therefore, the question can be asked, what unifies this country so that these people identify as Indians, instead of Punjabis, Kannadas, Tamils, or any of the other major ethnic, religious, linguistic and geographical groups residing within the country? Experts often point to one unifying man, appearing on every printed rupee throughout the country and honored with statues, symbols and memories: Mahatma Gandhi. “Mahatma Gandhi revived these virtues again, breathing new life in them, during India’s freedom struggle against British Colonialism. An ardent believer in communal harmony, he dreamt of a land where all religions would be the threads to form a rich social fabric” (History of India, 2016)

India’s fight for freedom from British rule did not start with Gandhi. From the first Indian War of Independence or Indian Mutiny in 1857 to slow formation of a self-governing India including the creation of the Indian National Congress in 1885, efforts to break free from Britain occurred before Gandhi’s existence. “The exploitative policies of the British in India saw the birth of nationalist agitation against it. With increasing intrusion of aliens in their lives, a group of middle class Indians formed the Indian National Congress” (Culture India, 2016). However many feel the 1919 Massacre at Jallianwalabagh forged into memory and history the fuel to unite the Indian people to lead to their eventual independence in 1947. Gandhi’s unifying factor came through the Civil Disobedience Movement which started in 1921. “Mahatma Gandhi was born as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on 2nd October 1869. He was the most popular as well as the most influential political and spiritual leaders of India. His contribution to the freedom struggle of India is priceless and the country owes its independence, partly, to this great man. The Satyagraha movement, which led to India’s independence, was founded by Mahatma Gandhi only” (Culture India, 2016).

As India moved to independence, issues of national unity immediately came into play. The nation split into the predominately Hindu Indian South and the predominately Muslim north west now known as Pakistan. Atif Sahfique argued that constructivism itself lead to the India-Pakistan secession and consequential and ongoing conflict. “Many South Asian analysts and specialists thus adopt a realist (classical and structural) theoretical framework when seeking to explain India-Pakistani relations. Despite the apparent suitability of the realist framework to South Asia, however, a deeper analysis informed by post-positivist critiques of mainstream IR highlights the epistemological, ontological and methodological flaws inherent in the rationalist theories (including realism) that have traditionally dominated the field. These critiques apply nowhere more profoundly than South Asia, where the material forces of power and war can only adequately be explained by reference to the ideational forces that give them meaning” (Shafique, 2011).

Sahfique also argued that constructivism offers “great value” to comprehending the complex relations between Pakistan and India as well as the origins of the split. “How else can Pakistan’s quest for survival and security through an almost obsessive concern with checking the power of its much larger Indian neighbor be explained but for the historical and institutionalized fears of ‘Hindu domination’ and the two-nation theory that is central to Pakistan’s self-conception and legitimizes the very existence of the Pakistani state? Similarly, what else but the importance of it to India’s often fragile secular identity can explain New Delhi’s relentless efforts to keep the Muslim-majority Kashmir well within its grasp? The purported anarchic structure of the international system and India and Pakistan’s place within it cannot sufficiently explain the conflict; neither can rationalist explanations which assume interests are exogenously determined and treats states as ‘like-units’” (Shafique, 2011). The nationalism feelings, deep ingrained in the fight against the injustices of British rule, quickly diminished when there no longer was an enemy to unite against. Instability in government corruption, inability to govern such a large population and mobilize to any cause left the newly independent nation struggling to find a place, economically, socially and politically.

Modern Nationalism Origins

“The feeling of nationalism had started growing in the minds of Indians as early as the middle of the nineteenth century but it grew more with the formation of the Indian national Congress in 1885. Though the Congress started on a moderate platform but with the passage of time and apathetic attitude of the British government, the national movement began to shape well” (Culture India, 2016).

Led by Gandhi’s Civil Disobedience example, Indians held to his ideals in his letter to the British ruling Raj. Gandhi wrote,” I must not be misunderstood. Though I hold the British rule in India to be a curse, I do not, therefore, consider Englishmen in general to be worse than any other people on earth. I have the privilege of claiming many Englishmen as dearest friends. Indeed much that I have learnt of the evil of British rule is due to the writings of frank and courageous Englishmen who have not hesitated to tell the unpalatable truth about that rule.

“And why do I regard the British rule as a curse?

“It has impoverished the dumb millions by a system of progressive exploitation and by a ruinously expensive military and civil administration which the country can never afford…

“Nevertheless, if India is to live as a nation, if the slow death by starvation of her people is to stop, some remedy must be found for immediate relief. The proposed Conference is certainly not the remedy. It is not a matter of carrying conviction by argument. The matter resolves itself into one of matching forces. Conviction or no conviction, Great Britain would defend her Indian commerce and interests by all the forces at her command. India must consequently evolve force enough to free herself from that embrace of death” (Gandhi, 1930).

Indians formed nationalism by uniting against the British Raj, creating new freedoms, institutions to protect their rights. They could easily see an “us” and “them” when the British ruled with an unjust fist. Yet with the dissolving of the British “them” Indians began to consider the “us” to find out if they really were united in primordial identifiers or instrumentalist interests. The people’s commonality disintegrated when the lack of a single language, belief system, religion, ethnicity and other primordial ties became so apparent. When Indians lost their unifying instrumentalist interest in fighting against British governing, people started to wonder how the nation would avoid crumbling apart. With an already huge secession and loss in the Muslim break off and creation of the Pakistani nation, many were not confident in India’s ability to maintain a unified feeling of nationalism.

Thomas Babington Macaulay, a ruling British official in India, said that “a new class who may be the interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern – a class of persons Indian in color and blood, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in interests (The British Library Board, 1921). There were many of these Indian-English class that remained as the ruling class in the new nation, who pushed British culture fused in Indian blood and ethnicity. This group recognized the importance of independent rule, but also knew they did not have the expertise in government to rule such a nation without borrowing from another culture’s organizational process and rules of government.

Factors Leading to Nation Development

Constructivist Factors

The first and most influential factor in India’s nationalism development came from a reaction to policies and rebellion against British rule. Some argue the racial arrogance of the British, believing themselves unconquerable and extremely superior to the Indians quickened the revolt. Therefore, Indian nationalism came as a construct of human ideas, both a unification under British rule and construction of Indian ideals as they purged or ethnically cleansed the ruling class. Ethnic cleansing is a part of any formation of a nation, India’s modern example shows a much more peaceful rebellion, revolt, and cleansing. As the native Indians united against their British rulers, they also accepted their constructed nation borders and formed a created national identity based on a social construct, out of necessity based on their experience of abuse and exploitation by the colonists. Therefore India’s nationalism started from the roots of constructivism, a fabricated identity formed from their shared experiences.

Constructivism suggests that ethnic and national identity is a “product of human activity” (Nationalism Studies Project, 2008). Identity forms from the normal, routine of life’s standards, ideas and concepts. Interactions among people in daily details become the glue that connect people, giving them a name and identity, a sense of belonging, homogeny of behavior, as well as a belief and practice in their identity. Elie Keoduric’s Nationalism essay focuses on nationalism as a product invented in Europe at the start of the nineteenth century. Keoduric argues that nationalism, “It pretends to supply a criterion for the determination of the unit of population proper to enjoy a government exclusively its own, for the legitimate exercise of power in the state, and for the right organization of a society of states” (Kedourie, 2000). Society and individuals form or construct identities through actions and interactions, developing their system of beliefs through a reliance on experience, history and memory. The core, or family and tribal, ties hold tremendous weight, especially as internalized through the use of reification in language, writing and symbols.

The approach to understanding the nation and identity formation attains to several assumptions. First, the theory assumes that societal reality is cultural artifact, essentially that culture is the tool by which reality in a society is created. The second is an emphasis on intersubjection, or that our experiences are crucial to creating meaning and identity. India’s borders were entirely fabricated by British rulers and preceding conquering groups. Although constructivism is language centered and assumes that because language alludes to human interactions and identity creation, individuals who speak the same language form a nation together, India contradicts this premise. The formation of their nation relied on the borrowed English language to unite them in communication, however most Indians today speak a local dialect when speaking to those from their native village, and use English when traveling to other areas of the country.

Finally, because the theory is skeptical and future oriented, constructivists tend to emphasize emancipation or the freedom to empower one’s self. Intellectualism, discourse and the gaining and processing of information lead one to construct an identity and eventually society to construct a nation based on the formed identity (Anderson, 2006).

Constructivism also places a strong emphasis on politics. “The unmitigated link between cultural raw material and political identities is broke by an active process of identity-formation entailing manipulation of cultural symbols. Since cultural systems are inherently multidimensional, history does not deliver ready-made packages such as ethnic cores” (Cederman, 2000). Therefore, constructivists, with a strong belief in the political system’s ability to create autonomy, “appear more ready to imagine experiments superseding the nation-state” (Cederman, 2000). Indians constructed their identity with the revolt.

Political, administrative and economic factors led to a unification of Indian ideals. The unification let Indian nationalism spread easily. The British system introduced Indians to a much more modern and sophisticated government than they had previously known. The organizational factors alone helped keep a vastly different people from region to region, in religion, language, cultural norms and beliefs, knit together. “The destruction of the rural and local self-sufficient economy and the introduction of modern trade and industries on an all- India scale had increasingly made India’s economic life a single whole and interlinked the economic fate of people living in different parts of the country. Furthermore, the introduction of the railways, telegraph and unified postal systems had brought the different parts of the country together and promoted mutual contact among the people, especially among the leaders” (Aggarwal, 2016).

The British did not only start India off with an excellent example of a functioning government, but also gave way to western influenced education and thought. Most significantly a unifying language: English. Constructivism is based on a construct of human behavior, education and language, therefore the English language, although adopted from their oppressors, unified the people through language. “As a result of the spread of modern western education and thought during the 19th century, a large number of Indians imbibed a modern rational, secular, democratic and nationalist political outlook. The spread and popularity of the English language helped nationalist leaders of different linguistic regions to communicate with each other” (Aggarwal, 2016). The English-educated rising erudite formed the basis and fuel behind the political unrest, with leaders to guide the people to political affiliations, beliefs and sentiments.

Constructivism also, with a prominent focus on the future through change, underestimates kin and primordial ties from birth. The theory gives way to the idea that any identity can change as interactions and agency will the change to occur. As emotion and hope take over in identity formation, rationality and reality tend to underdeveloped or be ignored completely. Although human interactions can and do shape identities and nations, not every identity can be developed or suppressed by agency and human decision making. This is particularly true in India, where despite unification in the constructed nation and shared suffering experiences, Hindus fought against Muslims, Punjabi’s against the Tamils, the north against the south, both before and after British rule. India’s independence did not come without blood. Not all followed Gandhi’s example of peace civil disobedience, but rebelled through killing British rulers and each other. Constructivism, therefore, broke down in weaknesses in language conformity and as shared experiences took a back seat to new problems, cleansing and focuses.

Instrumentalist Factors

Yet the two approaches, peaceful disobedience and outright rebellion, both understood another significant factor in the development of Indian nationalism, that the colonial and native interests fundamentally contradicted and fought against each other. Therefore, based on the interest of self-government a will to determine one’s future based on an analysis of pros and cons led to a very instrumental approach to nationalism.

The key distinguishing factor in the instrumentalist approach to studying identity and nationalism lies in interest groups. Instrumentalists use the assumption that it is the common interests of a group that bind the people together, forming a unifying identity. Therefore, an identity can change, as instantly and as seamlessly as an interest can adapt through a cost versus benefit analysis. As one identifier in an individuals’ ethnicity, political beliefs, religion and even language becomes costlier and less beneficial, the individual can choose to mask, hide or suppress that identity. An individual in India during their revolution may have suppressed interests typified by British culture, determine that revealing their political identity would prove too costly (Gelner, 2009).

The cost-benefit analysis of the instrumentalist approach, explains national identity through a changing of fluid motion. As ideals, beliefs, and most significantly, benefits change, the individual can adapt their identity accordingly. Instrumentalist use the assumption that human beings are rational and therefore act and react in a calculating way, even when that comes to forming identity or creating nations. The role of an elite, educated or intellectual being or class, plays an influential role in cost-benefit analysis and therefore, in instrumentalism, identity formation.

As a highly logical process, instrumentalism’s inputs and outputs focus on a political type process. Societal demands input and drive the system forward producing rational decisions as outputs in the system. Comparative to supply and demand factors in economics, the public’s demand drive the formation of ideals, nationalism and identity. As an analytical viewpoint, with logical factors with inputs and outputs, causes and effects, the instrumentalist approach presents several strengths and weaknesses to understanding nationalism and identity. Indians adopted the instrumental approach to drive interests, uniting a people to fight and die for interests that defined them, to fight and die for their independence and self-rule.

Indians soon realized the economic depravities of living under the British rule. Indian interests involved more sections, castes and classes of people, whereas British economic policies in the area focused solely on British profit and exploitations. Therefore, “the very condition of British rule helped the growth of national sentiment among the Indian people”, simply as an economic sustainability and survival factor (Aggarwal, 2016).

Instrumentalism forms an emphasis on the role of technology, development and intellectualism in creating identity. As technology progresses and allows for closer connection between people and interest groups, identities form or change and adapt. The media, mass communication and social media all fuel identity formation through connecting on the basis of interest. One connects, reads, and views material based on interests. Technology is a significant factor that the instrumentalist approach takes into consideration. The role of press and literature at the time greatly unified the Indian people’s ideas and solidified their desires for independence. “With the emergence of the modern press, both English and Vernacular, the latter half of the 19th century saw an unprecedented growth of Indian-owned English and Vernacular newspapers. The Indian Press played a notable role in mobilizing public opinion, organizing political movements, fighting out public opinions and promoting nationalism” (Aggarwal, 2016).

With the focus on rationalism and identity based on interest, instrumentalism does not address a significant factor in identity: emotion. Miri Song’s analysis of Andreas Wimmer’s Ethnic Boundary Making seeks to “determine under which conditions people can develop deep emotional attachments or moral concerns about their positioning in ethnic and racial classifications, while other conditions engender more superficially instrumental actions and feelings” (Song, 2014). Wimmer argues instrumentalism takes out these emotional attachments and loses strength and validity in determining racial classifications. Therefore, without focusing on the emotion, anger at British rule and desire an improved standard of living, instrumentalism alone cannot be used to analyze the roots for India’s nationalism movement.

Primordial Factors

The rediscovery of India’s Past status of as world power led to a connection through blood, kin, and the past. The nostalgic focus on Hinduism epics and legends, a past thriving economy and “past good times” gave rise to the idea that pride in Indian blood, beliefs and ethnicity could be equal if not superior to their white rulers. “The historical researches by Europeans scholars, such as Max Mueller, Monier Williams, Roth, Sassoon, and by Indian scholars such as R.G. Bhandarkar, R.L. Mitra and later Swami Vivekananda created an entirely new picture of India’s past glory and greatness.” Indians could be great by birth and rise to an educated and sophisticated level of their British rulers or even beyond. With the national pride focused on their primordial ties, Indians started to rally together. “The theory put forward by European scholars that the Indo-Aryans belonged to the same ethnic group of mankind from which stemmed all the nations of Europe gave a psychological boost to educated Indians. All these inspired the educated Indians with a new spirit of patriotism and nationalism” (Aggarwal, 2016).

Primordialism holds to the stance that nations, identity, and nationalism are of ancient origin, have always existed, and come from traits that are passed on from generation to generation identifying an individual from birth. “Primordialism can be traced philosophically to the ideas of German Romanticism, particularly in the works of Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Johann Gottfried Herder. For Herder, the nation was synonymous with language group. In Herder’s thinking, language was synonymous with thought, and as each language learned in community is different, then each community must think differently. This also suggests that the community would hold a fixed nature over time” (Wikipedia, 2016).

However, primordialism is much more than a mother tongue and thought pattern of language. The theory consists of two main ideas: “(1) notions of common descent ethnic actors already have and will constrain and guide behavior, so that they will not easily invent new myths of common descent, where there were none, in order to mobilize with relevant others whose interests they believe they share; and (2) ethnic actors will perceive common interests with those with whom they already assume shared descent” (Bayar, 2009). Indian primordial ties come from ancient origins, legends, epics, stories and religious beliefs in Hinduism. The idea of being part of the whole, part of god, as a drop of water is part of the ocean, gave Hindus and therefore Indians, an ingrained belief in greatness. Their shared descent came from the divine and therefore superior in wisdom and action.

One of the main assumptions of primordialism states: “If there is something recurrent about certain human agglomerations everywhere that makes us identify some groupings and lump them together as ‘ethnic’ the world over, then there must be some constant psychological features leading humans everywhere to organize themselves into groups with ‘ethnic’ criteria of membership” (Bayar, 2009). The primordialist approach emphasizes the nature over the nurture of an identity, what one is born into and how familial, kin, and tribal connections bind people together to form nations and identities.

Primordialism gains its strength in religious ties. “Progressive character of socio-religious reform movements sought to remove social evils which divided the Indian society; this had the effect of bringing different sections of the society together. Since many reform movements drew their inspiration from India’s rich cultural heritage, these promoted pan-Indian feelings and spirit of nationalism” (Aggarwal, 2016). Through the focus on Hinduism’s unifying power, the strongest shared origin in belief, beyond language, industry, specialization, and arguably equaling the unifying anti-British sentiment, Indians united in dispelling dividing social evils.

The primordialist approach provides a strong explanation for ethnic identity factors, and to some extent religious and language identities an individual is born into. However, changing factors such as moving across country borders, adapting a new language, joining a different politic party affiliation or changing religious identities leave a drastic lack in understanding when looking at identity through a primordialist approach. Indian nationalism is riddled with change, from the revolution and independence, to the Muslim break away with Pakistan, to regional affiliations in Tamils, Bengalis, Punjabis and other regional peoples in the country. Identities, languages, even religions are in constant change in the nation. Primordialism, therefore, cannot account in any significant capacity, the rise of nationalism thoughts in India.

Conclusion

India’s modern example in nationalism exemplifies both the success of ethnic purging of a ruling, minority class through comparatively peaceful means, as well as the difficulty in constructing a national identity with multiple cultures, languages and religious backgrounds. India most heavily relies on constructivism to explain its national identity, however the weaknesses of the focused on shared experiences, an adopted English language, and figment-like boundaries, have led to a feeble nationalism spirit. The country now is recovery from its differences and rising as one of the world’s leading economies, technological centers, and unified nations. Despite strong unification against a common British enemy to gain independence, and a quick decline in national unity after independence with the loss of Muslim Pakistan, India’s uniting national identity has leveled out. Indians today, regardless of differences in language, tribal or kin background, or even religion in many areas, identify themselves as Indian and compatriots to fellow citizens of their nation, in spite of vastly different cultural norms, beliefs and practices.

Works Cited

Operation Underground Railroad: Successes and Shortcomings

Caleb Larkin – International Management/Leadership Project – December 8th, 2016 – PADMN 6965

Operation Underground Railroad: Successes and Shortcomings

Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) is a nonprofit organization operating globally to “shine a light to the world on the global epidemic of child sex trafficking” (Operation Underground Railroad, 2016). The organization focuses on recovering and rehabilitating youth from the horrors of human trafficking, by both conducting rescue operations and providing long-term, in-country recovery aftercare. O.U.R. works with local law enforcement to prosecute trafficking offenders worldwide. Operation Underground Railroad presents many unique advantages in tackling the problem of human trafficking around the world, yet they also face significant challenges with their actualization evolution. 

The Issue

The US State Department estimates over 20 million individuals throughout the world are imprisoned as human trafficking victims, with nearly two thirds of those victims residing in Asia (U.S. Department of State, 2016). UNICEF reported as well that “nearly 2 million children are used in the commercial sex trade, where they routinely face sexual and physical violence” (UNICEF, 2005). The horrors and violence are so pervasive and persistent that the National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking estimated in 2009 most “children sex slaves may be raped 10 to 15 times per night” (U.S. Department of State, 2006).

O.U.R. reports human trafficking as the fastest-growing international crime. “The average cost for a child for an entire night is $300. If the child is a virgin the price is raised to $1000. The average age a child is first trafficked in America is 13 years old” (Operation Underground Railroad, 2016). The reality of human trafficking presents a drastic need for an organization to fight back in eradicating the rampant issue.

The problem for many countries throughout the world, is only growing. CNN reported that 27 nations received a downgrade in their tier ranking from the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report. Among the worst offending countries are locations where O.U.R. conducted some of their first operations including: Myanmar, Haiti, and Cameroon. However other areas of the world showed unprecedented efforts to purge human trafficking in their borders. As many as 20 nations improved their TIP tier ranking this year. O.U.R. also conducts operations in many of the improving nations including Colombia, Thailand, and the Philippines (Perry, 2016).

The measure of success is not solely based on decreasing the number of trafficking victims in a country, but also through arresting traffickers. In a 2016 statistical report O.U.R. explains that in three years of operations the organization has assisted in just under 200 arrests. Tim Ballard, the organization’s CEO, said, “the number of arrests has more than doubled [since 2014]. This number is of particular importance because it shows the scalability of eradication and it is how we protect children from being exploited. On average sexual predators have hundreds of victims in their lifetime. By focusing on the arrest of these offenders we are creating a layer of safety as well as a deterrent to show that the local community of law enforcement will not tolerate this crime” (Operation Underground Railroad, 2016). O.U.R,’s midyear statistical report for 2016 showed the organization had conducted 53 operations and rescued over 500 victims in 21 countries since beginning operation in 2014. Operation Underground Railroad may not be large, but their impact far exceeds their manpower or resources.

The Organization

Operation Underground Railroad has a “C” level team consisting of 11 members (Operation Underground Railroad, 2016). Tim Ballard, the founder and CEO, like most of his ops team, comes from a background in government work. Ballard worked as a Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security under the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force as well as an undercover operative for the U.S. Child Sex Tourism Jump Team. Yet former CIA intelligence officers and Navy SEAL Special Ops personnel are not the only members of Ballard’s team. The management level consists of a chief operating officer, a senior vice president of rescue and recovery, a volunteering coordinator, a marketing director, a corporate partnership director, and a director of aftercare. Each director manages an important aspect in the rescue, recovery and rehabilitation of human trafficking victims.

Although the team consists of only a small operation, including celebrity endorsements and ambassadors, and a board of directors and governors, the organization reported 1,723 volunteers in 2016. The volunteers are those not formally recognized as team members or full or part time employees of O.U.R., but local individuals across the nation giving of their time and talents to the organization in any capacity. Organizational technology centers help extend O.U.R.’s reach even further. The first Child Exploitation Targeting Center of Excellence opened in North Carolina earlier this year, with plans to expand and open additional centers throughout the world. The CET-COEs help develop new software and make it readily available to law enforcement agencies “in their investigations by leveraging information from known pedophiles to find victims and their perpetrators” (Larkin, 2016). Such a partnership with law enforcement gives the organization a significant advantage to expand their network.

However, the biggest challenge O.U.R., just like other organizations throughout the world face, is simply a lack of resources. Their team is small and their operations are individual-based, barely rescuing a noticeable fraction of the 20 million human trafficking victims world-wide. They talk in hundreds of rescues, against millions enslaved, which often makes the battle appear to be a lost cause. Yet Operation Underground Railroad focuses on the individual children saved from their operations, recognizing that saving one life is a success.

O.U.R. takes additional steps to partner with organizations at every step in the process. From the 16 foreign and domestic organizations who assist in rescue operations, to the 16 organizations that coordinate long-term aftercare efforts, and finally to the fundraising corporate partnerships and sponsors which total 22 businesses and foundations, O.U.R. does receives much needed help as they could not operate on their own.

The Challenges

Local Law Enforcement and Government Relations

Underground Railroad faces not only challenges in an insurmountable numbers disadvantage, but in simple law enforcement relations with many countries of operations. As made predominately clear in O.U.R.’s film The Abolitionists, every operation relies on in-country law enforcement to come through on the arrests. In the Columbia operation, even after meeting with the traffickers, seeing the girls who were as young as 13, and setting up the sting, resulted in local law enforcement dropping the case (Thomas, Chenoweth, & Fletcher, 2016).

Government instability, incapacity and even corruption leads to completely abandoned operations and letting the traffickers slip knowingly through the grasp of the law. Operation Underground Railroad must operate without any real teeth on its own. Its reliance on law enforcement and local governments is arguably the greatest disruption to their operations that cannot be avoided. However, it can be improved. The organization lacks an international relations specialist to facilitate foreign government interactions and operations, a position I hope to create and fill.

O.U.R. uses a six-step process to conduct its operation.  The first and arguably most crucial step is to assess the willingness of local authorities to take part in the arrest and prosecution of the traffickers. Without this step, the entire process comes to a halt, yet no head level manager focuses on developing this willingness. The strategy, instead, relies nearly entirely on human nature to act against a despicable crime. O.U.R. follows an internal and even partnership level alignment model to assess an environment and develop a strategy, then powerfully organizing and assigning team members tasks, coordinating the operations with structure and purpose to execute a goal. However, when it comes to developing the environment beforehand or cultivating that environment, O.U.R. has no global strategy execution (Lane & Maznevski, 2014, p. 142). The three intermediate steps: (2) researching the location, victims and perpetrators, (3) designing a rescue strategy, (4) setting up a sting operation to make contact and setup arrests, and (5) recovering and placing victims in feasible aftercare programs, all operate smoothly for several reasons (Operation Underground Railroad, 2016). First, the team selected has both the experience, capacity and expertise to conduct such operations. Second, the intelligence gathered is thoroughly verified and safety precautions are strictly followed. Finally, all these four steps require little to no third-party intervention.

The final step in the process is making the arrest, trying and convicting the perpetrators. The process is sandwiched between an initial start and a final completion relying on government relations, which the organization does little to perpetuate, expand or even cultivate. An operation’s entire process can stop before it even starts, or the even higher risk, it comes apart right in the final step. The solution to reduce the risk in these highly volatile operations comes through a constant, dedicated relations manager to ensure law enforcement is both willing to assist as well as follow through on their promises. Without such a secure relation, the organization’s success and operations are exposed to the nation’s law enforcement practices, which may be unreliable, instable or possibly corrupt in areas of the world where operations are most needed. 

Financing the Operation

In any organization, but particularly in the nonprofit sector, finances are the lifeblood to accomplish any mission. No matter how lofty, noble, or feasible the project is, without the financial backing, it is difficult for the organization to get any momentum. Operation Underground Railroad has a financial plan based entirely on donations. The program collects funds through only two main sources: (1) voluntary donations and (2) profits from the CrossFit gyms owned by O.U.R. The financial backing for the organization is, therefore, nearly completely dependent on factors that are greatly beyond the organization’s control.

In order to better affect funding, O.U.R. asserts great efforts to market not only their operations, but also informing the public on the reality of human trafficking across the globe. Marketing based on the issue may not be enough however, the operation must show how they make good on their donations, they need to show the results. The organization must balance the clandestine, undercover operations with being open and transparent to donors. As made evident by the significant blog posts and story reporting, O.U.R. reports both specifics on rescue missions, donor stories, as well as corporate sponsorships. However, the organization often is vague to protect anonymity for their jump team members and the victim themselves. The statistics are fully reported in number of operations, rescues, victims saved and arrests. Yet the real contributions and change come in making the emotional and personal connections. The anonymity can counter marketing efforts to promote donations.

In addition to marketing practices, spreading the word through social media, local fundraising opportunities, forums and discussions, and celebrity endorsements, the organization also focuses on corporate financing. The stability of increased, reliable financial backing minimizes risk, not only in taking on an operation, but ensuring its success. Operation Underground Railroad has made great strides to incorporate the business world in financial backing, beyond the individual donations from caring families. Corporate sponsorships include: DoTERRA, Microsoft Lehi, Vaults of Fortune, Larry H. Miller Family Foundation, and the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation (Operation Underground Railroad, 2016). The sponsorships keep O.U.R.’s funding secure to continue expensive undercover operations, aftercare programs and joint partnerships with foreign organizations. 

Lack of Government Backing: Enforcement, Rescue and Financial

Not only does financial backing keep the money and operations flowing, but contributes to security in operations. Operation Underground Railroad has cooperative relationships with governments, however there is no official backing, financial, support or enforcement. Essentially the lack of a large organization, with constant and stable funding, manpower and resources, leaves O.U.R. at high risk for abandonment. In operations, victims and prosecutions, all can be left incomplete when the resources run out.

The organization puts its employees, especially the jump team members, at considerable risk because of O.U.R.’s limited resources to rescue their own operatives if a sting operation fails. Personal risk to individuals must be assessed in total cost of the operations. In Lane and Maznevski’s International Management Behavior the authors make the argument that “many companies currently are operating in countries where personal security concerns are considerations and/or where political violence and terrorism are issues” and therefore “situations in which the physical security of managers could be a problem may present ethical issues for managers and employees” (Lane & Maznevski, 2014, p. 222).

O.U.R. minimizes the risk to its employees by recruiting talented and experienced individuals to perform in dangerous and risk-filled undercover operations. Yet the risk is only minimized, not eliminated. In addition, O.U.R. must carefully evaluate missions, potential operations and locations to ensure operatives can not only succeed in their objective to rescue the victims and arrest the perpetrators, but avoid detection and have a safe extraction plan both for a successful and unsuccessful mission.

Without the comparatively limitless resources available in government agencies, as many of the O.U.R. jump team members are used to, the risks force the organization to not be able to act on a potential rescue mission. Operation Underground Railroad is quite limited in personnel and resources, however O.U.R. maximizes the value each individual and resource brings to the goals and purpose of the organization.

Conclusion

Some operational risks will always exist in an organization fighting against international crime. Yet the minimizing of risk through solidifying foreign government support and follow through, increasing corporate partnerships funds for stability in operation costs, and standards for assessing physical dangers for undercover operatives to ensure each team member is exposed to the minimum amount of physical risk, will ensure the organization can continue to keep its three-fold promise. “One, to the children who we pray for daily, we say:  Your long night is coming to an end. Hold on. We are on our way. Two, to those captors and perpetrators, even you monsters who dare offend God’s precious children, we declare to you: Be afraid. We are coming for you. And three, to those who have read this far, we plead with you: Donate to our cause. Donate. We can’t do this without you” (Operation Underground Railroad, 2016).

Works Cited

Research Project: The United Nations

Caleb Larkin – POLS 6630 – Research Project – April 22nd, 2017

Research Project: The United Nations

Introduction

The United Nations as a world organization stands as one of the top examples of global governance in the world. Because of its high status as a world government organization, albeit still very subject to the sovereignty and influence of individual state actors, it has long been subject to scrutiny in the manner the organization conducts its operations. Yet the discussion of effectiveness has many different aspects. In order to evaluate the UN’s effectiveness one must consider the following missions of the United Nations: (1) maintain international peace and security, (2) protect human rights, (3) deliver humanitarian aid, (4) promote sustainable development and (5) uphold international law. The United Nations has had successes and failures in each of these five categories, however the overall success of the organization can be measured by the sum factors of all these categories. Despite the fact that the UN has had several public failures that caused widespread scrutiny, the United Nations as a whole attempts to accomplish their five-fold mission and therefore, especially today, maintains an effective strategy to accomplish their missions.

As a case study the following examples will be evaluated to determine effectiveness:

  1. The “Maintain International Peace and Security” case study will focus on nuclear weapons treaties with a focus on sanctions in Iran and North Korea.
  2. The “Protect Human Rights” case study will gather information from the recent Syrian refugee crisis.
  3. The “Deliver Humanitarian Aid” will highlight efforts to deliver necessities in war torn Iraq.
  4. The “Promote Sustainable Development” will explore the Millennium Development Goals.
  5. The “Uphold International Law” will discuss the UN’s role in preventing torture throughout the world.

Defining Success and Failure

In order to illustrate the effectiveness of the organization today, an analysis of the successes and failures will be conducted of the United Nation’s operations in the last 17 years. However, first definitions for success and failure must be established. A success is defined as active, measureable progress towards accomplishing one of the five missions, despite setbacks. Failure is defined as the abandonment of a project, the inability to facilitate progression in one of the five categories, or significant losses to human life, infrastructure, basic rights above the project’s perceived potential gains.

The United Nation also has a definition for success in peacekeeping operations. In order for a peacekeeping operation to be successful the following three factors must be met: (1) The operation must have the principle of consent and use of force must be limited to defense of the mission and self defense only, (2) the operation must include a legitimate and credible perception, especially among the local population, and (3) the operation must promote the locals or nation in which the operation takes place to take part in the peace process.

The UN lists “other important factors that help drive success” as follows:

  • “Genuine commitment to a political process by the parties in working towards peace (there must be a peace to keep);
  • “Clear, credible and achievable mandates, with matching personnel, logistic and financial resources;
  • “Unity of purpose within the Security Council, with active support to UN operations in the field;
  • “Host country commitment to unhindered UN operations and freedom of movement;
  • “Supportive engagement by neighboring countries and regional actors;
  • “An integrated UN approach, effective coordination with other actors on the ground and good communication with host country authorities and population;
  • “The utmost sensitivity towards the local population and upholding the highest standards of professionalism and good conduct (peacekeepers must avoid becoming part of the problem)” (The United Nations, 2015).

Maintain International Peace and Security: Case Study

The United Nation’s most prominent purpose is to maintain international peace. Cases of genocide, especially failures such as with the case in Rwanda, come to the forefront when discussing the UN’s international peace process. However the organization is involved in much more behind the scenes efforts to keep the peace and increase security. One particular case that the United Nations has been involved in for some time is keeping nuclear weapon treaties intact and more recently suppressing state powers such as Iran and North Korean from obtaining or creating a nuclear arsenal.

In May 2000, the United Nations facilitated an agreement between the five nuclear powers in the UN resulting in a process to gradually eliminate nuclear arsenals. The agreement came in part due to a disarmament agenda supported by nearly 200 nations. Later in 2002 the UN Security Council approved a resolution to have weapons inspectors enter Iraq to ensure no nuclear weapons had been created or programs started in the nation.  The UN also led an 89-Nation conference in 2005 to sign the Convention of the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material agreement to protect nuclear material from falling into the hands of terrorists through greater protection for transportation of such materials. Later that same year Secretary General Kofi Annan attempted to ratify a nuclear test-ban treaty. However the U.S., Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea all rejected the treaty (World History Timelines Online, 2016).

The United Nations has not been passive in limiting nuclear arms and continues to push efforts to restrict non-nuclear powers from gaining weapons of mass destruction as well as limiting the nations who already possess this power. Many of the recent Secretary-General, including Ban Ki-moon, had a goal rid the world of nuclear weapons, challenging global leaders to make a change. The track record shows the organization’s dedication to support global peace and security, which is emphasized in autonomy as the organization acts even against the interests of major global powers such as the United States and China.

The UN has paid particular attention to two nations in restricting nuclear weapons programs: Iran and North Korean. In 2003, Associated Press reported that International Atomic Energy Agency, a subsidiary agency of the UN, uncovered and condemned Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program, a program that had been covered up since 1985. Although no direct actions were taken against Iran to put teeth to their threat the IAEA warned “future violations of non-proliferation obligations would not be tolerated.” Iran continues to be a subject of great concern for the United Nations and in as recent as 2010 the IAEA urged nuclear powers in the area, including Israel, to sign the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (World History Timelines Online, 2016).

“In June 2010, the UN Security Council approved another set of sanctions under UNSCR 1929, primarily aimed at Iran’s nuclear-related investments; three affiliates of the state-owned shipping company the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), which had already been targeted by unilateral U.S. and EU sanctions; and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps” (NTI, 2016). Yet most recent updates in January 2016 the IAEA declared after multiple sanctions, Iran is now compliant with IAEA’s nuclear sanctions and continues to monitor nuclear facilities in Iran. The Middle East, as an area of civil unrest and instability, is a top priority for the United Nations to maintain peace. Therefore, the success of the Iran example is shown in the ability for the UN to, over a long period of time, enact change to eventually force compliance on nuclear weapons programs in the nation.

North Korea, on the other hand, is a new a developing situation without a resolution yet for peace or security. Associated Press reported in 2006 that the UN Security Council developed a list of items to be banned to export to North Korea including: ballistic missiles, chemical and biological weapon material. It was not until the following year that UN inspectors were allowed to monitor North Korea’s nuclear program. However the monitoring was limited and determining the breadth of the nuclear program proved limited. A second attempt in 2008 to send nuclear inspectors into the country was denied by North Korea and reports of atomic tests started again in a plutonium plant in the country (World History Timelines Online, 2016). North Korea’s weapons program continues to make headlines with both China and the United States condemning the ballistic testing.

BBC News reported in the beginning of 2017 on North Korea’s nuclear program. The article stated, “North Korea’s nuclear programme remains a source of deep concern for the international community. Despite multiple efforts to curtail it, Pyongyang says it has conducted five nuclear tests.” The report also concluded that in March of 2013 the North Korea conducted a third nuclear test which resulted in the UN’s sanctions in the country and an eventual “vow to restart all facilities at Yongbyon” (BBC News, 2017). North Korea’s testing occurring today remains an area of high concern for the United Nations. Despite the failures, both in the United Nations and with other nations, including nuclear power nations, the organization has made progress towards the goal of controlling, limiting and eventually eliminating nuclear weapons from Iran, North Korea and the rest of the world. Therefore, although the crisis with North Korea is unresolved and ongoing, the United Nations shows progressive steps towards the goal of security through nuclear weapon program elimination and therefore amounts to an example of success for the organization.

Protect Human Rights: Case Study

The United Nation also has a mission to protect basic human rights throughout the world. The world refugee crisis, mostly resulting from instability in Syria, creates a situation where basic human rights to shelter, food, security, education, and even privacy are often denied. The UN as an organization has been directly involved in alleviating, supporting and transporting refugees throughout the world. The Syrian refugee crisis and consequential migration to Europe highlights a case to determine the success of the United Nations in protecting human rights.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated his position that the Syrian crisis was a shameful result of the international’s community inability to end the conflict. “Given that well over 300,000 Syrians had been killed, half of the country’s population had been uprooted and much of its infrastructure lay in ruins, ‘the Syrian tragedy shames us all’, Secretary-General Ban told the 15-member Council. Ki-moon continued by declaring the timing a “make or break moment” (Security Council, 2016). Yet the UN was adamant that the failure was not a lack of humanitarian aid, but a political conflict and disagreement.

“The failure in Syria is most definitely not the humanitarian organizations’ failure, it is a political failure,” John Ging, the Operations Director for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) remarked at a press briefing in Geneva in 2016. “That is why we are now looking, with great hope, for this political process to do what is needed, which is to deliver us a solution which will end the conflict and put people back on the track and the path which they deserve,” Ging said, referring to the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva during January (UN News Centre, 2016).

However, despite Ging’s focus on UNICEF, humanitarian aid given in the area, and other organizations setup to help refugees both in camps and transport to other nations, the Guardian reported potential mismanagement of the refugee crisis. “The UN refugee agency and the EU’s aid department have been accused by other aid groups of mismanaging a multimillion-pound fund earmarked for the most vulnerable refugees in Europe, leaving thousands sleeping in freezing conditions in Greece” the report stated. Much of the blame fell on the Greek government itself as it controls most refugee camp activities. Greece was said to have failed to use funds provided by the European Union and the United Nations to improve the conditions of these camps, especially during the winter months. “No single actor has overall control of all funding and management decisions in the camps, allowing most parties to distance themselves from blame” (Kingsley, 2016).

Yet the actions of the United Nations tell the true story of success or failure. Before the Syrian crisis occurred the UN had been focusing on alleviating refugees around the globe. In 2008 the UN partnered with Google to help track refugees around the world and raise public awareness through the search engine and GPS satellite tracking tools. The next year, the UN forces led a peacekeeping operation to protect basic human rights of refugees in Africa. In addition to boots on the ground action, the UN also raised awareness of the extent of the issue. In 2011, the UN refugee agency reported the “worst humanitarian disaster” in the world with the drought in Somalia which left 380,000 refugees desolate and forced to move to neighboring camps (World History Timelines Online, 2016). In other areas of the world, such as Crimea in 2014, the UN reported an accurate account of the number of refugees who lost their home due to the conflict and presented a plan to supply needed materials to the refugees.

The United Nations took the same response in the efforts to first raise awareness, develop a plan and then institute action, with the Syrian crisis. In 2015 the UN refugee agency reported that an expected nearly 1.5 million refugees to reach Europe in 2015 and 2016 through the Mediterranean (World History Timelines Online, 2016). The Human Rights Council began to intervene in 2011 with fact finding missions to investigate human rights violations. In December 2011, the council sent additional investigators into Syria which resulted in a conclusion of noncooperation and a consequential commission of inquiry issued (Barrow, 2012).

Yet despite actions to assist refugees, Syria became a significant divider for the Security Council, specific the P-5 powers of the United States and Russia. The different stances on the conflict left for a standstill and often resulted in the basic rights of refugees seeking to flee from the conflict simply not being met. The New York Times reported on the “How Syria and the bloody conflict has torn the UN Security Council apart” in 2015, explaining the different stances, competing goals and common ground found between Russia, the US and Iran in the Syrian conflict. Richard Spencer, the article’s author, concluded that despite the fact that the UNSC should institute world order “on Syria, Iraq and the war against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), it has clearly fallen short of that laudable aim. Indeed, four of the five permanent members are themselves involved militarily in the fighting in one way or the other” (Spencer, 2015).

Effectiveness and success evaluating in an ongoing crisis can be difficult to measure. The United Nations is a major actor in the Syrian conflict and specifically in providing humanitarian aid and ensuring basic human rights of refugees fleeing from Syria. However, as the organization is representative of the major powers of the world, current and past powers included, consensus on actions is always conflicted. With the Syrian conflict and especially with Russia and the United States’ differing stances on how to proceed to resolve conflicts, left the refugees lacking as the focus shifted from human rights to political agendas. Although the United Nations has independence, the P-5 continues to control most of the actions the organization pursues and therefore with conflicting and competing goals, in many ways the refugee crisis had little or no progress towards the goal of protecting human rights. The goal to protect basic rights was pursued, yet so ineffectively as to result in no real progression and therefore a failure of the organization to accomplish its purpose.

Deliver Humanitarian Aid: Case Study

The goal of humanitarian aid and human right protection often overlap. As human rights violation and humanitarian needs correlate to corruption, war torn countries and instability. A distinct case study for measuring effectiveness of the UN in this category is the conflict in Iraq. Since the first gulf war in the early 1990s, Iraq has been a country known for instability and war. Peace Direct summarized the Iraq conflict by stating, “the Iraqi regime incurred significant debts to the Gulf States, including Kuwait, as a result of the war. As a result, an international coalition led by the US launched an attack on Iraqi forces in Kuwait in order to force them back across the border. Coalition forces quickly expelled Iraqi forces from Kuwait but stopped short of deposing Saddam Hussein. One of the most significant results of what became known as “the First Gulf War” was the imposition of harsh economic sanctions on Iraq. In place until the 2003 invasion, many estimate that these sanctions created a humanitarian crisis that led to the deaths of as many as 500,000 children” (Peace Direct, 2010).

In establishing the desperate need for humanitarian aid in the area, Iraq must have been a focus for the United Nation’s humanitarian aid efforts. The United Nations supported and continually extended Iraq’s oil for food program. Later in 2005, the UN Security Council approved a $200 million transfer to support the oil-for-food program in Iraq. Yet in the same year an Independent Inquiry Committee issued a report on the corruption in the program. The report stated that between 1997 and 2003 the Iraqi government sold $64 billion of oil and bought $34.5 billion worth of humanitarian goods. It also accused some 2,000 companies of “colluding with Saddam’s regime” to bolster the program, while not providing the promised humanitarian aid to the citizens.

In contrast to the corruption charges, the UNSC worked in other ways besides the oil-for-food program in Iraq. They approved an extension in 2001 for a humanitarian program in Iraq. The program allowed for a better overhaul of sanctions against Baghdad that occurred in 2002. In February of 2003 the UN implemented a program in conjunction with the UN Children’s Fund and local Iraqi health units to vaccinate children in the country. The mission reported that a total of 4 million children were given the polio vaccine. In 2007, the UN opened an office in Jordan to better provide aid and homes to Iraqis who have fled their country and are in need of humanitarian aid.

Despite efforts to improve situations for Iraqi citizens and multiple programs, although some riddled with corruption, many critics of the UN’s involvement in Iraq say the UN is simply a US puppet in Iraqi relations.  Global Policy Forum reported in 2011 that “critics say the US intends to use the UN to push Iraqis to accept US-imposed ‘benchmarks’ for reconciliation, including a controversial oil law and debaathification. The [new] Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, seems to be more pliant to the US and more supportive of greater UN involvement in Iraq. Despite strong opposition from the UN Staff Council – which represents 25,000 UN workers – the Security Council succumbed to US and UK pressure and voted on August 10, 2007 to expand the UN’s role in Iraq. Only if the US occupation ends can there be a substantial – and politically viable – UN role” (Global Policy Forum, 2011). Most often the critics of the United Nations focus on its apparent lack of independence, especially from world powers such as the United States, China or even Russia. The UN becomes subject instead to the interests of the specific P-5 nations and therefore enacts policies and actions that do not reflect their mission statements.

Humanitarian aid in Iraq does not rest solely on the shoulders of the UN however. The Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) reported in 2009 that “the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Iraq wants closer ties with local NGOs in 2010, and the head of a leading NGO umbrella group believes more effective aid can be delivered to Iraqi returnees if cooperation between local NGOs and UN bodies is boosted” (IRINNews, 2009). In determining effectiveness in providing humanitarian aid in Iraq, a key factor is determining responsibility. The United Nations backed, instituted and financed several key programs in Iraq to support and maintain humanitarian aid. However some of the programs resulted in corruption, theft or political agenda seeking.

The United Nations is by no means without any responsibility to the results and independent reviews, accountability procedures and careful scrutiny of program operations is absolutely essential. Yet the United Nations works in the real world and must be willing to let some “bad” results occur if they are to achieve an overall “good.” The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian efforts reports that Iraq has 11 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, with 3 million internally displaced citizens. The United Nations has been able to target 6.2 million of these individuals because of their efforts (OCHA, 2017). That must be considered a success, even if the funding to date is only 15.5% of the total estimated required funds for the Humanitarian Response Plan in Iraq (OCHA, 2017). The progression shows a huge effort to provide otherwise unmet needs of millions of citizens in Iraq.

Promote Sustainable Development: Case Study

Sustainable development as a mission statement is essentially the United Nation’s long term plans and goals. The Millennium Development Goals, which were developed in September of 2000, had the goal to accomplish progression in the following areas by 2015:

  • Combat and eradicate world hunger and poverty
  • Provide universal primary education for children throughout the world
  • Promote programs with a gender equality or women empowerment mission
  • Decrease the infant mortality rate
  • Increase resources and improve overall maternity health
  • Fight against diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Malaria by providing vaccines and other medicines to affected populations.
  • Push an environmentally friendly and sustainable agenda
  • Pursue an improved global partnership to achieve further development (The United Nations, 2016).

The idea behind these development goals was to “cure the world’s direst problems.” The specifics on the goals goes into more details to determine the level of success each goal achieved by 2015. The most significant goal to note occurred with the halving of the population in “extreme poverty” throughout the world which occurred five years early in 2010 (World History Timelines Online, 2016). Extreme poverty is defined as those living on less than $1.25 a day. The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015 summarized the progress in these eight categories as “largely successful.” The report highlighted that people living in extreme poverty dropped from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 836 million in 2015. Elementary education globally also saw a significant increase, 43 million more primary school aged students in schools since 2000. In addition gender equality in education rose particularly in Southern Asia. The ratio of girls to boys students in 1990 was about 73 to 100, now there are 103 girls to 100 boys in elementary schools throughout the region (The United Nations, 2015).

Both children mortality rates and maternity mortality rates dropped by about 50 percent since 1990. The report concluded that 147 countries met drinking water standards set by the MDG and 95 nations reached the sanitation goal. Developing countries also received a total of $135.2 billion in assistance funds, a 66 percent increase since 2000. HIV infections dropped 40 percent since 2000 and an estimated 6.2 million malaria deaths “have been averted between 2000 and 2015” (The United Nations, 2015).

However despite the incredible success presented by the statistics, with almost every one of the eight categories of goals seeing incredible and unprecedented progression, how did the United Nations influence or accomplish these goals? And yet another question can be posed, do the numbers tell an accurate story? Michael Clemens and Todd Moss’s “What’s Wrong with the Millennium Development Goals?” brief highlighted the disparity of the goals progression. The report stated that “many poor countries, especially those in Africa, will miss the MDGs by a large margin. But neither African inaction nor a lack of aid will necessarily be the reason. Instead, responsibility for near-certain ‘failure’ lies with the overly-ambitious goals themselves and unrealistic expectations placed on aid” (Clemens & Moss, 2016). Although the entire world saw great progress in all areas, the unequal distribution of wealth throughout the world also caused a significant disparity in the global statistics where the poorest and least developed nations saw no progress at all. The Conversation, a nonprofit organization, reported in July 2015 that the MDGs “failed the world’s poorest children.” The article concluded that “UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has warned that despite rapid progress in reductions of poverty and deprivation among children worldwide, disparities are still growing. The most marginalized children in some of the world’s poorest countries may actually have been left behind” (The Conversation, 2015).

The Millennial Global Development goals saw huge overall progress. Although it is difficult to determine all the causes behind the drastic changes in progress, whether it can be attributed to efforts from the United Nations, nonprofit organizations, the nation states themselves or simply just progress in technology will never be fully known. As the UN’s involvement in pushing the agendas of the goals forward spanned a decade and a half with hundreds of projects, funding and agreements facilitated, the assumption must be made that overall the organization was successful in promoting global development. However, with the lapses and disparity, the UN has much room for growth as they try to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development goals by 2030 which range from covering all the MGD goals and expanding on climate change efforts, focus on infrastructure, clean energy and the environment focus on life on land and below water.

Uphold International Law: Case Study

The United Nation also has a mission to uphold international law. The charter of the United Nations stipulates the organization’s objective to: “establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained.” In addition to a focus on international law the charter also stipulates principles of international relations, sovereignty as well as use of force in international relations. The United Nations has an International Court of Justice division to settle disputes between states, but also addresses issues of international legality when it comes to basic human rights (The United Nations, 2017).

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner adopted and ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment resolution in 1984 (UN Generally Assembly, 1984). The resolution stipulates the definition of the term torture, explicitly banning its use globally. The decision to uphold the international law against torture has remained resolute throughout the age of terrorism and non state actors in war crimes. The United States, deviating from international law on torture, because of the war on terror, did not influence the United Nations’ stance on the law. In 2002, only a year of the September 11th attacks, the UN voted to oversee prisons where reports of torture had occurred, despite the United States’ opposition to the independent visits and supervision. The UN further exercised its independence from the US by publishing accounts in 2005 of torture being used at the US base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In 2006, “the UN panel that monitors compliance with the world’s anti-torture treaty said the United States should close its prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and avoid using secret detention facilities in the war on terror.” It was not until 2011 under President Obama that the US disavowed torture tactics as a legitimate tool in information gathering from terrorist suspects (World History Timelines Online, 2016).

The United States is not the only member of the P-5 to meet with UN scrutiny of torture laws. In 2005 a UN torture investigator reported widespread abuse of the law in China. The Associated Press reported in 2011 the UN investigation team found 47 facilities in Afghanistan with prisoners that underwent enhanced interrogation methods and constituted a violation of the international against torture. In 2013, the United Nations Committee against Torture found police abuse of inmates widespread in Uzbekistan, particularly against activists and protestors fighting for improved human rights. Even the Vatican, in 2014, came under UN scrutiny compelling the Catholic Church to comply with the anti-torture treaty, highlighting sexual abuse as a form of torture. Reuters report in 2014 of the UN human rights team investigation of prisons in Azerbaijan which were barred access to the facilities by the Azerbaijan government. The news agency also reported in 2015 the UN Committee against Torture investigation in Iraq where many secret detention centers had multiple violations of torture, even among minors (World History Timelines Online, 2016).

The United Nation has acted in every known account to uphold the original 1984 resolution against the use of torture in any circumstances. Despite pushback from the United States in efforts to combat terrorists, the UN exposed the practice of torture by the US government as well as sending in inspectors to monitor facilities under US control and several other countries throughout the world. In conclusion, the UN has shown significant progress in upholding the international law against the practice of torture and has worked to investigate, expose and correct nations and facilities where violations have occurred. In this case study, the United Nations succeeded in their mission to uphold international law.

Conclusion

In determining the success of an organization as vast and as all-encompassing as the United Nations, one must consider individual cases of success or failure. The United Nations is not without its shortcomings and certainly has failed both in recent and distant history in accomplishing their goals. However, the United Nations has also been a direct cause for much of the growth and progression in maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable growth and upholding international law. The organization’s purpose must be evaluated and even though corruption occurs, the United Nations has been responsible in facilitating peace and meeting the needs of nations and individuals across the globe very effectively even in the last two decades. Therefore the United Nations must be considered successful as an overall organization with its stated goals, mission and purposes.

Works Cited

Sex Trafficking: A Comparison between the United States and the Dominican Republic

Caleb Larkin – May 1st, 2017 – SOC 6110 – Proposal – Final Project

Sex Trafficking: A Comparison between the United States and the Dominican Republic

After researchers learn what is already known about their subject, they write a research proposal.  A proposal is used to gain clearance to proceed with the research from funding agencies, committees that safeguard human subjects, or other authorities such as faculty advisors.  Several examples of proposals are provided on Web-CT.  There are no set page limits or page requirements for this assignment; though, typically a proposal of this nature will be approximately 10 pages in length (single spaced). There are no specific requirements on how many sources need to be cited, but all proposals should probably cite at least 10 sources throughout the document.

  • Specific Aims

As my intended career goal is to work in the nonprofit sector for an organization known as Operation Underground Railroad, my proposed research paper topic centers on human trafficking. My aim is to research areas of the world particularly susceptible to human trafficking, both in victims and traffickers. I will conduct a comparison study between the United States and the Dominican Republic. My goal will be to contrast the countries’ human trafficking problem and what each country does to combat the issue.

I plan to use connections with NGOs working in sex trafficking in both countries, such as O.U.R., and other organizations around the globe to study data, personal case studies, interviews and experts in the field to identify the unique challenges, solutions currently being used, and proposed long-term solutions. My research will include many first-hand accounts or primary sources through interview requests. However much of my statistical or quantitative data will rely on secondary data from government reports as well as reliable and collaborated information from nonprofit organizations working in this field. Therefore, the main question I intend to answer is: How does the United States compare against the Dominican Republic in human traffickers and victims and what is being done by whom to stop both supply and demand factors of the industry?

Because many individuals believe that the United States has completely eradicated slavery and human trafficking, especially with children, knowledge of the pervasiveness of the issue in the United States is lacking. When compared to a country, such as the Dominican Republic, known for high human trafficking the United States may produce different forms of trafficking, but trafficking will be nearly as pervasive.  I am studying how educating the general public in the United States how prevalent human trafficking exists, not only abroad, but domestically because knowledge leads to action in order to help my reader understand how horrific the issue is and persuade them to take steps to join the fight against child sex trafficking.

  • Background or Literature Review:

Source Summaries: What we already know.

  1. Bernat, F. P. (2010). Human Trafficking: The Local Becomes Global. Women and Criminal Justice, 20(1-2), 2-9.

In Frances P. Bernat’s “Human Trafficking: The Local Becomes Global” the main theme or idea posed focused on the vulnerability and local causes to human trafficking compared with the global issue and attempt to combat it. The report based its information mainly on TIP report data, categorizing countries based on being a source, transit and destination for human trafficking. The conclusion essentially stated that all countries throughout the ward have participation in human trafficking, whether as a source, transit or destination country. The victims are everywhere and the problem must be addressed using international cooperation.

  1. Salt, J., & Stein, J. (1997). Migration as a Business: The Case of Trafficking. International Migration, 35(4), 467-494.

John Salt and Jeremy Stein’s “Migration as a Business: The Case of Trafficking” focuses on the legitimate and illegitimate business opportunities as people move from country to country. The report relies on a three-stage business model to produce data on mobilization, recruitment, integration, and host or destination countries. The article concludes that using the model data migration can be conceptualized as an international business strategy, that the challenges often presented in migration can be instead used as an advantage.

  1. Schumacher, G. (2010). Culture Care Meanings, Beliefs, and Practices in Rural Dominican Republic. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 21(2), 93-103.

Gretchen Schumacher’s “Culture Care Meanings, Beliefs, and Practices in Rural Dominican Republic” is a general study on the meaning behind the belief and culture in the DR. The study relied on in person interviews focused on 10 key indicators that resulted in understanding family presence, respect and attention, value of professionals and generic people. The article concluded recommendations for nursing practices in rural DR should find “culturally congruent” practices. Dominicans relies heavily on the focus and development of relationship between nurse and client, therefore matching their culture by taking the time to know patients is essential.

  1. Cabezas, A. L. (2004). Between Love and Money: Sex, Tourism, and Citizenship in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Signs, 29(4), 987-1015.

Amalia Cabezas’ “Between Love and Money: Sex, Tourism, and Citizenship in Cuba and the Dominican Republic” aims to shed light on the growing commonality of tourists in the Caribbean engaging in sex trafficking as buyers, therefore locals assume this and present victims even when the tourists are not buyers. The article drew on fieldwork with sex trade participant reports to examine the commonalities of sex commerce in Cuba and the DR. Resort worker studies reported 20 percent of resort workers admitting to having had a sexual relation with tourists. The qualitative reporting of individuals’ experiences in these countries painted a picture of an economy based on tourism and tourism based on sex.

  1. Herold, E., Garcia, R., & DeMoya, T. (2001). Female tourists and beach boys: Romance or Sex Tourism? Annals of Tourism Research, 28(4), 978-997.

Herold, Garcia and DeMoya’s “Female tourists and beach boys: Romance or Sex Tourism?” analyzes the question of female tourists taking advantage of impoverished male “beach boys.” The article focuses solely on the Dominican Republic and if these relationships are considered romance or just simply sex tourism. The article’s data focused on personal interview with female tourists to the country compared with men tourists, asking questions about their sexual activity with locals and expressing whether loved was felt towards their new-found partner. The conclusion does state a necessity to understand the Dominican Republic culture of tourism and sex, but that regardless the industry is not strictly men seeking out women sex workers, but women seeking out male sex workers. The differences are nearly negligible with gender.

  1. Patty, K. (2005, June). What’s Love Got To Do With It? Transnational Desires and Sex Tourism in the Dominican Republic. American Anthropologist, 107(2), 276 – 318.

Kelly Patty’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It? Transnational Desires and Sex Tourism in the Dominican Republic” seeks to emphasize the lack of loving affection between tourists engaging in sex acts with locals in the Dominican Republic. The data comes from a case study in the town of Sosua, which has become a hub for many in the sex tourism industry. The article is unique in it also addresses the issue of love, what love is and how we construct love, both from a male and female perspective. The article concludes that the sex tourism industry in Sosua specifically is ripe with contradictions and cultural complexities.

  1. Langberg, L. (2005). A Review of Recent OAS Research on Human Trafficking in the Latin American and Caribbean Region. International Migration, 43(1-2), 129-139.

Laura Langberg’s “A Review of Recent OAS Research on Human Trafficking in the Latin American and Caribbean Region” emphasizes the Caribbean as potential hotspot for human trafficking, including victims, buyers and traffickers. This report was unique in relying on data from Non-Governmental Organizations working in the area combating the issue as well as US government reports. Yet the article also included a field investigation on the trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation. Its stated purpose was to use the study’s findings and conclusions to draft effective regional and national recommendations for trafficking. The findings concluded that trafficking is fueled by poverty, political and social violence, gender attitudes and indifference towards vulnerable parties. In addition, globalization makes the market more easily accessible to perpetrators.  The study recommended government agencies focus efforts on enacting policy to better protect vulnerable people’s rights, such as women and children.

  1. Lederer, L. J. (2014). Sold for Sex: The Link between Street Gangs and Trafficking in Persons. The Protection Project Journal of Human Rights and Civil Society, 1 – 20.

Laura Lederer’s “Sold for Sex: The Link between Street Gangs and Trafficking in Persons” seeks to understand the connection between gangs in the United States and sex trafficking. The report relies heavily and court data dealing with convictions to tell case studies where gangs such as MS-13 and Crips were involved in sex trafficking rings. The report focused on the gangs desire for profit, with drugs and sex trade being the two most profitable sources of income for most gangs. The article concluded that the way to combat street gangs in their human trafficking practices comes through state, local and federal government collaboration to prevent, prosecute and protect against human traffickers. In addition, if we as a people can lower the profits by simply stopping the demand for prostitutions, the gangs will simply move on to a more profitable industry.

  1. Lederer, L. J., & Wetzel, C. A. (2014, Winter). The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking and Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities. (J. Levin, Ed.) Annals of Health Law, 23(1), 61-91.

“The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking and Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities” by Laura Lederer and Christopher Wetzel takes an almost pragmatic approach to sex trafficking in identifying both the long and short term health issues that arise as well as health facility employees’ ability to identify a human trafficking victim based on their symptoms. The report focused most of the data on statistics on STDs and other common sexual health issues. Yet the qualitative information was collected from several female sex trafficking survivors. The survey results measured symptoms in the following areas: Neurological, general health, injuries, cardiovascular/respiratory, gastrointestinal, and dental. The highest number of respondents reported neurological damage at 99 percent of victims surveyed. In addition, substance abuse numbers and contact with treatment centers was also reported. It showed nearly 85 percent of victims had some kind of substance abuse and only 57 percent, despite being abused in many ways, ever had any contact with a type of clinic. The report concludes with measures that health care professionals can use to see warning signs and common symptoms as well as protocols for identifying and helping victims.

  1. Kotrla, K. (2010). Domestic minor sex trafficking in the United States. Social work, 55(2), 181-187.

Kimberly Kotrla’s “Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in the United States” focuses on bringing awareness that the most vulnerable group for human trafficking in the United States is children. The data used in the report came, in part, from a supply and demand model. The economic evaluation of the “product” was measured against the desirability among the population. The conclusion stated that even though average Americans would be aware and abhor human trafficking, they are often too tolerant of pornography, teen sex, and media portrayal to fix the issue before it starts. The article also focused on resources available for victims and how social workers can really impact the issue.

Summary

Sex trafficking as a global practice, has regional practices that make the industry a thriving and pervasive threat to society. The practices in human trafficking are comparatively shown through a case study of the Caribbean and the United States. The sex tourism practices in island countries such as the Dominican Republic and Cuba starkly contrast the gang and child focused underground sex trafficking practices in the United States. However, both countries need focuses on creating awareness, educating vulnerable groups, and combating “common practices” that allow the sex industry to thrive in society today. In evaluating the industry from an economic standpoint, fighting to educate and empower the “supply” will create more sustainable results to combat sex trafficking than prosecuting the “demand.”

Trafficking as a Practice

Human traffickers focus on vulnerability to take advantage of groups such as immigrants and refugees to exploit for the sex trade.  Frances P. Bernat’s “Human Trafficking: The Local Becomes Global” uses the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report to track countries in terms of sources, transit and destinations for human trafficking. Bernat found that nearly all countries in the world have some contribution to human trafficking one of those three categories (Bernat, 2010).

Jeremy Stein mapped trafficking using a three-stage business model focused on mobilization, recruitment, and integration in destination countries. Stein proposed that evaluating the business strategies in human trafficking, identifying key factors in industry expansion could more easily be assessed and therefore prevented or exploited (Salt & Stein, 1997).

The Caribbean and Sex Tourism

To understand trafficking in a specific region of the world, one must obtain an understanding of cultural norms relating to intimacy. Gretchen Schumacher studied personal relations of individuals in the Dominican Republic relating to respect for others, attentiveness, valuing authority and position, as well as family values. Schumacher concluded that Dominicans tend to be a people that require close personal relationships within business or any other practice, and that personal touch is commonly afforded to tourists and foreigners (Schumacher, 2010).

The culture of open intimacy contributes to the rampant sex tourism culture, where locals in the DR are often offered to tourists for paid or forced sex. Amalia Cabezas’ “Between Love and Money: Sex, Tourism, and Citizenship in Cuba and the Dominican Republic” discusses how this sex tourism practice is so common that locals often assume tourists expect a sex companion, willing or unwilling partner, during their stay (Cabezas, 2004).

Herold, Garcia and DeMoya’s “Female tourists and beach boys: Romance or Sex Tourism?” and Patty Kelly’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It? Transnational Desires and Sex Tourism in the Dominican Republic” also focus on this cultural expectation to fulfill the sexual desires and fantasies of tourists visiting. The prevalence occurs with both men and women tourists, children, men and women locals and has nothing to do with love, intimacy or any kind of relationship (Herold, Garcia, & DeMoya, 2001). The sex tourism business uses local beach boys, women sex workers, and trafficked children who are often in poverty, have little or no education, or are immigrants to the country (Patty, 2005).

Laura Langberg concurred with the sex tourism findings that the Caribbean was a “hotspot” for sex trafficking, both traffickers and buyers as well as victims themselves in her “A Review of Recent OAS Research on Human Trafficking in the Latin American and Caribbean Region” piece. The findings concluded that trafficking is fueled by poverty, political and social violence, gender attitudes and indifference towards vulnerable parties. Langberg recommended government agencies focus efforts on enacting policy to better protect vulnerable people’s rights, such as women and children (Langberg, 2005).

The United States: Sex Trafficking Kept Secret

The United States’ sex industry is much more hidden, with online predators and pimps using sites such as craigslist and backpage, gangs using prostitution and trafficking as a means for revenue, and child pornography proliferation online. Laura Lederer, a former prosecuting attorney, founded Global Centurion in 2010 and currently directs the organization. The organization produced several recent reports discussing sex trafficking in the United States. “Sold for Sex: The Link between Street Gangs and Trafficking in Persons” the profitability of the sex industry, especially with gang members in the US. Lederer focuses on the high demand for illicit sex activities, and advocates cutting supply from the profitable business in order to prevent gangs such as Crips and MS 13 from continually using enslaved women and children to fund their organization (Lederer, Sold for Sex, 2014).

Lederer suggests an awareness among the healthcare industry to identify victims to rescue. Her “The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking and Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities” report measured trafficking victims for symptoms in the following areas: “Neurological, general health, injuries, cardiovascular/respiratory, gastrointestinal, and dental” (Lederer & Wetzel, The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking and Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities, 2014). The highest number of respondents reported neurological damage at 99 percent of victims surveyed. In addition, substance abuse numbers and contact with treatment centers was also reported. It showed nearly 85 percent of victims had some kind of substance abuse and only 57 percent, despite being abused in many ways, ever had any contact with a type of clinic. With educated healthcare personnel, victims are more likely to be identified, rescued and able to recover.

Awareness and education will always be the keys to eradicating the problem of human trafficking throughout the world. Whether empowering vulnerable individuals, especially children, prone to be victimized into the sex tourism industry in the Caribbean, or educating healthcare professionals to identify victims of gang sex trafficking victims in the United States, the focus on the supply will always produce long term, more sustainable results in combating sex trafficking. Yet despite rescue, recovery, education and preventative measures, a change in cultural mindset must occur if real change is to be brought about. Kimberly Kotrla concluded in “Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in the United States” that even though average Americans would be aware and abhor human trafficking, they are often too tolerant of pornography, teen sex, and media portrayal to fix the issue before it starts (Kotrla, 2010). If we want to live in a society free from sex trafficking, it must begin with the mindset on sex, human life and morals.

  • Proposed Study, Research Questions

My intended research questions take on both quantitative and qualitative research characteristics as well as a comparative factor. In addition, questions take on an explanatory, exploratory and evaluative approach to the subject of the sex trafficking industry. Therefore, my research encompasses additional methods to answer the question about prevalence of sex trafficking in a country comparative format as well as studying the preventative measures in terms of addressing the supply and demand of sex trafficking in the United States and the Dominican Republic.

Questions:

  1. How does sex trafficking compare between the United States and the Dominican Republic? What differences are there? What similarities exist?
    1. My hypothesis is that although sex trafficking takes on different forms that are unique to each country, the prevalence will be similar in both countries when measured based on total number of cases and adjusting for population differences.
  2. What kinds of sex trafficking occur in these countries? Why?
    1. Sex trafficking relates to availability of other resources or correlates with economic activities in the country. Therefore, sex trafficking is tied with tourism in the Caribbean and with drug trafficking, gang activities and online pornography in the United States. In other words, sex trafficking is still based on money.
  3. Which methods do the countries employ to combat the issue? Do they attack the supply or demand? Or both?
    1. The United States, with more resources, programs and private NGOs, will have more programs and combative efforts in place to stop sex trafficking than the Dominican Republic. Most combative programs and initiative in the DR will come from US backed NGOs.
  4. What methods are most effective in combating sex trafficking in these countries
    1. Programs that focus on empowering and educating the supply or victims will be more effective in driving down sex trafficking trends throughout the country than prosecuting and charging the demand or buyers and traffickers.
  • Method or Research Plan

A detailed discussion of how you propose to study the subject, including a justification for your methodological choices.  Probably several pages long.

  1. Data:

My data will mostly focus on personal interviews, NGO and company statistics, as well as government reports including the US State Department Trafficking in Person’s report. The proposed method for gathering this information includes a long term approach to interviews, often using a snowball method to obtain more sources for information. However certain case studies in NGO involvement have been identified as: Operation Underground Railroad and Centurion.

The strengths of the approach rely heavily on a qualitative approach to personal experiences with human trafficking in both case nations, the United States and the Dominican Republic. The data will provide a real perspective on sex trade practices in the nations and compare prevalence of sex trafficking practices in both countries. The weakness lie in the snowball approach and individual interviews, the perspective will certainly be limited and flawed. The greatest disadvantage to the qualitative approach is no generalized conclusions can be drawn from individual experiences. As the uniqueness of the events in the sex trafficking business cannot perfectly overlay with another, no uniformed conclusion will come out of the study. Instead the study will highlight what has worked for individuals and organizations as well as what has failed.

  1. Measurement:

Two measurements will be primarily be used to track key components of the study. First, archival data used primarily from two main sources: (1) the Trafficking in Persons report and (2) NGO year end statistical reports. Second, the interview data will be measured in preventative measures including: education materials available including seminars and courses, social media campaigns, informative websites and flyers as well as hotlines for victims and witnesses to report potential trafficking occurrences.

  1. Sample:

The populations to be studied include: Sex traffickers, buyers of sex trafficked victims, victims to sex trafficking and law enforcement or NGO agencies working to prevent or combat sex trafficking in the United States and the Dominican Republic. I will take a sample of focusing on Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles and the cyber world for the United States. In the Dominican Republic interviews and data will come from Santo Domingo. The cities are targeted large cities to get a higher population as well as defined hot spots for human trafficking by previous studies. The sample, although not representative, highlights the areas where human trafficking flourishes. As the study is more focused on qualitative story telling of weaving individual examples together to form an understanding of the supply and demand in the sex trafficking business, generalizability will be difficult.

  1. Analytic Plan:

In order to get an honest comparison, trafficking instances, preventative measures and combating the issue will compare the United States to the Dominican Republic based on prevalence accordingly to population density. As the United States as a whole has a much higher population, the density of urban areas can be more directly compared to urban areas in the Dominican Republic such as Santo Domingo. Data points, however, as indicating by the specific aims and hypothesis, will be different as sex trafficking takes on different shapes depending on the environment and economy in the region. Therefore a numerical standardization of the data would be impossible and instead the study will be presenting the results individually and allowing the reader to make comparisons of the findings from each country.

  1. Timetable
1 week 1 month or less 6 months 9 months 1 year
Find willing participates in NGO and law enforcement agencies to report on sex trafficking supply and demand practices Establish contacts in the DR for traffickers and victims Finish reports, interviews and data collection from the DR Finish reports, interviews and data collection from the US Collect and analyze all data, convert data to representative, displayable reports.

 

  1. Preliminary Results:

No preliminary results at this time.

  1. Budget:

The budget for this research requires a long-term plan. As the research will include first-hand accounts, we will need travel and living costs for researchers.

Dominican Republic:

The average cost of living according to Investopedia estimates the cost of living in the Dominican Republic as $1,000 a month. Research would require at least 6 months of in country investigation time in the Dominican Republic with $6,000 in living cost per person, in addition added expenditures for high cost of gaining access to higher end tourist industry in the area would add $10,000 in expenditures for the 6 months. Average plan and travel cost per person would be estimated at $1500.

With a team of three individuals the total Dominican Republic budget for research is: $32,500.

The United States:

Living costs in the United States would be significantly higher and varied depending on cities, gangs selected to track, pornography industries selected or law enforcement agencies willingness to cooperate on giving first hand data. Therefore, travel costs and research costs must be estimated.

With a team of three researchers working in the United States for 6 months to gather the data and gain first-hand accounts from traffickers and victims, as well as law enforcement and NGO agencies working to combat the issue, the costs of travel and investigation could be estimated at $30,000.

In addition, the total budget needs to account for $7,500 of miscellaneous expenditures.

Total Budget Requested: $70,000

  1. Ethical Considerations:

Precautions in this research are simple, yet vital to the study. The two precautions come from the three main subject groups to be studied: (1) victims, (2) buyers and traffickers, and (4) federal or NGO undercover agents.

As the different groups pose different sensitivity issues, I will address them individually. First the victims will be kept in a confidential status, giving no information that could identify the victim at any time throughout the study. In addition, all victims must give consent, with full disclosure on the intent and purpose of the study.

Buyers and traffickers are under a different paradigm, yet the precautions for the purpose of the study will be similar. As information from this group is essential for determining sex trafficking strategies, self-incrimination protection must be offered through protecting anonymity and full disclosure on the information used from these interviews, with consent by the individual to give the information.

Finally, law enforcement agents and NGO agents engaged in sting operations or undercover, active operations must have both their identity and their operational information kept completely confidential. In addition these organizations will be recommended having either a public information officer present or training on what information can and cannot be shared to assist in our study.

  1. References
  • Belser, P. (2005). Forced Labour and Human Trafficking: Estimating the Profits. Cornell University ILR School, 1-21.
  • Bernat, F. P. (2010). Human Trafficking: The Local Becomes Global. Women and Criminal Justice, 20(1-2), 2-9.
  • Brennan, D. (2005). Methodological Challenges in Research with Trafficked Persons: Tales from the Field. International Migration, 43(1-2), 35-54.
  • Cabezas, A. L. (2004). Between Love and Money: Sex, Tourism, and Citizenship in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Signs, 29(4), 987-1015.
  • Central Intelligence Agency. (2016, January 1). CIA World Factbook. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from Dominican Republic: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/dr.html
  • Herold, E., Garcia, R., & DeMoya, T. (2001). Female tourists and beach boys: Romance or Sex Tourism? Annals of Tourism Research, 28(4), 978-997.
  • Kerry, J. F. (2016). Trafficking in Persons Report 2016. U.S. Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government.
  • Kotrla, K. (2010). Domestic minor sex trafficking in the United States. Social work, 55(2), 181-187.
  • Langberg, L. (2005). A Review of Recent OAS Research on Human Trafficking in the Latin American and Caribbean Region. International Migration, 43(1-2), 129-139.
  • Lederer, L. J. (2014). Sold for Sex: The Link between Street Gangs and Trafficking in Persons. The Protection Project Journal of Human Rights and Civil Society, 1 – 20.
  • Lederer, L. J., & Wetzel, C. A. (2014, Winter). The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking and Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities. (J. Levin, Ed.) Annals of Health Law, 23(1), 61-91.
  • Moya, A. E. (2004). Power games and totalitarian masculinity in the Dominican Republic. Interrogating Caribeean masculinities: THeoretical and empirical analyses, 68-102.
  • Operation Underground Railroad. (2016). Mid-Year Report: January – June 2016. O.U.R. Rescue. Salt Lake City: O.U.R.
  • Patty, K. (2005, June). What’s Love Got To Do With It? Transnational Desires and Sex Tourism in the Dominican Republic. American Anthropologist, 107(2), 276 – 318.
  • Refugees, U. N. (2000). Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. New York City: United Nations Human Rights.
  • Salt, J., & Stein, J. (1997). Migration as a Business: The Case of Trafficking. International Migration, 35(4), 467-494.
  • Schumacher, G. (2010). Culture Care Meanings, Beliefs, and Practices in Rural Dominican Republic. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 21(2), 93-103.
  • Simon, R. J., & Hepburn, S. (2010). Hidden in Plain Sight: Human Trafficking in the United States. Gender Issues, 27(1), 1-26.
  • Taylor, J. S. (2001, August). Dollars are a Girl’s Best Friend? Female Tourists’ Sexual Behaviour in the Caribbean. Sociology, 35(3), 1-20.
  • Trump, D. J. (2017). Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking. The White House. Washington DC: United States Government.

Anti-Human Trafficking: Which Tactics are Most Effective?

Caleb Larkin – IAGE 6900 – Major Research Project – April 14th, 2017

Anti-Human Trafficking: Which Tactics are Most Effective?

Introduction

Anti-human trafficking organizations throughout the world focus on two main efforts for combatting against traffickers: (1) Rescue and Prosecution efforts as well as (2) preventative measure through education programs. My research involves the investigation into which tactics are more significant in combating human trafficking. The core of my study will be to highlight the necessity to educate potential trafficking victims limits the “supply” of those tricked, seduced or deceived into the sex trafficking trade. In eliminating the supply through simple education tactics that can easily be followed to prevent abduction or deception, the eradication of human trafficking will not vanish immediately, but will dwindle and die out over time.

In studying these two measures, rescue efforts come from two sources: Governmental and Non-governmental organizations (NGO). As the research is comparative study, the case study countries included: The United States, Cambodia – representing South East Asia, and Colombia – representing Latin America. Preventative measures are more difficult to collect on an entire country basis. NGOs take on the brunt of the work in educating and promoting anti-human trafficking efforts in individual countries. Therefore, individual organizations will be used as case studies in preventative measures.

Because the demand, which may never be completely eradicated from out of the world or even in these areas of the world, meaning that traffickers will continue to conduct their operations because there is an actual market for people to buy sex slaves, my research will focus on empowering and enabling the “supply.” Such research will be more effective, as the minds, feelings, emotions and motivations of victims are more easily understood by the general public. The information the individuals living in these standards can share will be invaluable to limiting the sex slave trade. Knowledge and proliferation of the knowledge, both to potential victims and to first world citizens, is the key to causing a change.  

Variables

Methods to combat human trafficking: preventative or rescues. In addition, location will be a variable considered. Individual organization data, experiences and expertise will weigh in on preventative measures.

My analysis will be structure by doing the comparison using items of measurement. Combative Efficiency Measures Include:

  • Victims rescued
  • Prosecutions
  • National reports on sex trafficking trends

Preventative Efficiency Measures Include measuring organizations that:

  • Informing the public about the pervasiveness of sex trafficking in their area
  • Identifying and empowering vulnerable groups
  • Local law enforcement practice changes/improvements including legislation implementation.

Rescue and Prosecution Efforts – Governments

United States

John Kerry said in the TIP report for 2016 that “if there is a single theme to this year’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, it is the conviction that there is nothing inevitable about trafficking in human beings. That conviction is where the process of change really begins—with the realization that just because a certain abuse has taken place in the past doesn’t mean that we have to tolerate that abuse in the future or that we can afford to avert our eyes. Instead, we should be asking ourselves—what if that victim of trafficking was my daughter, son, sister, or brother?” (U.S. Department of State, 2016).

The United States defines trafficking as “sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.”  The Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) is a United States State department report that gathers data on trafficking victims and prosecutions throughout the world. In 2014, the report stated that 10,051 prosecutions of human traffickers were brought to court, 4,443 convictions occurred in that same year. In contrast 2015 had a spike of almost double the prosecutions at 18,930, with 6,609 convictions. The trend suggests an added measure of focus, particularly in the United States, to combat sex trafficking through legislation, prosecutions and convictions. The victims identified also saw a huge leap from 44,462 to 77,823 in 2016 (U.S. Department of State, 2016).

The International Labour Organization reported in 2012 that 21 million people are victims of forced labor. The ILO indicated that as many as 4.5 million of the forced labor victims are also subjected to forced sexual exploitation. As many as 1.5 million victims exist in the United States and Canada. Although the region has a relatively low number of victims in comparison to other areas of the world, “the prevalence rate (number of victims per thousand inhabitants) is highest in the Central South Eastern Europe and Africa regions at 4.2 and 4.0 per 1,000 inhabitants respectively, and lowest in the Developed Economies and European Union at 1.5 per 1,000 inhabitants. The relatively high prevalence in Central and South Eastern Europe and CIS can be explained by the fact that the population is much lower than for example in Asia, while reports of trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation and of state-imposed forced labour in the region are numerous” (International Labour Organization, 2016), forced sexual exploitation in the United States is far more prevalent than commonly believed.

The prevalence comes from the profitability. The Urban Institute reported in 2014 that sex economies in cities such as Atlanta, Dallas, Denver Kansas City, Miami, Seattle, San Diego, and Washington DC in the United States ranged from $39.9 to $290 million (Dank, et al., 2014). With such a marketable economy covering child pornography, escort services, street and online prostitution, sexual exploitation and human trafficking is expected rise if not combatted by laws, prosecutions and rescues. The United States works on a global scale to prosecute and rescue human trafficking victims. Human Trafficking Hotline in the United States reported that in 2016 over 7,500 cases of human trafficking, with 5,551 of those specifically tied to sex trafficking (Polaris, 2016).

The US is facing new challenges. “Traditionally, traffickers have subjected women and girls to sex trafficking in brothels, bars, and massage parlors; however, in an attempt to better conceal their crimes, some traffickers have changed tactics and now exploit victims in hotel rooms and private apartments, making them harder for law enforcement to detect” (U.S. Department of State, 2016). The three-fold mission of the United States focuses on the prosecutions, convictions and rescues. The TIP reported 9,661 victims rescued in the Americas, the majority of these victims came from Latin American countries, yet with assistance in legislation, enforcement, and prosecution from US based organizations.

The United States government still takes a trafficker focused approach to the issue of human trafficking around the globe. The report still focuses on prosecutions and victims identified, but does little to reintegrate victims into society or educate vulnerable people about human trafficking dangers. The United States government, however, does work closely with many organizations throughout the country who work more directly with victims and provide education courses to vulnerable populations. “Although human trafficking affects every demographic, a common factor across all forms of modern slavery is the victims’ vulnerability to exploitation. Systemic social, cultural, and economic policies or practices may marginalize or discriminate against individuals and groups because they are poor, are intellectually or physically disabled, or because of their gender or ethnicity. People may lack access to health and legal services due to their status or language barriers; and some, such as communities in situations of crisis and children, may not be capable of protecting themselves” (U.S. Department of State, 2016).

South East Asia – Cambodia

Susan Coppedge said “this year’s Trafficking in Persons Report focuses on strategies to prevent human trafficking around the globe. As always, the Report analyzes governments’ prosecution, protection, and prevention efforts; but this year we feature ways governments can identify people most at-risk and reduce their vulnerability. The more governments understand the needs of these populations, the better they can partner with civil society to support communities and educate individuals to prevent their being exploited” (U.S. Department of State, 2016).

The ILO’s 2012 estimated of 21 million individuals throughout the globe are victims of forced labor, also stated that 11.7 million of the victims reside in South East Asia. The report also conclude that the illegal profits exceeded $150 billion. The greatest region for both profits and victims showed in South East Asia. “The Asia-Pacific region records an estimated 11.7 million trafficked people, by far the highest figure of any region in the world. Within Asia-Pacific, the Greater-Mekong Sub-region (GMS) encompassing Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam features some of the most extensive flows of migration and human trafficking” (Domínguez, 2015)

Cambodia, as a case study country, representing the region, has a population of over 15 million people. Literacy rates are as low as 26 percent of the adult population and nearly 20 percent of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day. “The lives of children in Cambodia are also challenging with 36.1% of children working as child labour and 31.4 percent of children receive inadequate care” (She Rescue Home, 2015). The factor of low education, poverty and high child labor exploitation create an environment ripe for human trafficking exploitation.

Even though human trafficking spans any government, country, economy and education level, the “supply” generally comes from poverty stricken and freedom restrictive countries, where law enforcement is weak or does little to prevent victims from either willingly or unwillingly get abducted into the sex trafficking industry. “Cambodia is ranked 14th in the world for modern slavery with an estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year, 22 percent of human trafficking victims are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, of whom 55 percent are women or girls” (She Rescue Home, 2015).

The TIP reported that 6 percent of teenage girls and 5 percent of teenage boys had at least one reported experience of sexual exploitation or abuse. The issue is compounded with rape cases, where the majority of the victims in the country are children, the average age for each victim is 12 years old. Almost two-thirds of children in the country also reported knowing another child who had been “While the majority of child sex offenders are locals, the magnitude of Cambodia’s cases of child sex tourism makes it a popular destination for offenders” (U.S. Department of State, 2016). Cambodia, ranked as a tier 2 country by the TIP, is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.

In East Asia and the Pacific, prosecutions rose from under 2,000 in 2014 to almost 3,300 in 2015. Convictions also rose from under 1,000 to over 1,730 in 2015 with nearly 14,000 victims identified. Over the last eight years new or amended legislation had remained stagnant at three or four implementations. However, in 2015 the legislation to address this issue in the region increased to ten new or amended laws. Cambodia shows significant progress in the last year in doubling victims rescued and showing huge increases in prosecutions, convictions and amended or new legislation. Yet despite the efforts 14,000 victims a year only incorporates .12 percent of trafficking victims in the area. Even with prosecutions, where one conviction could lead to up to 100 victims escaping exploitation, does not tilt the odds into law enforcement’s favor. Although the prosecution and rescue efforts are completely essential for individuals rescued and upholding the law to prosecute criminal activity, to make a more statistically significant impact, a supply education route must be taken to cut off the supply before they become a victim.

Government supported initiatives suggested for Cambodia include: “initiate more stringent monitoring and enforcement measures to better regulate the recruitment, placement, and protection of migrant workers going abroad; enforce criminal penalties for labor recruitment companies engaging in illegal acts committed during the recruitment process, such as debt bondage, detention of workers during pre-departure training, and recruitment of workers younger than 18; sensitize law enforcement authorities and policy makers to the prevalence of trafficking of adult men, especially in fishing, and make more services available to male victims within NGO shelters and establish witness protection provisions specifically for trafficking victims” (U.S. Department of State, 2016). In additional to all these focused efforts, Cambodia must find a way to proactively educate and identify groups vulnerable to trafficking. Public awareness campaigns need to target sex tourism from both the supply point of view to help children and parents avoid being victimized and applying strict laws to foreigners engaging in sex tourism with locals, especially children victims.

“The Government of Cambodia demonstrated mixed progress in its law enforcement efforts against trafficking crimes. The 2008 Law on the Suppression of Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation explicitly addresses trafficking offenses through 12 of its 30 articles. The law prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with other serious crimes, such as rape. During the current year, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) reported 102 prosecutions resulting in 62 convictions, compared with 20 convictions during the previous year. Of the 102 cases, 49 traffickers were prosecuted under the human trafficking law and 32 under the penal code and Law on Aggravated Circumstances” (U.S. Department of State, 2016). Prosecutions efforts are evidently increasing in Cambodia, suggesting law enforcement cooperation to combat the legality of the issue, after the crime has occurred. However, without pervasive programs to warn, educate, prevent, and inform vulnerable groups such as children, and without increase in general education, economic opportunities and gender equality focus, law enforcement will continue to fight the results instead of the causes of human trafficking. 

South America – Colombia

Colombia, representing Latin America as a case study for human trafficking, ranks as a tier 2 country for being a source and destination country for sex trafficking of men, women and children (U.S. Department of State, 2016). Insight Crime estimated that around 70,000 individuals are trafficked or becomes victims for human trafficking in Colombia every year. In part due to Colombia’s high number of groups that are at high risk for human trafficking. The TIP suggests that displaced persons, Afro-Colombians, those with disabilities, as well as those who live in areas where criminal activity, drug trafficking or production is high, or where rebel or terrorist organizations thrive. InSight Crime found the Valle de Cauca and the coffee region were the highest areas for numbered of individuals kidnapped for sex trafficking purposes (Parkinson, 2013).

The TIP confirms this analysis by stating that “sex trafficking of Colombian women and children occurs within the country and Colombian women and children are found in sex trafficking around the world, particularly in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia. Authorities reported high rates of child prostitution in areas with tourism and large extractive industries, and sex trafficking in mining areas sometimes involves organized criminal groups” (U.S. Department of State, 2016).

Colombia, with an environment of rebel guerrilla warfare, gaining funding from drug profits and sex trafficking, the recommendation for improving starts with cleaning up the current scene. The TIP suggests Colombia work to “provide more trafficking victims access to shelter and specialized services by increasing funding for NGOs and government entities” (U.S. Department of State, 2016) .The country has a poor history of prosecutions, with police reporting only 9 anti-trafficking operations with 26 prosecutions as well as 176 possible trafficking cases throughout the country in 2015. Convictions, especially based on the number of estimated victims, are low. Only five transnational sex traffickers and two Colombian traffickers were convicted, down more than 50 percent in compared to recent years (U.S. Department of State, 2016).

Colombia’s sexual exploitation law, Article 188 A prohibits sex trafficking with a punishment of 13 to 23 years in prison and up to 1,500 times the monthly minimum wage. The law can be applied to sex trafficking, sexual exploitation and rape cases. Yet with so few convictions and even fewer statistics on victims identified and rescued, Colombia must rely on nonprofit organizations to promote both preventative measures as well as rescue efforts.

Preventative Efforts – NGO Case Studies

Operation Underground Railroad

Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) is a nonprofit organization operating globally to “shine a light to the world on the global epidemic of child sex trafficking” (Operation Underground Railroad, 2016). The organization focuses on recovering and rehabilitating youth from the horrors of human trafficking, by both conducting rescue operations and providing long-term, in-country recovery aftercare. O.U.R. works with local law enforcement to prosecute trafficking offenders worldwide. Operation Underground Railroad presents many unique advantages in tackling the problem of human trafficking around the world, yet they also face significant challenges with their actualization evolution.

O.U.R. reports human trafficking as the fastest-growing international crime. “The average cost for a child for an entire night is $300. If the child is a virgin the price is raised to $1000. The average age a child is first trafficked in America is 13 years old” (Operation Underground Railroad, 2016). The reality of human trafficking presents a drastic need for an organization to fight back in eradicating the rampant issue.

Among the worst offending countries are locations where O.U.R. conducted some of their first operations including: Myanmar, Haiti, and Cameroon. However other areas of the world showed unprecedented efforts to purge human trafficking in their borders. As many as 20 nations improved their TIP tier ranking this year. O.U.R. also conducts operations in many of the improving nations including Colombia, Thailand, and the Philippines (Perry, 2016).

The measure of success is not solely based on decreasing the number of trafficking victims in a country, but also through arresting traffickers. In a 2016 statistical report O.U.R. explains that in three years of operations the organization has assisted in just under 200 arrests. Tim Ballard, the organization’s CEO, said, “the number of arrests has more than doubled [since 2014]. This number is of particular importance because it shows the scalability of eradication and it is how we protect children from being exploited. On average sexual predators have hundreds of victims in their lifetime. By focusing on the arrest of these offenders we are creating a layer of safety as well as a deterrent to show that the local community of law enforcement will not tolerate this crime” (Operation Underground Railroad, 2016). O.U.R,’s midyear statistical report for 2016 showed the organization had conducted 53 operations and rescued over 500 victims in 21 countries since beginning operation in 2014. Operation Underground Railroad may not be large, but their impact far exceeds their manpower or resources.

Operation Underground Railroad has a “C” level team consisting of 11 members (Operation Underground Railroad, 2016). Tim Ballard, the founder and CEO, like most of his ops team, comes from a background in government work. Ballard worked as a Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security under the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force as well as an undercover operative for the U.S. Child Sex Tourism Jump Team. Yet former CIA intelligence officers and Navy SEAL Special Ops personnel are not the only members of Ballard’s team. The management level consists of a chief operating officer, a senior vice president of rescue and recovery, a volunteering coordinator, a marketing director, a corporate partnership director, and a director of aftercare. Each director manages an important aspect in the rescue, recovery and rehabilitation of human trafficking victims.

Although the team consists of only a small operation, including celebrity endorsements and ambassadors, and a board of directors and governors, the organization reported 1,723 volunteers in 2016. The volunteers are those not formally recognized as team members or full or part time employees of O.U.R., but local individuals across the nation giving of their time and talents to the organization in any capacity. Organizational technology centers help extend O.U.R.’s reach even further. The first Child Exploitation Targeting Center of Excellence opened in North Carolina in 2016, with plans to expand and open additional centers throughout the world. The CET-COEs help develop new software and make it readily available to law enforcement agencies “in their investigations by leveraging information from known pedophiles to find victims and their perpetrators” (Larkin, 2016). Such a partnership with law enforcement gives the organization a significant advantage to expand their network.

However, the biggest challenge O.U.R., just like other organizations throughout the world face, is simply a lack of resources. Their team is small and their operations are individual-based, barely rescuing a noticeable fraction of the 20 million human trafficking victims world-wide. They talk in hundreds of rescues, against millions enslaved, which often makes the battle appear to be a lost cause. Yet Operation Underground Railroad focuses on the individual children saved from their operations, recognizing that saving one life is a success. O.U.R. takes additional steps to partner with organizations at every step in the process. From the 16 foreign and domestic organizations who assist in rescue operations, to the 16 organizations that coordinate long-term aftercare efforts, and finally to the fundraising corporate partnerships and sponsors which total 22 businesses and foundations, O.U.R. does receives much needed help as they could not operate on their own.  O.U.R. also faces issues with local law enforcement or government cooperation and financing operations.  Without the comparatively limitless resources available in government agencies, as many of the O.U.R. jump team members are used to, the risks force the organization to not be able to act on a potential rescue mission. Operation Underground Railroad is quite limited in personnel and resources, however O.U.R. maximizes the value each individual and resource brings to the goals and purpose of the organization.

Some operational risks will always exist in an organization fighting against international crime. Yet the minimizing of risk through solidifying foreign government support and follow through, increasing corporate partnerships funds for stability in operation costs, and standards for assessing physical dangers for undercover operatives to ensure each team member is exposed to the minimum amount of physical risk, will ensure the organization can continue to keep its three-fold promise. “One, to the children who we pray for daily, we say:  Your long night is coming to an end. Hold on. We are on our way. Two, to those captors and perpetrators, even you monsters who dare offend God’s precious children, we declare to you: Be afraid. We are coming for you. And three, to those who have read this far, we plead with you: Donate to our cause. Donate. We can’t do this without you” (Operation Underground Railroad, 2016). 

Global Centurion

Global Centurion is another organization working to fight against human trafficking throughout the world. The organization uses “a business model of supply, demand, and distribution to help people understand human trafficking” (Lederer, 2015). The group explains that the trifecta of operations, focusing on the supply or the people being bought and sold, the distribution or the perpetrators motivated by financial gain, and the demand or the buyers or johns who fuel the market by purchasing individuals for sex trafficking purposes, allows for a “tripartite model for intervention” (Lederer, 2015).

Yet Global Centurion decisively focuses on the demand side of this market or the buyers. “Without demand, the human trafficking industry would collapse, for it is the demand for commercial sex, cheap labor and human organs that drives traffickers to recruit, transport, harbor, obtain and provide victims” (Lederer, 2015).

In order to fight the demand, law enforcement and government agencies must be involved in the process. Global Centurion partners with the U.S. Department of Defense Combating Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) Office, which provides trainings for the military to combat trafficking throughout the world. “Over the last two years, as the training became mandatory, it has reached 94% of personnel in all four branches of the military. In 2015 we updated specialized training for Acquisition and Procuration Workforce; Military Law Enforcement; and a Refresher Course for those who took the General Awareness Training. As a result of this training, DoD has seen an increase both sex and labor trafficking reports, and has assigned investigators to work on both compliance and criminal cases” (Lederer, 2015).

Global Centurion reports not rescues and operation numbers such as O.U.R. in its annual reports, but instead has an education focus with reporting 10 speaking engagement events the organization attended to promote awareness on human trafficking. Global Centurion also engages in research projects to better inform and train law enforcement as well as educate the public at large. In 2015 the organization worked on projects such as: “The Link between Organized Crime and Trafficking in Persons” which focused on understanding how gangs in the United States and elsewhere use human trafficking to exploit vulnerable populations for financing their operations, mainly through the sex trade which produces millions of dollars in annual revenue each year. The group also produced “The Health Consequences of Human Trafficking”, “International Human Trafficking Case Law Database” and the Department of Defense cooperation effort to institute Combating Trafficking in Persons trainings. The organization hopes to fight change through education, both educating vulnerable populations on how to avoid potentially dangerous trafficking situations and working with governments throughout the world to enact legislation, improve training and better identify potential buyers to cut down the demand for human trafficking throughout the world (Lederer, 2015).

Graphs and Tables:

Preventative Efforts

Informing the Public

As holds true with any movement, in order to gain moment individuals must be educated on the issue and then be willing to act. The US Department of State lists as the number one way an individual can help fight human trafficking is to “Learn the indicators of human trafficking so you can help identify a potential trafficking victim. Human trafficking awareness training is available for individuals, businesses, first responders, law enforcement, educators, and federal employees, among others” (U.S. Department of State, 2016).

For the individuals to be aware of the issue and vigilant in keeping eyes and ears open to help identify victims, they must learn of the issue and what indications of human trafficking include. Many campaigns on social media throughout the world, but often concentrated in the United States include: Fight the New Drug, National Human Trafficking Prevention month, #notinmycity and many more. The social media campaigns often use the same mediums the traffickers do to seduce and deceive victims, as well as the same platform buyers use to exploit individuals for sex trafficking purposes. Making the campaigns visible in such platforms can have a strong effect in reaching all three points of the sex trade: the supply or victim, the distributor or trafficker and the demand or the buyer.

Running widely used informative campaigns on social media, increasing visibility into the issue by providing law enforcement and private trainings on how to identify victims or traffickers and providing general seminars to shed further light on the issue can reach more individuals in a preventative measure to decrease both demand and supply.

Identifying and Empowering Vulnerable Populations

In order to combat the supply, in a preventative measure, both identifying patterns of previous victims and empowering vulnerable populations becomes essential. The TIP reports that “in countries that lack formal procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations—including migrant laborers, those without identity documents, seasonal employees, and women in prostitution—law enforcement may fail to identify victims and instead penalize them for crimes committed as a result of being subjected to trafficking” (U.S. Department of State, 2016). Therefore, the TIP argues that public awareness campaigns only constitute a portion of preventative measures to combat human trafficking. The public at large can greatly increase awareness, diligently provide law enforcement, healthcare personnel and other organizations actively working to rescue and rehabilitate victims as well as prosecute criminals, but the most important population that needs to have a greater awareness and focused education on human trafficking are vulnerable populations.

Vulnerable populations include: those in poverty or desperate situations, children, immigrants, refugees, child soldiers and workers as well as those in areas of high government corruption, conflict areas or government instability.

The TIP states, “Vulnerable populations are increasing with refugee crisis throughout Europe and even into the United States. In addition sexual orientation, religious affiliations, disabilities and simply desperation often lead individuals into a vulnerable position for traffickers to exploit them” (U.S. Department of State, 2016). Educating these populations through widespread information dissemination can prove difficult. These populations are often poorly educated, have limited access to the internet, phones, and other tools for obtaining information. Flyers can be ineffective, and government agency action is often received with skepticism and fear. Nonprofit organizations tend to have the greatest success for getting information to the vulnerable population and therefore empowering with knowledge through incentivized and targeted seminars, local connections to religious, cultural or neighborhood groups.

The Polaris Project released data on their mode to help empower both vulnerable populations and the general public through allowing a 24/7 hotline to report trafficking. In 2015 there were 5,554 reported cases of human trafficking in the United States. The highest number of these cases, 4,136 or about three fourths of all the reported cases, were linked to sex trafficking. The hotline is available in every state and has reported 145,764 contacts resulting in 31,659 cases since its conception in 2007 (Polaris, 2016).

Hotlines empower individuals to report and receive aid in any non-emergency situation within the United States. The TIP also offers a hotline that allows individuals to get help, report a tip, or simply learn more about human trafficking. Nonprofits around the world also use the hotline tactic to help victims in desperate situations. DoTERRA donated a fragrance “Hope” oil to Operation Underground Railroad, who then distributed the oil to vulnerable popuations such as children and young adults around the world with O.U.R.’s logo and the human trafficking hotline number printed on the inside of the label. The hotline number is hidden behind the label. O.U.R. Director of Corporate Partnerships, Doug Osmond, explained how the “Hope” oil uniquely aids trafficking victims. “The traffickers won’t take it away because it smells good, but it gives the victims a tool to get out,” Osmond says. “It’s amazing what a difference a simple ‘tool’ such as this can make!” (Larkin, DoTERRA Offers Hope to Survivors of Sex Trafficking, 2016).

(U.S. Department of State, 2016).

Preventative Measures Conclusion: Legislative Practices

The case nations: The United States, Cambodia and Colombia, pursue vastly different efforts to prevent human trafficking in their countries. With the exemption of the United States, NGOs take on the great majority of preventative measures, whereas government programs are rarely present to help educate and empower vulnerable peoples. Although it may be impossible to determine the number of seminars devoted to educating the public on human trafficking, how many individuals were in attendance or the long reach effects of joint campaigns with government agencies such as the World Day Against Human Trafficking in July 2015, the preventive measures may be most evident in trafficking trends within the country.

Global trends of prosecutions skyrocketed in 2015, yet there was only a small increase in the number of actual convictions, suggesting that many more traffickers were identified, but not sentenced. The trend is not necessarily a negative finding, although the conviction rate decrease significantly, the total number of traffickers convicted was higher than any other year. Likely the data would suggest preventative measures, such as education and hotlines, are working and many more victims are being rescued and traffickers identified than in recent years. In fact, it could easily be argued that the years past, traffickers didn’t even get the “scare” of prosecution.

(U.S. Department of State, 2016).

InSight Crime suggests that Colombia’s laws against human trafficking are not inadequate, but “without the political will to enforce them they are meaningless. What’s more, given that many of the victims are transported outside of Colombia, it is not enough for there to be tough laws in the source country alone” (Parkinson, 2013).

(U.S. Department of State, 2016).

Similarly in Cambodia, legislation and support for anti-human trafficking laws abound. The Cambodian government in 2016 allocated a half million dollar budget with 72 government employees dedicated to anti-human trafficking cases, including rescues, prosecutions, convictions and awareness campaigns, mostly run jointly with NGOs. Yet with all this focus, with high number of reports through anti-trafficking hotlines and many leads, prosecutions in the country amounted to only 69 suspects and convictions were as low 19 sex traffickers and 24 labor traffickers or less than half of the prosecutions. Sentencing for traffickers is also comparatively light with most serving between two and 15 years in prison (U.S. Department of State, 2016)

The United States has enacted several legislation changes since 2000 to combat human trafficking including: Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and Reauthorizations in 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2013. The most recent reauthorization amended the Violence Against Women Act and strengthen programs for prevention, including adding an emergency response provision in the State Department and increased state and local cooperation to ease prosecution efforts (Polaris, 2017) .The global law enforcement trend showed in 2015 of the nearly 19,000 prosecutions for human trafficking around the world, only a third (about 6,600) are convicted. Around the world 30 new or amended legislations were enacted in 2015 as well. The Americas conviction rate is slightly above the world average at almost 38 percent. Despite the many additional resources with federal, state and local law enforcement resources, the United States still lacks the ability to convict the majority of prosecuted sex traffickers.

Although practices in the United States may appear more focused on enacting real change, the country follows similar practices of legislation lacking teeth as Cambodia and Colombia. The awareness campaigns, often propelled by special interest groups or NGOs, both in the US and abroad, can enact change in behavior practice and push to end the sex trafficking industry globally, but it is an uphill battle with a long road ahead. Both combative and preventative measures must continuously be enacted to limit supply and prosecute those creating a demand or selling the demand.

Results

Although the total number of individuals protect by preventative education, identification, and personal empowerment could never be accurately measured, it can be easily inferred that the preventative programs reach a higher number of individuals and could effective diminish the supply before any real changes could be made on the demand through rescue efforts. However, combative efforts of rescues and prosecutions are more significant in changing the lives of those individuals involved. Whether they are a victim rescued, a trafficker prosecuted or a buyer convicted, the long-term change for that individual is arguably more penetrating than the general public listening to a seminar, watching a documentary or sharing a social media article.

Works Cited