Ethics, human trafficking, slavery, forced prostitution, sex trafficking


Despite legislation to protect individuals from slavery and forced prostitution, many continue treating people as property. The Fourteenth Amendment states that persons have the right to “life, liberty, and property,” and U.S. society has never regarded persons as property. Unfortunately, some ethics do not consider all human beings as persons. Personhood denotes being a member of the “moral community.” I base personhood on an ontological perspective, meaning that all human beings are human persons. I also believe that there is no such thing as a “potential person” or a “human non-person” regardless of disability, race, ethnicity, gender or any other attributes one could list in order to define personhood.

I know that not everyone shares my beliefs. Genocides, rapes and murders occur all over the world, and those who commit these crimes cannot be in agreement with my own convictions. So I must ask the question, what happens when people treat others as property rather than people, when people use one another as a means to an end? In 2006, the U.S. State Department estimated that 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked globally every year. Within this estimate, approximately 80% are women and girls, and up to 50% are children4.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


DigitalCommons@Cedarville provides a publication platform for fully open access journals, which means that all articles are available on the Internet to all users immediately upon publication. However, the opinions and sentiments expressed by the authors of articles published in our journals do not necessarily indicate the endorsement or reflect the views of DigitalCommons@Cedarville, the Centennial Library, or Cedarville University and its employees. The authors are solely responsible for the content of their work. Please address questions to dc@cedarville.edu.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.