About Human Trafficking

Defining the terms and extent of human trafficking and modern slavery

Human trafficking and modern slavery are thought to be amongst the most widespread crimes in the world, affecting millions of men, women and children each day.

Human Trafficking

It is defined by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as:

The Act of 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 or 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.

Broken down into simpler terms, this means human trafficking is made up of three elements:

  • Movement or recruitment by
  • Deception or coercion for
  • The purpose of exploitation

Modern Slavery

This acts as an umbrella term, which covers a number of human rights issues, of which human trafficking is one.

It is mainly defined by the 1956 UN supplementary convention which says:

…debt bondage, serfdom, forced marriage and the delivery of a child for the exploitation of that child are all slavery-like practices and require criminalisation and abolishment…

Modern slavery encompasses:

  • Slavery
  • Human trafficking
  • Servitude
  • Forced or compulsory labour

Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude, and inhumane treatment.

There are many forms of modern slavery

Explore them now

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