Be Informed

Be Informed

According to the UN Palermo Protocol, trafficking in persons is defined as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of a 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 or of the giving and receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. 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.”

Who are Trafficked Persons? They may be:

  • Men, women and children
  • Of varying ages
  • Of varying levels of education
  • Any race or ethnicity
  • Voluntary migrants escaping poverty, gender-based discrimination or political persecution, who become enslaved
  • Individuals seeking better employment and livelihood opportunities who are then tricked into slavery
  • Persons abducted involuntarily and held against their will through force, fraud or deception

Who are the Traffickers? They may be:

  • Organized crime
  • Neighbors, friends, family members, village chiefs, returnees
  • Agricultural operators
  • Owners of small or medium-sized businesses
  • Pimps and brothel owners
  • Independent operators
  • Domestic servants working for diplomatic families
  • Police, government authorities, military

Who are the Facilitators? They may be:

  • Landlords
  • Hotels and Motels
  • Transportation companies
  • Taxis and other driving services
  • Advertisers such as online websites, phone books, newspapers
  • Banks and financial services corporations

What tactics do Traffickers use to intimidate victims?

  • Victims are often forced through physical violence
  • Rape and other sexual abuse, torture, starvation, imprisonment, threats, psychological abuse, coercion or drug abuse.
  • Threats to their victims that physical harm may occur to them or their families should the victim escape or attempt to escape

What factors lead to Trafficking?

  • Abuse and Neglect, family disintegration
  • Pressure from population increases in the developing world that lead to extreme poverty and desperation
  • Rapid advances in internet and communication technology making information easily accessible to predators and traffickers worldwide
  • Huge growth in networks of stateless illicit traders working “underground”
  • Corruption among government officials and law enforcement

Traffickers target women, girls and men who are increasingly affected by poverty, lack of access to education, unemployment, discrimination, and lack of economic opportunities in countries of origin. a. Within the United States, abuse and neglect are common factors leading to trafficking and traffickers prey on runaway and “throwaway” youth. The trafficker who is most likely a trusted individual lures them with promises of a better life with decent working conditions and a healthy environment.