The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended (TVPA), defines “severe forms of trafficking in persons” as:

 The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.


A victim need not be physically transported from one location to another for the crime to fall within this definition.


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.


Simply put human trafficking includes three aspects:


Movement (from one place to another – in transit, though this need not always be the case for the crime to fall within this definition), use of Deception/Fraud (to coax the victim – at Source) and Exploitation (sexual, labor, etc – often at Destinations but also along Transit). 




In December 2000 the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking of Persons, Especially Women and Children was signed by 88 countries in Palermo, Italy. This signaled the recognition by the international community of modern day slavery as a serious global issue. Additionally, over the past decade there has been an increasing global movement to combat trafficking spanning all strata of society involving the creation of anti-trafficking laws, the development of anti-human trafficking units in many states, task forces and the mobilization of resources and manpower from diverse sectors of society to address modern day slavery. Despite these efforts, however, there is still much work left to be done. 



Click here to see a list of facts and statistics linking human trafficking as a growing global problem. 

  • Recruiter gains the victim’s trust and then sells them for labor or to a pimp.  This can be a boyfriend, a neighbor, or even a family member. Sometimes there is a handler in between too.

  • Handler is the one transports the victim from one place to another. Often there may be several handlers who manage different areas or distances.

  • Trafficker one who controls the survivors through abuse, threats, and lies. This is usually the madam or pimp.

  • Victim could be anyone.

  • Consumer funds the human trafficking industry by purchasing “goods/services".  Often s/he is unaware that someone is suffering.




Read more about how this cycle functions and why it continues to function by clicking here.



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