The world today has reached its peak of economic interdependence and globalization. In this paper, I’ve used the definition of globalization as the “implementation of neoliberal economic policy reforms (deregulation and privatization policies) by governments and an increase in the worldwide flow of goods, services, labor, and capital” (Goodhart 183). With an increase in globalized activity at the international level, dozens of countries around the world have engaged in various free-trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the European Union (EU), and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN); and just recently, the World Trade Organization (WTO), recently passed a milestone trade agreement for over 150 countries, requiring a lowering in barriers for trade which is projected to add $1 trillion to the global economy (Reuters).
Additionally, globalization has also touched countless people at the individual level, many of whom don’t realize the origins of the goods they consume. For example, a person in the United States may get up for work, roll off on his/her bed and stand on his/carpet. This person will then don a shirt and pair of pants, then proceed to breakfast consisting of a cup of coffee with two spoons of sugar along with a chocolate croissant, and make a few calls on his/her cell phone before going off to work. In a globalized era, that carpet may have been woven in India or Nepal. The attire the person wore for the day was made in a factory in Vietnam or Bangladesh. The coffee beans in the person’s may have come from Honduras, the sugar from Brazil, and the cocoa beans for the croissant may have originated in the Ivory Coast. Finally the cell phone, along with most types of electronics, would not function without a mineral known as tantalum which has huge reserves in Africa, primarily the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
While the notion of how economically interdependent and globalized countries are today is truly astonishing, many of these goods may have also been harvested, mined, or manufactured through slavery. The apparel and carpet may have been woven in sweatshops while the sugar, cocoa beans, and coffee beans could have been harvested by enslaved workers, and the tantalum, a globally recognized conflict mineral (Global Witness, “Conflict Minerals”), may have been mined by people who were coerced by militant groups at gun point. In reality, the proportion of slave-made products is quite small when compared to legitimately manufactured goods (Bales 137, 2010), but nonetheless in an era where countries and industries are at the height of technological and industrial sophistication, the mere thought in the amount of goods and services created from slave labor is truly deplorable in such an advanced era of human history.
Today, there are roughly 27 million people who are enslaved in various sectors from working in sweatshops to illegal mining sites to providing sex in brothels, and much of this slavery has indeed been caused by globalization. For instance, when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, many of the post-communist states then strove to become the more free-market states modeled by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In order to transition to a more capitalist system, the IMF mandated that these countries adopt various monetary and fiscal policies including the reduction of funds for social welfare and to allow the market to dictate prices of goods and services rather than the state. These changes soon resulted in massive migration influxes as people migrated from rural to urban areas in the region, along with migrating to the more well-developed Western European nations. Through these migrations, a large number of people, especially women, ended up in the hands of traffickers and became slaves (Kara 24-26, 2009). In India, when then-Finance Minister Manmohan Singh introduced neoliberal reforms in the early 1990s, the country experienced vast economic growth, but only a scarce amount of which trickled down to the poorest in India, which consist of 80% of the population. As a result of the trickle-down policy, many destitute Indians were forced to work in brothels and sweatshops to make ends meet as the overall national standard of living rose (Kara 29-30, 2009).
There are other countless examples of how globalization may have worsened the well-being of many people for corporate and public gain. I personally have seen firsthand the negative impacts of globalization such as gross social inequality and squatter settlements in areas such as India and the Philippines. As a result, there have been backlashes and major anti-globalization protests, most notably the protest known as the ‘Battle in Seattle’ in 1999 where over protestors marched in Seattle protesting the World Trade Organization (WTO) summit and “pushed [for] environmental, labor, and third world development causes” and made accusations “that the [WTO summit] trampl[ed] social standards in the name of trade” (Khan 1, New York Times).
Despite the downsides of globalization, several trade models and projections show that “unrestricted trade expands each country’s consumption opportunity…and [obtains] consumption combinations that couldn’t be produced domestically” (Yarbrough 62). In other words, countries’ overall welfares and levels of production and consumption are better off in through unrestricted trade. Therefore, no matter how much globalization may facilitate the process in trafficking in slavery, it would not be in the best interest of the country as a whole to impose restrictive measures. Even economists who have been critical of globalization, such as Dani Rodrik, argue that fairness in trade, which includes the trading of goods brought about by slavery, “do not warrant any attempt to impose [a country’s] norms or institutions on others” and cannot “be used as an excuse for trade restrictions” (Rodrik 39).
Furthermore, introducing certain trade restrictions can actually worsen the situation in slavery. In 1993, Senator Tom Harkin wanted to help Bangladeshi girls who were enslaved and exploited in sweatshops. So he introduced legislation which would have banned imports made by those under the age of fourteen. As a result, the Bangladeshi factories fired vast numbers of the girls as their companies’ profits suffered greatly from the legislation, and many girls were then forced into a life of sexual exploitation (Kristoff and WuDunn 17). Ideally, what policymakers, business executives, activists, government officials, and other professionals can do is embrace globalization and development, rather than resist it, and use it to their advantage to reduce slavery and trafficking.
This paper will be divided into three main parts. The first will provide an overview of slavery analyzing its basic supply and demand factors and reasons as to why some fall into the trafficking and slavery cycle and others do not. The second will provide several trade models explaining why countries have shifted to globalization and how that relates back to trafficking and slavery. Finally the third section will emphasize how globalization and development can be utilized to reduce such problems and provide potential solutions which governments and private firms can employ.
II. Analysis of Slavery and its Business Model
Slavery can be a complicated model to understand as there are multiple variables from cultural barriers to the country to the type of slavery. For simplicity and relevance to the paper, this section will outline some of the major parts of the slavery model, provide case studies, and analyze the specific components in which globalization has exacerbated slavery and where globalization could be used advantageously.
When first looking at slavery and trafficking, a serious issue is the confusion in understanding and defining the problem, which can hamper law enforcement and abolitionist initiatives. For a simple understanding, Siddhartha Kara, a top expert on slavery, provides two simple definitions of slave trading* and slavery:
Slave trading: process of acquiring, recruiting, harboring, receiving, or transporting an individual, through any means and for any distance, into a condition of slavery or slave-like exploitation.
Slavery: process of coercing labor or other services from a captive individual through any means, including exploitation of body or body parts (Kara 5, 2009).
In addition to definitions, the other aspect of slavery and trafficking is that it is a business and like any business today, it follows the basic system of supply and demand. Generally, the trading aspect serves as the supply side while the slavery represents demand side. When broken down, some of the fundamentals on the supply side include “poverty, bias against gender or ethnicity, lawlessness, military conflict, social instability, and economic breakdown” (Kara 23, 2009). On the demand side, the factors include elasticity of demand, profit, and in the case of sex trafficking and exploitation, male sexual demand (Kara 33-34, 2009). Regarding demand, the big reasons as to why a lot of companies will employ cheaper labor is that it simply minimizes production costs. For firms this would reduce costs of the good or services, resulting in higher demand, which maximizes profits. For male sexual demand, key reasons behind sexual exploitation include the vast gross gender inequalities in various countries. For instance, “China has 107 males for every 100 females, India has 108, and Pakistan 111” (Kristoff and WuDunn xv). At the same time, certain cultural traits play a role as “countries with the most straitlaced and sexually conservative societies, such as India, Pakistan, and Iran, have disproportionately large numbers of forced prostitutes” (Kristoff and WuDunn 6). The way culture affects this situation is that “since young men in those societies rarely sleep with their girlfriends, it has become acceptable for them to relieve their sexual frustrations with prostitutes” (Kristoff and WuDunn 6).
Moreover, the supply and demand relationship is broken down even further as there are three steps within the two components: acquisition, movement, and exploitation (Kara 5, 2009). For acquiring slaves, there are five general methods used by traffickers: deceit, sale by family, abduction, seduction or romance, or recruitment by former slaves (Kara 6, 2009). While knowing the five factors is important in understanding slavery, this paper will address the first two as they are the more pertinent factors regarding globalization and development.
Deceit entails the false offer of a job or an income-generating opportunity to acquire a slave. In these cases, the people who fall victim to deceit are those who are desperate due to lack of economic opportunity. As stated earlier in the supply-side, this desperation can be triggered by numerous instances from social instability to environmental disaster. Some case studies include Myanmar and the Balkans, where military oppression and ethnic cleansing have forced people into refugee camps. Others include India and Albania where traditional customs and laws such as the caste system and the Kanun I Leke Dakagini have impeded minorities’ and women’s rights, forcing them into them to a life of servitude (Kara 7-9, 2009). To those who fall into those various circumstances, the idea of moving to a city or a well-developed country and earning money to support one’s family is impossible to resist, thus making them gullible. The sale-by-family factor implies similar conditions as deceit where issues such as poverty, desperation, and displacement compel families into selling their children often for as little as $20 (Kara 8, 2009).
For the movement of slaves, the general macro-movement is either from a poor, usually rural area to a more well-developed urbanized area in a country, or from a developing country to a developed country. Unfortunately, one can argue that this is another part of the slave-trading model in which globalization has facilitated slavery. One of the components of globalization is an increase in the inflow of goods and services, which includes the removing of trade barriers to reduce transportation costs and expedite flows from one country to another. As a result, the breaking down of barriers has also expedited the network of organized crime and trafficking around the world (Kara 11, 2013).
Finally is the issue of exploitation. In the world of slavery exploitation can take various forms. In bonded labor, the most extensive form of slavery which affects the global economy, people are exploited as they are coerced to work at paltry wage levels in order to repay massive loans they have acquired from informal credit loaners such as “exploitative local moneylenders, landowners, shopkeepers, and work contractors” (Kara 7, 2013). In many cases, the exploited, which consist of mainly unskilled laborers and those who belong in the lowest socio-economic status possible, accumulate debts which their children, and sometimes grandchildren, sometimes have to bear (Kara 5, 2013). For Sex Slavery, “slaves are raped, tortured, starved, humiliated, and drugged for both the pleasure of traffickers, but to also make them more submissive” and docile when working under pimps (Kara 12, 2009).
As stated in the beginning of the section, there are far more variables and topics when discussing the model of slavery and business. However, this section was to provide an overview and identify components in which globalization can alleviate the problem, which will be discussed later in this paper.
III. Analysis of Trade Models, Theories, and Results
One of the biggest results from globalization has been outsourcing. In a more open and inter-dependent global economy, various Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) have outsourced offices and plants around the world to maximize gains and profits. As a result of this outsourcing and development plans, there have also been massive migration movements for new jobs and opportunities. Through these migration patterns, traffickers will employ various methods to acquire slaves—as listed earlier. This section will focus on two basic trade models—Ricardo and Hecksher-Ohlin, how they work, and how it explains migration, along with trafficking.
The Ricardo Model, simply put, compares two countries and two basic goods, say Good A and B. According to the Ricardo Model, the country which can produce Good A at a cheaper price should specialize producing that good while the other country specializes in producing Good B by default (Das, 2013). Theoretically, when countries specialize under the Ricardo model, the overall national output is much greater versus a system without specialization as there is a higher Price-Production Frontier, or level of production, and an indifference curve, or level of consumption. However, no model is perfect and like many models, there are assumptions. The assumptions in Ricardo are that:
First, assume perfect competition between the markets. Second, each country has a fixed endowment of resources that are fully employed and homogeneous. Third, the firms’ technologies in these countries do not vary. Fourth, transportation costs are zero so consumers are indifferent when purchasing products. Fifth, factors of production such as labor and capital are completely mobile among industries but immobile across countries (Yarbrough and Yarbrough 20).
Similarly, the Hecksher-Ohlin assesses trade between two countries but focuses more on labor-intensive goods, such as apparel and carpets, versus capital-intensive goods such as computers and automobiles. In similar circumstances, the country which is either the more labor-abundant country or can produce labor-intensive goods at lower costs should ideally allocate more resources into producing that good and vice versa. Though there won’t be full specialization unlike the Ricardo Model (Das, 2013).
When looking at the national, production, and consumer welfare breakdown after trade and specialization, production welfare often falls below the projected equilibrium due to outsourcing of certain businesses. This is a partial reason as to why there are large migration, along with trafficking, patterns as people who have a certain skill set will migrate to another country or area to find job opportunities to fit their abilities. The other reason is the issue of cheap production. To reiterate, a country would ideally specialize in a good which is cheaper to produce domestically. One way in which globalization plays a role in slavery in this concept is through a Race to the Bottom where less-developed countries (LDC) and various firms will “compete to lower tax, wage, labor, unionization, and social welfare standards” to increase domestic production (Goodhart 185). When addressing the assumption on zero transportation costs, firms will establish Special Economic Zones (SEZ) near international borders to minimize transportation costs. However, these zones also increase international trafficking activities as these factories can be hubs for illegal migrants.
Another aspect is purchasing power parity (PPP). When countries specialize in a certain good, they will raise the domestic price of that good so more of it can be exported rather than consumed domestically (Das). This also plays a part in slavery as certain groups of people, such as the Dalit** group in India, cannot afford rising price of certain necessities such as food or medicine. Thus, they are forced into taking out loans from exploitative groups, which then push them into a cycle of bonded labor (Kara 11, 2013) while others sell their bodies through sexual exploitation to make ends meet.
Lastly, a more paradoxical reason which can explain the issue of slavery is immiserizing growth, theorized by international economist Jagdish Bhagwati. Bhagwati analyzed how some countries increased production of a good that they specialize in, but resulted in the lowering of national welfare (Yarbrough and Yarbrough 288). This is mainly due to the fact if a country is a large or small producer. In this case, ‘large’ does not refer to the size of the country, rather how big of a global producer it is for a particular product or service. When a large country produces a certain good, there are higher numbers of exports, which decreases the international price of the good. If the international price decreases, then the country’s overall export earnings fall drastically resulting in a negative net profit for the country (Bhagwati 55). Immiserizing growth typically leads to higher unemployment and poverty rates, which then thrusts people into the slavery and trafficking cycle.
Like the slavery business model, international trade is another complex topic of models and case studies. However, with a general understanding of the Ricardo and Hecksher-Ohlin Models, one can at least comprehend how these models explain why countries will engage in free trade and how traffickers and slave-traders take advantage of these migration patterns.
IV. How Globalization and Development Can Combat Trafficking and Slavery
The previous two sections have emphasized the overall view of slavery and its specific breakdown along with several trade models which can explain trafficking and globalization in a globalized world. They have also pointed out certain factors in which neoliberal economic policies can also lead to such problems. This section will now refer back to both slave-trading and economic trade aspects and see how globalization and development can be utilized in combating this issue. As an economics major, I have learned two simple principles of economics (there are many more) which people can connect to. One is that people respond to incentives and the other is that there are trade-offs in any decision. In this section I will combine those two principles and outline three broad and overlapping methods which governments and firms can employ: Education, Expansion in Development and Investment, and Microcredit Initiatives.
The concept of education has become a clichéd term when learning how to prevent slavery. Simply put, “one of the best defenses against slavery is education [as] many people who are enslaved are tricked into it” (Bales 27, 2007). When looking back at the supply side of slavery, many people are drawn into the world of exploitation out of desperation and poverty. Often, these are people who lack certain job skills and a formal education. In other cases, those engaged in bonded labor are unable to keep track of their debit and credit, allowing their exploiters to keep them in bondage for extended periods of time (Kara 20, 2013).
Here, globalization can play a role as governments and firms can invest heavily in education with each side having its own positive gains. Developmental economist Jeffrey Sachs has argued that impoverished countries lack six different kinds of capital. Two of those six are knowledge and human capital which relate to “skills needed to be economically productive” and “the scientific and technological [knowledge] that raises productivity in business output” (Sachs 244-245). This clearly means that with a more well-educated population, a country’s economy will flourish more. The other advantage with an education, especially with a job-training program, is that with the issue of outsourcing firms and offices, workers will lose their jobs but having certain skills sets can help to provide new jobs while disincentivizing them from falling into the slavery cycle.
From the governmental perspective, this serves as a major incentive for policymakers to invest more in education as one of the ideal roles of government is to improve a country’s welfare. Several education economists at the World Bank have identified case studies to further education. A successful example is in Turkey, which has expanded its number of years of compulsory education from 8 to 12 years while also attempting to improve educational quality. As a result, “schools have become less segregated and inequality of access and educational performance has been reduced remarkably…[and with] expanded to social services in education,” Turkey has been able to increase its per capita income three-fold, making it the 16th largest economy in the world (Naqvi). Additionally, having a more well-educated labor force can also make a country more enticing for foreign direct investment (FDI)—when MNCs build offices and factories in a foreign location or when foreign governments purchase stock of the domestic country. An example of FDI was Costa Rica where Political Scientist Layna Mosley stated that an increase of FDI in Costa Rica “ could be associated with increased respect for workers’ rights, especially as firms [shifted] from labor to technology production” (Mosley 211) which required skills workers to operate the machinery.
The other incentive for a government to invest more in education is that it can provide a means to counter immiserizing growth. For a country to “avoid [immiserizing growth] is to diversify products and exports..[and] push in other directions” (Bhagwati 55), and what better way for a country to diversify its economic goods and services than with a large population of well-educated and innovate thinkers?
When looking at public versus private funding of education, Sachs argues that ideally the government should finance school rather than the private sector otherwise the private sector would tend to monopolize such services and would overcharge for their use (Sachs 252). However, not all governments possess sufficient funding for education projects and issues such as corruption compound the ineffective financing for education. Hence, through globalization, the private sector can also have incentives to invest more in education. When once addressed on the issue if corporate policies should address human rights concerns, economist and Nobel Prize Laureate Milton Friedman stated: “there is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits” (Goodhart 189). On one hand, this can be used as a means to justify exploiting cheap labor, but in the long run would not be ideal as “if a [firm] is caught, prosecuted, and convicted, there are costs associated with that conviction.. [along with] fines, asset forfeiture, and restitution payments” (Kara 205, 2009).
In addition to costs, engaging in these activities such as slavery can shatter a firm’s corporate image. A recent MIT research study on ethical consumer choices noted “a growing set of studies has provided evidence of peoples’ willingness to pay for ethical attributes of products and ethical behavior by firms…and have [identified] a substantial segment of shoppers willing to support fair trade standards by voting with their shopping dollar” (Hainmueller and Hiscox 6). Hence, in addition to paying fines and restitution, a damaged corporate image can greatly impact the company’s marketability, resulting in potentially low, or even negative, net profits.
For more ethical businesses, Friedman’s view on corporate policies can also mean providing education and job training to people. After all, which would provide a business a higher output: a cheap labor force that uses simple, primitive tools or a well-educated force which can utilize various technologies for higher yields? Clearly the latter would be more effective. Also, private sectors can boost their image and marketability by investing in more social issues. Such was the case for Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, which wired $100,000 to an impoverished school and China and helped to provide scholarships for those students (Kristoff and WuDunn 168-169).
There is no question that education is a service which benefits all and is a major weapon in preventing slavery. Furthermore, policymakers and economists recognize that living in an ever-globalized era requires more educated individuals to help make countries and businesses more competitive which can thus incentivize further public and private investment in the field.
Expansion in Development and Investment:
In the summer of 2012, my family and I went to Masai Mara, Kenya. When we arrived at our lodge, a four-hour drive away from Nairobi, I saw how the area had full-running electricity, clean water, and efficient plumbing—all in the middle of nowhere! There was also a fully employed staff consisting of hotel managers, housekeeping staff, chefs, and animal tour guides. When looking back at my experience in Kenya, I can imagine how the companies which expanded their investments in this area have brought the entire staff into the workforce. Imagine what would have happened had this hotel not built a site or if the tourism company did not invest?*** It would be likely that a large number of the staff would be unemployed and if they were unable to find alternative jobs, they would likely fall into the hands of traffickers and slave-owners. In fact, “basic economic development can grow from antislavery measures and that a powerful antislavery strategy can bring economic development” (Bales 217, 2007). Therefore, this section will stress how expansion in development and investment can also play a role in fighting slavery and trafficking.
In this era of globalization, there has been a massive race for MNCs to expand their companies around the world, particularly countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America which have high levels of poverty and corruption but are also prone to issues such as civil strife. As I mentioned earlier, one way in which people are drawn into slavery are those who have been displaced due to domestic race, religious, or ethnic conflicts. Globalization can address this as “MNCs can directly break down insular interests and stabilize internal relations within developing countries” (Goodhart 184). At the same time, governments that intend to attract foreign investment “may have to reshape traditional policies that benefit local interest groups..[and] may be encouraged to establish and respect property rights, create a non-discriminatory hiring/employment environment, and invest in social services and infrastructure” (Goodhart 184). Regarding the reshaping of traditional policies such as non-discriminatory hiring, governments have an additional advantage when hiring women, who are typically more prone towards slavery. For instance, Botswana’s former president Festus Mogae argued that “women do work better…in the Botswana civil service, women are taking over…[and that] women perform better in Africa, much better” (Kristoff and WuDunn 195) while former UN Secretary-General Kofi Aannan once stated that “there is not tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women” (Kristoff and WuDunn 185). This can create a win-win situation as an overall government can improve its situation by hiring more women, along with minorities, to create a more diverse labor force while women are less likely to be enslaved. To summarize, economic liberalization and FDI can create jobs, break down certain cultural barriers, minimize risks of civil strife, and incentivize governments to hire more making the acquiring of slaves more difficult.
In addition to attracting more MNCs and establishing neoliberal policies, governments, and firms to a great extent, can also expand investment and development projects into the rural areas. As I mentioned earlier, one of the two major macro-movements in trafficking is rural to urban, primarily because the idea of moving to an urban center promises one with a job. The other viewpoint is that the cultural issues, which sometimes persecute women and minorities, are more influential in rural areas, thus incentivizing rural-to-urban migration with the likelihood of becoming enslaved. Thus, when expanding development and investment, a major strategy to reduce poverty is to boost public investments in rural areas to insure residents there have benefits of basic infrastructure and social services, and that it attempts to corrode cultural aspects which persecute certain groups and hinder social mobility (Sachs 185).
Regarding specific actions of MNCs, there has repeatedly been mention of them providing jobs and stabilizing internal conflicts; but for further emphasis on preventing slavery and trafficking, MNCs can “exceed their corporate mandate and finance programmes supporting local infrastructure projects or invest in efforts to combat local problems” (Goodhart 184). A notable example was the Rana Building Collapse in Bangladesh in April 2013. After the collapse, several retailers made initiatives to assist Bangladesh. One of the biggest was the European-led Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which consisted of over 100 retail members who use over 1,600 Bangladeshi apparel factories (Greenhouse). These retailers engaged in binding agreements to assist in redevelopment of Bangladesh’s factories along with financing safety upgrades and providing compensation to victims. The accord also has two major union federations, IndustriALL and Uni Global, to assist the Bangladeshi workers in establishing unions and other means to prevent work exploitation (Greehouse). Now regardless of whether or not these retailers have done this purely for intrinsic or marketing purposes, the fact of the matter is that these organized have certainly invested in combating local problems, which has reduced any risk of tension in the country.
The final strategy in how globalization can combat slavery and trafficking is the expansion of microcredit initiatives through both government and private sectors. Throughout the developing world, microcredit initiatives have helped many people—especially women, break out of poverty. While microcredit is already in action, it should be made more easily accessible to larger populations—especially in the rural areas. When analyzing bonded labor, a serious reason as to why many fall into debt bondage and exploitation is that they lack access to formal credit markets (Kara 7, 2013) while others lack formal or tertiary education to attain high-paying jobs. Hence, microcredit initiatives can be used as a solution to establish small-paying sustainable businesses. At the macro and micro-economic levels of microcredit, there are several beneficial trade-offs for the government, for private firms, and most importantly for people.
The idea of having a globalized world and society isn’t just for businesses and countries to compete against one another, but for other new businesses to start and flourish. From the governmental perspective, this can provide incentive as expanding microcredit can lead to more borrowing and starting up of businesses, leading to higher levels of consumption and higher GDPs accompanied by lower unemployment rates. In Bangladesh, “microfinance helped women set up small businesses that did everything from growing herbs and sewing to selling clothes to setting up small workshops and factories…[and] recent research by the UN suggests that 40% of all poverty reduction in Bangladesh can be attributed to microfinance aimed chiefly at women.” (Bales 221, 2007). Microfinance has also been linked to falling birth rates (Bales 221, 2007)—another positive trade-off for a government which endures rapidly growing populations (Bales 221, 2007).
For the private sectors, this expansion of microcredit would be advantageous as well. Having a plan to expand a vast network of microcrediting can incentivize governments to reduce the red tape which prevents certain banks and companies from expanding into certain countries. This would allow more banks to employ more people upon expansion, which would allow for the development of future businesses, thereby reducing poverty even further. Additionally, with banks expanding more loans to the impoverished and those in rural communities, the invaluable tool of marketing oneself for social justice can once again be utilized.
Lastly, from the general population’s perspective, microcredit and small business development, serves as a means to bring oneself from poverty. The other advantage for microcredit is that it too can break down certain cultural barriers. Earlier I mentioned the male-demand-for-sex factor in the sex slavery model. Part of the reason this factor results from the gross gender inequality in many developing countries, where cultural aspects generally place a higher emphasis on males. Yet in Pakistan, the Kash Foundation, an organization which provides microfinance to women, observed significant changes in addition to increased household money supply and businesses. While roughly 34% of these women moved above the poverty line after microcredit expansion, more astonishing facts showed that 54% of these women said that “their husbands respected them more, and 40% said they had fewer fights with their husbands over money” (Kristoff and WuDunn 191). From these statistics, it is clear that microcredit initiatives can also provide women better acceptance in society, and gradually it could even counter-act gender inequality with more families being content with having daughters instead of sons. In the long run, this could even counter the macro-scale gender inequality and the male sexual demand-factor in sex trafficking. It all begins with providing women a means of business and empowerment.
Globalization is not a perfect solution. While it may have improved the global economy and the national welfare, it has indeed led to vast levels of exploitation. However, as stated in Part III, countries are ideally not moving towards less free-trade, as they are better off nationally. Rather, when looking at the very axiom of slavery, trafficking, and exploitation, much of it is brought about by poverty, desperation, and cultural oppression. Hence, globalization can help to alleviate much of these problems as stated in Part IV as foreign direct investment, business expansion, and investing in education can help stabilize entire countries, bring people out of poverty, and provide a means of social status for women and minority groups—all of which can disincentivize people from falling into the hands of slavery and trafficking. Globalization is not a definite solution to rid the world of slavery, considering this atrocious act has been in place for thousands of years. Rather, it can at least be used as a means to sway others away from the risks of becoming enslaved and show itself more as an asset versus a liability when fighting to combat slave and slave-trading.
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