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‘Coerced begging, hiring kids for jobs of adults witness rise’ ‘Need to redefine human trafficking’

During the closing ceremony of a training course entitled “Role of Security Operatives in Identifying Human Trafficking Cases,” the Chief of the International Organization for Migration” mission Eman Ereiqat emphasized the importance of the just-concluded course. Ereiqat explains that the training course is intended to “raise awareness on the role of security operatives in human trafficking cases.” The IOM mission chief explains further that “other objectives of the course included defining the concept of trafficking and role of IOM in responding to human trafficking reports, in addition to manner of dealing with such crimes” (See Arab Times March 7, 2014). I think that defining the concept of human trafficking is very important for both civil society organizations as will as the general public. Human trafficking takes different forms, and does not necessarily involve trafficking humans across national borders.

For example, according to ( human trafficking refers to “the trade in humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others,[1][2] or for the extraction of organs or tissues,[3][4] including surrogacy and ova removal.[5] Human trafficking can occur within a country or trans-nationally. Human trafficking is a crime against the person because of the violation of the victim’s rights of movement through coercion and because of their commercial exploitation. Human trafficking is the trade in people, and does not necessarily involve the movement of the person to another location.” (Wikipedia).

I think that we in Kuwait need to emphasize the importance of raising awareness about human trafficking in our society. In addition to educating security operatives in human trafficking cases, civil society organizations have an equally important role in tacking human trafficking. For example, there is a need to redefine Human Trafficking to include coerced begging and employing children for adults jobs.
For instance, one of the most controversial issues we currently witness in Kuwait is begging practiced by veil-clad women. One finds such beggars around ATMs, around popular malls and almost always around Mosques! It is not illogical to expect that some of these women who beg strangers for money have been coerced to practice begging. Of course, some of these beggars must be in urgent need for money; however, begging is outlawed in Kuwait.

Moreover, in redefining the concept of human trafficking we need to include mostly Arab expatriate children being forced to practice occupations usually designated for adults. For example, a swift ride around Shuwakh Industrial Area, one will notice the increasing number of Arab children and teenagers working as mechanics, workers in car maintenance workshops ...etc.
The International Organization for Migration needs to take into account the changing nature of criminal exploitation of the weak and the most vulnerable. Human trafficking does not necessarily involve sexual exploitation; but it may include other and more criminal abuses and exploitations.

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By: Khaled Aljenfawi

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