THE FACTS: HUMAN TRAFFICKING

WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

Human trafficking is the acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud, or deception, with the aim of exploiting them. It is considered to be modern-day slavery. 1  Our favorite definition: Human Trafficking is the exploitation of vulnerability for commercial gain. 

The definition of trafficking consists of three core elements: 2

  1. The action of trafficking which means the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons
  2. The means of trafficking which includes threat of or use of force, deception, coercion, abuse of power or position of vulnerability
  3. The purpose of trafficking which is always exploitation. In the words of the Trafficking Protocol, article 3, "exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. 

TYPES OF SLAVERY

LABOR TRAFFICKING

BONDED LABOR:
Bonded labor is the most widespread - yet the least known - form of slavery in the world. A person becomes a bonded laborer when their labor is demanded as a means of repayment for a loan. The person is then tricked or trapped into working for very little or no pay, often seven days a week. The value of their work becomes invariably greater than the original sum of money borrowed. Often the debts are passed on to next generations. 3

FORCED LABOR:
Forced labor is any work or services which people are forced to do against their will under the threat of some form of punishment. Almost all slavery practices, including trafficking in people and bonded labor, contain some element of forced labor. 4

SEX TRAFFICKING

Sex trafficking is the act of forcing, coercing, or transporting a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act. These crimes are primarily committed against women and children. Sex trafficking can occur in residential brothels, brothels disguised as massage parlors, strip clubs, and via online escort services and street prostitution. 5

ADDITIONAL FORMS

  • Child Marriage
  • Child Begging
  • Child Soldiers
  • Domestic Servitude 
  • Organ Harvesting

STATISTICS

  • 20.9 million people worldwide 6
    • estimates range from 20.9 to 45.8 million so actual numbers are unknown
  • 150 billion dollar industry 7
  • 1/3 of victims are children, more than 1/2 are women/girls 8
  • 68% are trapped in forced labor9
  • 1 out of 5 runaways in the US were likely child sex trafficking victims10
    •  74% of these likely victims were in the care of social services or foster care when they went missing
  • Human trafficking is the second largest international criminal industry in the world and the fastest growing 11

Sources: (1) (2) (3(4) (5) (6(7) (8) (9) (10) (11)