What is Human Trafficking?
In short, human and sex trafficking of persons is the illegal trade in human beings through abduction, the use of threat or force, deception, fraud, or sale for the purpose of forced labor and or commercial sex. Trafficking also applies to people who are held against their will to pay off a debt—otherwise known as debt bondage or peonage.
What is sex trafficking?
Sex trafficking means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, which means any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person. Trafficking is a crime that is prosecuted under federal law and/or state laws and often includes other crimes such as kidnapping, human smuggling, slavery, peonage, visa fraud, labor violations, racketeering, assault, murder, rape.
Traffickers can be male or female. They can be part of an international or national organized crime network or act on an individual basis. Traffickers can be upstanding citizens who are wealthy or poor individuals looking to find ways to exploit others to gain wealth.
Please Note: Trafficking does’t require transportation. Under the definition of trafficking an individual does’t have to cross borders to be a victim, instead it’s the methods used by the traffickers to recruit and hold an individual in an exploitative situation in which a trafficking case can be determined.
The information contained in this section has been taken from these various sources:
The Department of Health & Human services web site / www.hhs.gov
The Salvation Army resource manual on human trafficking
The U.S. State Department web site / www.usdoj.gov
What are the causes of human trafficking?
High demand for commercial sex and/or inexpensive workers
Political instability, civil unrest and war
Political and police corruption
Growth of organized crime
Lack of adequate law enforcement, legal protections, community protections
Cultural attitudes and religious practices
Individual vulnerability factors include:
Lack of work opportunities
Lack of family support, guidance
Lack of awareness as to traffickers practices
Living in an environment where trafficking occurs
History of previous sexual abuse
Past criminal activities
Types of Human Trafficking
Massage parlor work
Hotel or tourist industries
Factory work “sweatshops”
Domestic servitude/housekeeping/nanny work