Victimization is the process of acquiring victimhood, or, in other words, the procedure of turning a person into a victim and its consequences. One of the vivid examples of this kind of “transformation” and victimization, in general, is human trafficking to exploit prostitution and provide private services outside the will and desire of the victims themselves. For instance, Mexico is an ideal place for trade in women, where various forms of sexual slavery flourish. Trafficking of women of all ages for their sexual exploitation is a very acute problem for Mexico and worldwide.
The Origins of This Victimization
The development of the sex trade in Mexico originated approximately from the beginning of the civil wars in the American state when poverty, devastation, and anarchic consciousness and behavior prevailed everywhere. Many women and children were subjected to sexual violence and ill-treatment during this period. Shamed by the communities and families of the victims, they were forced to leave the native lands and migrate to Mexico. It is precisely such internal and external phenomena and processes that have led to widespread human trafficking for sexual exploitation in the regions of Mexico. Anyway, someone fell into slavery against the will and someone entirely by chance.
Statistics and Definitions
Mexico is one of the countries where human trafficking is most developed. As practice shows, slaveholders use women and children for prostitution, while men, by and large, perform forced labor. Relying on statistics, more than 4,000 people have become victims of slavery over the past five years in Mexico, where more than half of them are women (U.S. Department of State, 2020). Accordingly, approximately 2,000 women and girls were sexually exploited during this period. In addition, in 2020, the authorities opened at least about 130 federal investigations and more than 500 investigations at the regional level regarding the number of victimized crimes (U.S. Department of State, 2020). Given such significant figures, trafficking in women in Mexico continues to be a severe and topical problem to this day.
The Evolution of This Victimization
Mexico is a unique country whose geographical location has made it an ideal place for trading live goods. At the end of the 20th century, young girls and mature women moved to the “transit country” searching for a better life, but only a few achieved what they wanted. Against the background of adverse events, the sex trade was born, which continues to increase its influence throughout the district of Mexico.
Social, Cultural, and Legal Response to The Problem
Contrary to some failures, the Government still does not give up. It strives to eradicate the current problem, for example, by issuing a law combating human trafficking in 2012 (Tyburczy, 2019). Victims of sexual violence and cruelty are offered shelter and various kinds of social support and assistance. On the other hand, immigrants in Mexico who are subject to slavery are a kind of blessing and curse at the same time, which has cultural and social aspects (Still, 2017). Modern realities demonstrate several facts and evidence regarding the indifferent, apathetic attitude of “free citizens” to the fight against the problem of the sale of women into sexual slavery in Mexico (Still, 2017). Actually, the key source of problems in Mexico is the sale and distribution of drugs, while the issue of sex slavery is relegated to the background.
Scope and Consequences of the Victimization
This victimization starts with little girls who have not yet reached puberty, as well as mature women who have some kind of “experience.” Such victimization impacts those at the individual, societal and global levels in the following ways. According to research, sexual slavery harms victims’ mental and physical health at the individual level (Acharya & Sanchez, 2018). As a rule, after repeated sexual contact with different “clients,” women and girls are susceptible to infection with such dangerous diseases as HIV and AIDS (Acharya & Sanchez, 2018). Victims often feel hatred for their person, suffering from depression and suicidal tendencies (Acharya & Sanchez, 2018). Additionally, to “muffle” internal pain and suffering, girls use opioids, narcotic drugs, and alcoholic beverages.
Undoubtedly, human trafficking as a form of victimization has a devastating impact on individuals to a greater extent. However, this problem can undermine security inside Mexico, change the culture and attitude towards women in general. Trafficking in “human goods” in Mexico is, in fact, a transnational crime, similar to the international drug trade and illegal arms trafficking. The impact of this crime is difficult to overestimate if one does not try to get rid of it forever. New victimization processes will require new material costs, will entail a further weakening of morality and deterioration of the psychological state of the population around the globe.
The similarities and differences of this victimization across societies are in the following aspects. The concept of trafficking of women for sexual exploitation in Mexico is expressed in a similar context, for example, with various states of America. The United States, since it is located on the border with Mexico, is also recognized as one of the worst countries in the framework of human trafficking for sexual exploitation. It is proved that there are more than 200 thousand incidents every year (Human trafficking statistics by state 2021, 2021). At the same time, women, especially immigrants, are in great demand in America, unlike men. (Human trafficking statistics by state 2021, 2021). However, the difference is that there are significantly more victims of sexual slavery and the number of immigrants compared to Mexico.
This victimization in Mexico is surrounded by the following social and cultural problems. Social and economic inequality, poverty, lack of education and employment opportunities among a particular category of citizens, consolidation of cultural ideas about women are the most critical problems affecting the development of sexual slavery among women. Besides, the political instability in the country, the lack of clear plans, and due attention to this problem on the part of the Government provoke an even more significant number of victimized victims.
Suggestions on How This Victimization Can Be Remedied
Actually, victims of sexual exploitation in Mexico are provided with moral, social, and legal assistance and support from both the Government and some citizens who are not indifferent to other people’s problems. The Government of Mexico strives for order and equality within the State by introducing laws, creating special shelters, and allocating funds to help suffers (Acharya, 2017). Studies show that the current measures to minimize and eliminate the problem of sex slavery are insufficient (Tyburczy, 2019). This is due to the presence of obstacles such as political, cultural, and social instability within Mexico, lack of adequate funding, and competent training of personnel helping victims of victimization (Acharya, 2017). There is no doubt that trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation is a serious crime that violates the rights of an individual. Therefore, victims of violence need better help and protection than they have. Hence, not only the Government but also family, relatives, friends of victims and potential ones, and society as a whole must continue to fight against this kind of injustice and inequality.
Countries around the world, the Government of Mexico and its residents, should be responsible and accountable for ensuring justice within the country, supporting the victims, and reducing harm. Definitely, the exploitation of women is a gross offense, a global crime, and a disgrace to the nation, which must be eradicated once and for all. Evil should not be committed in conditions of impunity and permissiveness. Therefore, international organizations and the Government are obliged to strengthen measures and call on the public to intensify efforts to eliminate the fundamental causes of victimization and seek the liberation of all enslaved women. For instance, increasing funding, providing support to immigrants, attention of social workers to victims, and the rapid response of law enforcement officers to identify victims and criminals will help smooth out the current acute issues.
Undoubtedly, the consequences of the introduction of these decisions are difficult to predict with accuracy. In fact, this phenomenon goes into the shadows every time, acquiring more sophisticated forms and adapting to legislation and public opinion changes. It is not enough to carry out operations to destroy groups and intercept shipments of “live goods.” In modern realities, the most important weapon to combat the exploitation of women is to convey to people the idea that women are not a “bonus” and not the subject of a deal.
Summing up, trafficking of women in Mexico, as a form of victimization, is modern slavery and a violation of human rights. It is a crime against both the individual, the State, and the whole world. Actually, sexual slavery in Mexico is a common, familiar phenomenon entrenched at the national, social, and cultural levels. The Government, some organizations, and individuals are trying to eradicate such flaws within the country, but so far, the attempts are futile and hopeless. If people do not take significant measures today, the market for the sale of “live goods” will soon develop and flourish. Subsequently, this can lead to significant damage to individuals and the institution of the family. This problem can undermine moral and social norms and the foundations of society not only within the State but also throughout the world.
Acharya, A. (2017). Post trafficking victims in Mexico and their reintegration process: An analysis of the Government’s response. In E. C. Viano (Ed.), Cybercrime, organized crime, and societal responses (pp. 219-232). Springer.
Acharya, A. K., & Sanchez, M. L. M. (2018). Trafficking of women in US-Mexican border cities: An analysis on the physical and mental health condition of victims. Journal of Trafficking and Human Exploitation, 2(1), pp. 1-17.
Human trafficking statistics by state 2021. (2021). World Population Review.
Still, A. (2017). Solving human trafficking between Mexico and the United States. Pepperdine Policy Review, 9(4), pp. 1-20. Web.
Tyburczy, J. (2019). Sex trafficking talk: Rosi Orozco and the neoliberal narrative of empathy in post-NAFTA Mexico. Feminist Formations, 31(3), pp. 95-117.
U.S. Department of State. (2020). 2020 trafficking in persons report: Mexico.