Posted by Matt Friedman
As many of you have commented on my posts, corruption indeed often plays a major part in the flourishing of the global crime of trafficking – the buying and selling of humans.
 
Here’s one succinct definition: ‘Corruption is a form of dishonesty or a criminal offense which is undertaken by a person or an organization which is entrusted in a position of authority, in order to acquire illicit benefits or abuse power for one's personal gain.’
 
Through bribes, many trafficking crimes are able to thrive without interference, and many legal cases don’t go through as officials are paid to look the other way or drop a case.
 
Corruption can also enable irregular migration by facilitating the passage of victims past border control officers.
 
There would be much less trafficking if the rule of law was more strictly enforced and more proactive legal systems and procedures were present to address this systemic problem.
 
But corruption is not something that can be tackled in a short period of time. Solutions need to be found and tailored within existing local systems. Here are 3 typical corruption-related statements I have collected over the years:
 
‘Whenever the police came to do a raid, we knew about it beforehand. When the team arrived, one of the officers would come to the door. All we needed to do was to hand him an envelope full of money. He would then just turn around, and the problem went away. There is nothing that a wad of money can’t buy. Everyone, I mean everyone, has their price.’ 
~ Brothel owner
 
‘I stopped doing any human trafficking cases. They never workout. Every time we get close to a conviction, a threat is made or a bribe is offered, or something else. No case in our office has ever been completed. Not one. It is a waste of time. I hate saying this, but it is a sad truth.’ 
~ Barrister in India
 
‘We know that people are being exploited on (fishing) boats. Everyone knows this. But if we try to fix things, the whole business could be ruined. Who knows what we will find? This wouldn’t be good for our economy. I just wish these newspaper attacks would stop. Other places have this problem too.’ 
~ Government official
 
Having worked in countries all over the world, I have come to realize that corruption techniques and approaches appear to be universal. I have always been surprised by how much consistency there is related to this criminal endeavor. And it is everywhere – in every country.
 
Because of the vast amount of money generated by human trafficking, corruption is always going to be a problem. With this in mind, it’s important to find solutions from within existing systems.
 
Each and every bureaucracy has positive loopholes that can be used to keep the legal system honest and functioning with integrity. Finding them can be a challenge. Once identified, amazing solutions can follow.
 
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