2.2. Theoretical Framework
According to Kurtines and Silverman (1999) theory is comprised of an explanatory statement which used to help explain and understand relations among variables, how they operate and the processes involved. As they further argue the importance of theory lies in its ability to assist the researcher to identify and organize the connections among various phenomena that may seem unrelated (cited in Kawulich 2009: 37). In this section of the thesis will be described the theories that provide the theoretical framework for analyzing the human trafficking from the wider perspective connected to the global migration.
Existing Theoretical Concepts in Human Trafficking
There is a huge lack of theoretical concepts in human trafficking researches in general. As many commentators on the field argue, there are virtually no attempts made to analyze and understand the issue of human trafficking for labor exploitation within the exiting international migration theories. It has been said by different commentators on the field that the existing theoretical frameworks describing the concepts of human trafficking are not well developed; and most of them are criticized for referring only to the aims of those anti human trafficking policies or to the causes of human trafficking. And as Morehouse (2009: 75) argues these descriptions are too narrow and would be an insufficient theoretical framework on which to base a comparative country analysis on human trafficking.
2.2.1 The Rational Choice Theory of Migration
Though migration is not a prerequisite for human trafficking to occur, human trafficking involves the movement of people across national and international boundaries. In this case human trafficking can be seen as one segment of the broader human migration. There are a variety of theoretical approaches that has been developed to explain the factors that cause people to migrate. Theories in this category thrive to answer the question why migrations begin. Among others neoclassical economics or the rational choice theory is probably the earliest and the most known migration theory. According to Douglas and his colleagues there are two models of neoclassical economics, the macro economics and micro economics models (Douglas, 1993). For it focus on the individuals? decision and choice to migrate, the latter model is used in this research.
The rational choice theory or the micro model of neoclassical economics can be used to explain human trafficking from both the economic and social perspectives. This theory explains human behavior and the choice people made. In general, according to Douglas et al (1993), the basic argument behind this theory is that people as a rational being want to maximize economic and social gain and minimize risk. The rational choice theory framework can help to explain human trafficking from both perspectives of the trafficking victims and the traffickers.
According to this theory, people decide to migrate because a cost-benefit calculation leads them to expect a positive net return, usually monetary, from movement. Migration is conceptualized as a form of investment in human capital. People choose to move to a place where they can be most productive, given their skills; but before they can capture the higher wages associated with greater labor productivity they must undertake certain investments, which include the material costs of traveling, the effort involved in learning a new environment and culture, the difficulty experienced in adapting to a new labor market, and the psychological costs of cutting old ties and establishing new ones (Douglas et al 1993: 435). Victims of trafficking originally make the decision to trust the traffickers in hopes that they will accumulate money and have a better way of life in another country. In this case, according to the rational choice theory, trafficking victims were originally rational for they have decided to move with the traffickers to another country where they expect a better way of life. Because traffickers are professionally acquainted with deceiving talents, they are extremely persuasive and can easily persuade individuals to migrate. As far as the golden offers promised by traffickers concerned, the risk of trusting a trafficker seems small compared to the huge rewards in the future. Similar to the decision of the trafficking victims, the decision made by the traffickers is also rational. To win the trust of individual victims and to generate a huge amount of money from the trafficking of them, the traffickers deceive and persuade individuals with false promises.
In this theory rational decision making, free will, and cost benefit analysis are the three major variables that used to build an integrated framework to explain human trafficking. The way in which human traffickers select their victims is based on the cost-benefit analysis of the trafficking and vulnerability of potential victims (Lutya and Lanier 2012: 557). Human trafficking is a crime against humanity, and it is a direct affront to human dignity. Rational choice theories postulate that criminals like human traffickers are rational beings who make decisions to commit crime (trafficking persons) based on the costs and benefits involved in the process of crime perpetration (Lutya and Lanier 2012: 557).
Potential migrants estimate the costs and benefits of moving to alternative locations and migrate to where the expected discounted net returns are greatest over some time horizon. Based on this theory it can be concluded that, if the quantity of the expected net returns to migration is positive for some potential destination, the individual migrates; if it is negative the individual stays; and if it is zero, the individual is indifferent between moving and staying. In theory, a potential migrant goes to where the expected net returns to migration are greatest than staying at home (Douglas et al 1993).
2.3. Prevalence of Child Trafficking
Child migration as one mode of human movement is not uncommon phenomena throughout the world. Children as the integral part of human beings subjected to displace from their local environment to other areas for one or more reasons. An investigation under taken in Nepal by Singh cited in Gautam (2005) stated as the movement of human beings are observable from place to place since the beginning of human life, possessing a long lasting event due to interrelated dynamic factors that belong to social, economic, psychological, political ,institutional and/or more due to pushing or pulling incidents.
Likewise child migration, child trafficking is a global phenomenon that afflicts national advancement, and draws the attention of international communities in order to remediate its persistence. It is the conviction of several scholars that involves smuggling human beings especially women and children from place to place without the consent of the person.
According to UN Convention (2000) stated under Article 3, child trafficking seems to encompassthe whole processes that may endanger children and their life whether the negotiations, the forces utilized, the mechanisms of transportation and other activities and attempts to pursue the objective. The problem, child trafficking, describes a pattern of human rights violation affecting at least one million children today – probably many more. It is more concerned withthe business of taking children away from their homes and families, transporting them elsewhere, often across frontiers and even to other continents, to be put to use by others, usually to make money (Dottridge, 2004;Plan Togo, 2005).
According to a survey conducted for this research in co-operation with UNICEF country offices and in consultation with many local stakeholders, trafficking is a recognized problem in at least 49 per cent of African countries. The number of countries reporting trafficking in children is two times the number of the countries reporting trafficking in women. In all the countries reporting trafficking in women, child trafficking is also reported. The survey shows that child trafficking is usually perceived as more severe than trafficking in women. In West and Central Africa trafficking is recognized as a problem in more than 70 percent of countries. In more than one in three countries in the region the problem is perceived as severe or very severe. In East and Southern Africa trafficking is identified as a problem in some 33 percent of countries.
2.4. Understanding child trafficking
An understanding of human trafficking requires an analysis of the operation of, and interaction between, a range of factors that combine to make individuals vulnerable to trafficking. In order to understand human trafficking in its broad social, economic and political contexts, it is argued that it is important first to identify and know the interaction between such structural factors or variables of trafficking as economic deprivations, social inequality and demand for inexpensive labor force and adjacent factors of trafficking like loose national and international legal regimes, poor law enforcement, corruption, weak education campaigns etc. putting it in another way, identifying and knowing the interaction between the push and pull factors will help us significantly in understanding the nature of human trafficking (Newman and Cameron 2007: 11).
Trafficking vulnerable children and young people is a violation of their rights to protection from exploitation, to play, to an education and to health, and to family life (ILO-IPEC, 2002). Under international laws, trafficking is a crime involving the movement of children and their exploitation. The movement may be voluntary or coerced; it may be across borders or within a country; and the exploitation can take several forms like sexual, labor, physical, etc.(ILO-IPEC, 2001).
2.5. Factors Influencing Child Trafficking
The causes of trafficking in persons are various and often differ from one country to the other and even at intra-country level. Trafficking is a clandestine and complex phenomenon which is often driven by such social, economic, cultural and other related political and legal factors. In search of better conditions there is always a desire to migrate among impoverished individuals.This desire is often exploited by traffickers to recruit and gain control on the potential victims.There are some local conditions that make individuals want to migrate in search of better living, such as poverty, oppression, lack of social and economic opportunities, lack of human right and other similar conditions (UNODC 2008: 454).