Human trafficking is the recruitment and transportation of persons within or across boundaries by force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of exploiting them. Exploitation can include sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
The defining feature of trafficking is not travel but control. A victim need not be physically transported from one location to another in order for this crime to be committed.
Trafficking is a global form of prostitution. The crime continues to grow because victims are coerced into silence, frozen in fear and kept hidden by the tactics of intimidation, power and control.
Many traffickers go unpunished, thus the crime is increasing, resulting in great profits for the perpetrators while continuing to destroy the lives of women and children.
In 2000, the UN articulated the Palermo Agreement, which was signed by 121 countries. The Palermo Agreement defines human trafficking with three essential components: Process, Means, and Purpose.
• Process is recruiting, luring, harbouring, moving or obtaining a person
• Means is the use of force, fraud, coercion, power and control. Force could mean the use of rape, beating, and confinement to control the person. Fraud involves false offers to induce people into trafficking, such as promising jobs etc. Coercion involves threats of harm, physical restraining, abuse, or threatening family or pets.
• Purpose is for sexual exploitation, slavery, forced labor or organ trafficking.