Objectives: Students will be introduced to the problem of human trafficking via an assessment and discussion of human rights.
A. Teacher-led Activity
1. Teachers explain that all human beings are born with certain rights. For example, all humans have the right to be free, to be fed, and to be happy. In 1948 the United Nations met to create a “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” describing these rights in the hope that all nations would work toward ensuring these rights for all of their citizens.
2. Throughout history, humans in different times and different places have been deprived of their human rights. Can you think of some examples?
[slavery in the United States prior to its Civil War, the inability to practice religion under Hoxha, the Holocaust in Germany during World War II, etc.]
3. Can you think of other rights you have just because you are a human being?
4. “Human Trafficking” is something that is happening now in many countries in which girls are tricked and forced into doing something they don’t want to do: become a prostitute. The people who take the girls away are called “traffickers” and treat the girls terribly in order to make a profit. Often, these traffickers will pretend to fall in love with the girl and make a marriage proposal. The trafficker does not really love the girl, though, and never intends to have a normal, loving relationship with her. Once the traffickers take these girls out of the country, they are abused and have difficulty getting back to Albania. Every girl should beware of an older boy claiming to love them and take them away to a better life in a foreign country. That older boy could be a trafficker.
5. Take a look at the attached copy of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Take 10 minutes to read over it and decide which parts of it “human trafficking” violates. Write them down in your notebook.
[In certain respects, trafficking violates almost every one of these articles in terms of the impact it has on its victims, but especially worth discussion are its violations of Articles 1, 3, 4, 5, 13, 23, 25, and 26. Teachers ask students: how does human trafficking violate these articles?
Human trafficking violates a human being’s personal freedom, security, and dignity. Because trafficking violates so many individual’s rights so excessively, it is an issue that relates to all human beings.]
6. If appropriate, the teacher could also discuss that because these rights are violated, the victim is reduced to the status of merchandise which can be bought or sold for money. The victim is therefore “owned” by another person without the victim’s consent and without any legal grounds. Victims are not paid for their work and are physically and emotionally abused. Teachers should try to convey the message to students that, “No one has a right to you or your body, even if they paid money for you.”
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