Trafficking 101 – What is Human Trafficking?

What is Human Trafficking?

The United Nations’s Human Trafficking definition is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.

The U.S. government defines human trafficking as:

  • Sex trafficking in which a commercial act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.
  • The recruitment, harbouring, transportation provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

Brothels are key places sex slaves are housed.

Principles of Human Trafficking

The United Nations defines three principles in determining if a situation is human trafficking in its “Trafficking in Persons Protocol”

  • The Act — What is done?
  • The Means — How it is done?
  • The Purpose — Why it is done?

If you have any questions about human trafficking, or wish to report a suspected trafficking incident, please call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888. Additionally, the following link provides information on how to recognize potential signs of human trafficking:

Human Trafficking: A Global Enterprise

Podcast | Traffick Report

Trafficking 101

An Overview of Human Trafficking

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Gabrielle Thompson
Gabrielle Thompson is the Executive Director/CEO of Free for Life International. At a young age, Gabrielle’s heart was pulled towards women in developing countries; she's continued to engage in helping and empowering women in various settings globally. She has a love for adventure, which has taken her to over 20 countries – and when Gabrielle is not fighting trafficking you can find her lost in nature. View more posts by Gabrielle.