Raising a stop sign to human traffic

May 23, 2008

Trade in people is not a new phenomenon, but the modern manifestation of slavery, according to US researchers. However, writing in the Journal of Global Business Advancement, they point out that human trafficking and trade in human organs has intensified with increased globalization. They hope to raise awareness of the issue among the business research community with a view to finding solutions.

It is a tragic fact of life that the world's most disadvantaged people are often the most easily exploited. Seeing greener grass on foreign shores, many are willing to risk everything with a people smuggler and to spend their life savings to be transported across borders with counterfeit documents. They often leave family behind, hoping to send money home, but more often than not end up beholden to the smugglers' associates and enslaved in a lowly job with little pay and poor accommodation, constantly on the look out for the shadow of immigration officials over their shoulder.

Now, Patriya Tansuhaj of the Department of Marketing and International Business Institute at Washington State University, in Pullman and Jim McCullough of the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, suggest that international human trade is essentially the dark side of international business. They claim that the problem has been largely ignored by the international business research community.

"International business academicians can no longer leave the understanding of this phenomenon in the hands of political scientists, sociologists and anthropologists," they assert, "We must be actively involved in providing a more systematic explanation with a clear set of recommendations to governments and the global business sectors."

The researchers suggest there has been a widespread assumption that globalization can only have a positive impact on individuals and societies around the world. This world view is far too simplistic and unrealistic, the researchers say, and ignores the dark side of international business to the detriment of legality and ethics. They cite the example of young Laotians looking West across the Mekong River to Thailand and dreaming of an escape that will give them and their loved ones a new life outside the poverty trap. Illegal crossings facilitated by criminals who trade in people is common here and across borders in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Tansuhaj and McCullough emphasize that trade in human beings is not restricted to individuals trafficked illegally across borders, but involves the sale of body parts and, increasingly, a virtual trade in pornographic images, often elicited under duress.

As such they have devised a general research classification of international human trade problems that will allow social scientists and others to analyze how such trade takes place in the familiar marketing context of product, price, place, and promotion and so develop a clearer understanding of the drives of human trade with a view to finding ways to tackle the problem.

Source: Inderscience Publishers

Explore further: Bribery 'hits 1.6 billion people a year'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Public perceptions of monkeys affected by the media

Feb 25, 2015

The way that monkeys are displayed in the media, such as in human settings and in contact with humans, can have serious effects on the way that the public perceives those species, according to a new study that publishes on ...

Resolve to seek well-being in the new year

Jan 05, 2015

The end of the year is always a time of reflection of what we have done and what we have left undone. And, of course, it's time to start thinking about those resolutions for 2015 and what we will do differently.

How will Google, Apple shake up car insurance industry?

Dec 22, 2014

Car insurance industry, meet potential disrupters Google and Apple. Currently, nearly all mainstream insurers that offer driver-monitoring programs use relatively expensive devices that plug into a portal under the dashboard. ...

Recommended for you

Bribery 'hits 1.6 billion people a year'

Feb 27, 2015

A total of 1.6 billion people worldwide – nearly a quarter of the global population – are forced to pay bribes to gain access to everyday public services, according to a new book by academics at the Universities of Birmingham ...

How music listening programmes can be easily fooled

Feb 26, 2015

For well over two decades, researchers have sought to build music listening software that can address the deluge of music growing faster than our Spotify-spoilt appetites. From software that can tell you ...

Nature journal to begin offering double-blind peer review

Feb 23, 2015

Well known and respected journal, Nature, will begin next month offering researchers who submit their work for peer review, the option of having it done via the double-blind method—whereby both submitters and re ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.