Human trafficking and globalisation

Beginning my course in Organisational Behaviour, I attempted to set the scene for my students and therefore talked with them about the contested meaning and effects of globalisation, selected trends with regard to the working population (particularly, age, race, ethnicity), income and social mobility as well as men and women in the workplace.

Discussing the effects of globalisation I asked them (first term students from various programs in their third week at university) to come up with potential effects. I felt rather pleased that they were able to see both more positive (such as easier consumption, outsourcing possibilities for firms) and more negative (such as increase inequality, human rights issues, pollution) effects.

After this discussion, I introduced them to two of the darker sides of globalisation – human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Concerning human trafficking I found a short video on youtube that really helped to make the point, I believe. It is entitled “Girls going wild in red light district” and plays in the Amsterdam Red Light district. One sees female sex workers behind the windows and ‘customers’ in front looking at them. Suddenly music begins to play and the sex workers perform a dance, much to the amusement of the men watching them. At the end of the performance the audience, whilst clapping and cheering, became reminded that a lot of sex workers in Amsterdam are women from Eastern Europe, who are promised to have a career as a dancer, yet, end up as sex workers. As a result the men who first where rather enthusiastic became fairly quiet. It was interesting to see, that after students had watched the video there was no need to explain human trafficking any further; they suddenly seemed to realise what it means.

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