Trafficking 101: What is Human Trafficking?

What is Human Trafficking?

We have heard the numbers, every 30 seconds a person becomes a victim of human trafficking. And world wide traffickers generate hundreds of billions of dollars while trading another person’s rights for their own gain. But what exactly is human trafficking?

Human Trafficking Definition

Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. It is modern day slavery.

In fact 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.

Human Trafficking Facts

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

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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.