Role of Human Trafficking in Qatar, Vietnam and UK


Human trafficking is a contemporary type of slavery, which entailsthe unlawful trade of individuals for exploitation and financialadvantage. Yearly, millions of people are trafficked in nations allover the world. Human trafficking is a criminal action becausevictims are denied their freedom of movement by being mistreated,exploited and coerced into forced labor or to engage in prostitution.The essay is a critical examination of the role of human trafficking.In specific is the focus in Qatar, Vietnam and the UK.

Role of Human Trafficking


The country acts as the transit as well as destination forindividuals coerced into forced labor. In lesser extremes doestrafficking result in forced prostitution. Research shows that closeto 1.2 million people, making up 94% of the entire nation’s laborforce willingly move to Qatar where they labor as low as well assemi-skilled employees (US Department of State, 2014). The menand women migrate to the country to work in construction jobs,transport industries and work as domestic servants. However, manybecome victims of forced labor. Most susceptible are females workingas domestic servants. This is because their work involves providingservices in private homes where there is no protection fromexploitation by Qatar labor rules. The country also acts as thedestination for females that migrate in search of employment, butlater work as prostitutes. Some of the women are runaway domesticservants that are compelled to become prostitutes by traffickersexploiting their illegal residency status (US Department of State,2014).

Most migrant laborers working in Qatar arrive in the nation afterpaying overpriced amounts to recruiters from their mother nations.Regrettably, some of these recruiters from the labor-sending nationsentice individuals through fake employment agreements. Thesponsorship system of Qatar gives a lot of authority to employers andhence, debt-laden migrants that experience exploitation or that havebeen coerced into migrating to Qatar to work, frequently avoidreporting the perpetrators (US Department of State, 2014).Victims are apprehensive of reprisal, the long recourse procedure,and many lack knowhow about their lawful rights, which makes iteasier for traffickers to exploit their labor. In addition, under thesponsorship structure, employers have the one-sided rights ofcanceling residency permits, making it impossible for employees tochange bosses, and disallow them to depart Qatar (US Department ofState, 2014).

Cases of delayed payment or lack of payment is a major cause ofexploitative labor. Many migrant laborers are as well denied exitpermits, face deportation threats, exposed to dangerous workingconditions and poor living standards. Recent studies by Qatar’ssurvey institute note that in spite of laws restricting the takingaway of passports, 86 to 90% of migrants employees’ passports areheld by their employers (US Department of State, 2014). Themedia and international rights organizations also document theextreme labor exploitation, which results in forced labor for migrantworkers.


The country acts as the source, transit and destination for victimsof human trafficking (, 2006). Men, womenand young girls below eighteen years from Vietnam, are trafficked towork as prostitutes and laborers in different nations across theworld, mostly the Middle East. Vietnam acts as the source nation forindividuals that move to overseas nations in search of work inagriculture, construction, mining, and manufacturing industries.Approximately, the number of Vietnamese working in foreign nationstotals 500,000 (, 2006). Women and girlsare coerced into signing work agreements in overseas nations, whichsubject them to forced prostitution and exploitative labor.Traffickers to brothels in Cambodia, Laos, Europe or China, and otherthird world nations like Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand sell mostvictims (, 2006). In some cases, womenbecome victim through false marriages, where once they move to theirspouses’ nations they are forced to work without pay, or becomeprostitutes.

The country acts as the transit for movement of Chinese children toCambodia. The children are mainly trafficked to work as sexualsubjects for brothels. Vietnam acts as a destination by taking inmigrant women and children for labor and sexual use(, 2006). Victims from marginalized andrural regions that move to urban centers like Ho Chi town and Hanoi,and developing urban centers, are forced to work without pay fortheir employers (, 2006). Although someindividuals willingly move to urban regions seeking work, most areunaware that they will be forced into prostitution and mandatorylabor upon arrival in urban regions. Children trafficking withinVietnam involve forcing the children to become street hawkers wherethey beg in urban centers. There are numerous reasons for humantrafficking in Vietnam. Major contributors are poverty, loweducation, and unawareness about trafficking.

United Kingdom

UK is the destination for people from Asia, East Europe and Africathat become subjects of human trafficking for sexual purposes, forcedemployment and domestic servitude (Symonds, 2012). Governmentresearch notes that the figure of persons becoming victims isincreasing. Trafficking criminal organizations from Vietnam, China,East Europe as well as Nigeria are the major cause of increased humantrafficking in UK. There are diverse types of human traffickingrecruitment in UK. Most of the victims are women that migrate to UKafter being lured into believing they will get better employment, orbetter education opportunities (Symonds, 2012). Traffickers mightemploy sexual/physical force, which causes fear to the victimcompelling them to oblige. The trafficker may also be an individualthat has power over the victim, and in such cases, victims are mainlychildren. Due to the power disparity, traffickers take advantage ofthe children’s vulnerability selling them to the UK to work asdomestic servants or prostitutes (Symonds, 2012).

It is easier for individuals to become victims of human traffickingbecause of the lure of better living conditions in the UK. Most ofthe people trafficked to UK believe that upon arrival they will beworking in hotels, the leisure sectors, or become interpreters(Symonds, 2012). However, upon arrival, their passports areconfiscated and they are threatened, becoming victims of sexualmistreatment and in some instances, the victims provide both laborand still work as prostitutes. It is not possible to identifyindividuals that have been trafficked to the UK, especially in caseswhere they work as domestic servants. This is because working inprivate residents compels the victims to remain silent due to fear oftheir employers in addition, they lack avenues for reporting theirmistreatment.

Reforms to the Laws

The Qatar administration is not in complete compliance with theleast standards towards abolishing trafficking. The high influx ofmigrants seeking better employment makes it easier for them to becomevictims. At the same time, the government is not able todifferentiate between employees that are victims of trafficking orthose that are working legally. Government officials need training onhow to identify individuals that are victims of human trafficking andpossible perpetrators. The sponsorship system is a major contributorto continued human trafficking of victims to work in forced labor. Asemployees progress to live under the sponsorship of their employers,it becomes easier to be exploited. The government needs to rule outor make changes to this system (US Department of State, 2014).This will result in significantly improving endeavors towards theinvestigation as well as prosecuting of traffickers, which makes iteasier to arrest perpetrators, specifically in incidences of forcedlabor. The Qatar government needs to create an anti-trafficking rule,which will make it easier to fine employers that withhold thesalaries and passports of their employees (US Department of State,2014). Such a law will make it possible for migrant workers to getresidency cards within a short period after arriving in Qatar, whichmeans they do not have to live in their employer’s privateresidence, where it is easy to be mistreated.

The Vietnam administration has enacted new anti-trafficking law aswell as a national action plan against human trafficking. However,despite the structural changes, there is no substantial developmentin prosecuting perpetrators or efforts in safeguarding victims.Whereas the administration’s new Anti-trafficking law provides moredescriptions on human trafficking, it fails to impose criminalpenalties to the extra trafficking offenses (,2006). This makes it possible for perpetrators to not be prosecutedfor acts that may have resulted in human trafficking. The law depictsleniency in dealing with trafficking offences. Notably, Vietnameseemployees lack legal recourse for filing complaints in court ininstances when they may have been victims of forced labor or forcedprostitution. Hence, it is easier for their employers to exploit themby failing to pay for the services offered. The Vietnamese governmentneeds to enforce stringent laws that make it easier for victims toreport incidences (, 2006). The reportingshould also result in a fair court procedure where traffickers areprosecuted and detained. Since Vietnam acts as a transit, borderguards need more training on how to detect persons entering in thecountry as victims of human trafficking.

The United Kingdom’s administration has made tremendous efforts inensuring they bring an end to human trafficking. This is apparentthrough laws like the 2002 Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Actand 2003 Sexual Offences Act, which makes trafficking forprostitution unlawful. Another is the Asylum and Immigration Actthat criminalizes any form of human trafficking. However, the countrystill faces challenges in eradicating trafficking due to the presenceof organized traffickers (Symonds, 2012). When criminal activity liketrafficking is organized in groups, it becomes hard to capture andprosecute all perpetrators. The administration should offer moretraining to airlines and law enforcers, which makes it possible torecognize possible victims and traffickers. In addition, thegovernment should enact employment laws that prohibit employers fromexploiting their employees. This includes laws that make it possiblefor victims to report their employers.


Human trafficking is widespread in Qatar, Vietnam and UK. Thenations act as sources of victims, transit and destination. The roleof trafficking is to coerce people into forced labor or prostitution.The widespread incidences of human trafficking depict the need forinternational efforts in avoiding the criminal activity. Countriesshould enact more strict laws that make it impossible forperpetrators to lure victims into forced labor or prostitution. Theselaws must focus on more border checks and employment laws that makeit possible for victims to report perpetrators.

References (2006). Vietnam: The situation.Retrieved from

Symonds, T. (18 Oct. 2012). Human trafficking to UK rising. BBCNews. Retrieved from

US Department of State. (2014). Qatar: 2014 trafficking inpersons report. Retrieved from