Module 2: Root Causes of Human Trafficking

Fall 2018 - Spring 2019

This module delves into the key dimensions of modern-day slavery. Students will investigate the root causes, common mechanisms for exploiting vulnerabilities, and various concrete manifestations of human trafficking.

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Course materials

Module Materials

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the root causes of modern-day slavery.

  2. Have a grasp of the various mechanisms that facilitate this extreme exploitation, especially concerning vulnerabilities to this abuse.

  3. Recognize the various experiences of human trafficking around the world.

  4. Have a basic familiarity with the relationship between Catholic social teaching and the issues in this module.

 

Discussion Questions

  1. What are the biggest misconceptions surrounding modern-day slavery and trafficking in persons, and why?

  2. Describe the continuum on which various experiences of slavery and exploitation exist?

  3. What conditions (e.g. migration, cultural, social, economic, environmental, etc.) make people vulnerable to human trafficking?

  4. What are the common mechanisms traffickers used to exploit victims? How do they differ in various circumstances? For example, how do force, fraud, and coercion operate in different human trafficking practices?

  5. What is the relationship between Catholic social teaching and the issues in this module?

Primary Resources

Survivor Stories

 

These are three stories of human trafficking victims-turned-survivors that will evolve during the succession of the Modules. They will elaborate on some examples of real life experiences. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 2, 3, 4]

Valencia

Joseph's Sons

Adya

Catholic Relief Services Resources

 

A Crime Against Humanity

This animated video shows how Catholic Relief Services uses a strategy of prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership in its anti-trafficking work.  2:44 minutes. [TAGS: learning objectives 2, 3; discussion questions 3, 4]

A Crime Against Humanity.  YouTube video with commentary from Catholic Relief Services, May 23, 2017.  Web.

 

Exploring Isolated Cases of Modern Slavery: Farmworker Protections and Labor Conditions in Brazil’s Coffee Sector

This policy brief, co-authored by Catholic Relief Services and Repórter Brasil, documents slave-like conditions on 15 coffee estates in Brazil and includes recommendations for addressing the problem, with the goal of bringing the reality of farmworkers into coffee value chain conversations.  42 pages. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 3, 4]

Catholic Relief Services and Repórter Brasil.  Exploring Isolated Cases of Modern Slavery: Farmworker Protections and Labour Conditions in Brazil’s Coffee Sector. Baltimore: Catholic Relief Services, April 12, 2016.  Web.

 

Ending Child Trafficking in India

The video introduces CRS’ Bachpan Project and describes how it works with children and their families to restore lost childhoods and end child trafficking in Bettiah, Bihar.  3:50 minutes. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 3, 4]

Ending Child Trafficking.  YouTube video with commentary from Catholic Relief Services, August 15, 2017.  Web.

A Life Course Approach to Preventing Human Trafficking

 

In this recorded presentation Dr. Angela Reed RSM discusses the unique vulnerabilities and conditions that render people more likely to become victims of human trafficking, especially sex trafficking. To understand her approach to prevention, view minutes 7:10-8:00 and 22:08-50:00. Total presentation: I:33:30 minutes. Keynote Address given on July 11, 2017. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 2, 3, 4]

“A Life Course Approach to Preventing Human Trafficking” presented at Taking a Step Back: A one-day workshop to begin formulating a comprehensive action-framework to prevent human trafficking.  YouTube video of keynote address featuring Dr. Angela Reed, RSM, July 11, 2017.  Web.

What is Modern Slavery?

 

This webpage from antislavery.org provides an overview and examples of the different manifestations of human trafficking around the world, especially labor trafficking. [TAGS: learning objectives 2, 3; discussion questions 3, 4]

“What is Modern Slavery?”  Anti-Slavery: today’s fight for tomorrow’s freedom.  Anti-Slavery International, 2018.  Web.

Mauritania – Slavery’s Last Stronghold

 

This CNN article with photos, documents the long history of slavery in Mauritania and what slavery looks like for people still enslaved there today. Access an embedded 22:53-minute video here. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 2, 3, 4]

John D. Sutter.  “Slavery’s Last Stronghold.”  The CNN Freedom Project Ending Modern-day Slavery.  CNN, March 18, 2012.  Web.

Contribution of Catholic Social Teaching

 

Summary of Rerum Novarum

Rerum Novarum, written by Leo XII in 1891, was the first modern papal document on social teaching.  The fact that it is focused on labor and the rights of workers is an indication of the importance of the rights of workers in Catholic teaching.  2 pages. [TAGS: learning objective 4; discussion question 5]

ACSJC Summary and Discussion Guide: Rerum Novarum (on Capital and Labour).” Australian Catholic Social Justice Council  Web.

 

Summary of Laborem Exercens

Read a short summary of John Paul II’s encyclical Laborem Exercens, written in 1981, on the 90th anniversary of Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum. Published: November 21, 2011. [TAGS: learning objective 4; discussion questions 3, 5]

“Laborem Exercens (On Human Work).”  California Catholic Conference.  California Catholic Conference.  November 21, 2011.  Web.

 

Adult Wars, Child Soldiers

 

The UNICEF book, Adult Wars, Child Soldiers, examines the exploitative practices that child soldiers endure in the East Asia and Pacific regions.  Recommended reading: Pages 4-18.  81 pages. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 2, 3, 4]

Adult Wars, Child Soldiers: Voices of Children Involved in Armed Conflict in the East Asia and Pacific Region.  Bangkok: UNICEF, October 2002.  Web.

The Dark Side of Chocolate

 

This documentary film discusses child labor trafficking in the cocoa industry in different parts of Africa. The film explores child labor from Mali to Côte d’Ivoire and the difficulties of both uncovering and stopping this exploitation. The first half is contextual while the second half provides human stories. 46:31 minutes. [TAGS: learning objectives 2, 3; discussion questions 2, 3, 4]

The Dark Side of Chocolate.  YouTube video with commentary from Miki Mistrati and U. Roberto Romano, June 9, 2014.  Web.

What Do Slaveholders Think

 

In his article “What do Slaveholders Think,” Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, assistant professor of sociology at the University of San Diego, discusses contemporary slavery from the perspective of the slaveholders and what they think about their slaves. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2; discussion questions 1, 2, 3, 4]

Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick.  “What do Slaveholders Think?”  Aeon.  Aeon Media Group, March 23, 2017.  Web.

How to Combat Modern Slavery

 

Kevin Bales, a prominent expert in anti-trafficking efforts, delivers a TED talk about what constitutes modern-day slavery and how being informed about supply chains is a way that people can combat this slavery in their everyday lives. 17:46 minutes. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion question 1, 2, 3, 4]

How to Combat Modern Slavery.”  TED Talk delivered by Kevin Bates, February 2010.  Web.
Secondary Resources

Rerum Novarum: Leo XIII wrote this encyclical on the Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor in 1891.  Source: The Vatican.  Published: May 15, 1891.

Centesimus Annus: John Paul II wrote this encyclical in 1991 to honor the one hundreth anniversary of Rerum Novarum.   Specifically, these 6 pages of Centesimus Annus provide a great summary of Rerum Novarum.  Published: May 1, 1991.

Laborem Exercens: John Paul II wrote this encyclical in honor of the 90th anniversary of Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum.  Source: The Vatican.  Published: September 14, 1981.  

Created by the Human Trafficking Center, the interactive Flow Map of Human Trafficking allows you to choose different countries globally and see different human trafficking destinations to and from the country you select.  Instructions for using this map are here.

In Disposable People Kevin Bales discusses key features of modern-day slavery, including its causes, mechanisms, and various manifestations globally.  Read Chapter 3, “Mauritania: Old Times There are not Forgotten,” and Chapter 5, “Pakistan: When is a Slave not a Slave?”  336 pages.  Access your university library for a copy.  Publisher: University of California Press.  Date: April 23, 2012. 

The Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP), produced annually by the U.S. Department of State, assesses how effectively countries around the world are combating human trafficking.  Countries are placed at different tiers based on their efforts to fight human trafficking, and it suggests ways lower-tier countries need to improve their efforts.  Introductory sections highlight specific aspects of international human trafficking.  Recommended reading based on Report’s pagination: for Overview pages 2-17, 25, 32-33, 38-41, and 44-45; for Survivor Stories pages 5, 7, 10, 14, 16, 35, and 37.  486 pages.  Published: June 2018.

Bales’ Supply Chain Case Study: Kevin Bales’ Blood and Earth talks about modern-day slavery in various parts of the world in terms of its consequences on the natural environment.  In Chapter 3 “City of Rags” (pages 51-64), he discusses the extreme exploitation at the Bisie ore mine in the Congo and identifies the many individuals and organizations participating in the “dirty” supply chain from the mine to our cellphones.  304 pages.  Access your university library for a copy.  Publisher: Spiegel & Drau.  Date: January 16, 2016.