Five Things You Did Not Know About Human Trafficking

June 27, 2014
A Students Looks Out a Window

1.      Modern slavery exists in the 21st century, even in the United States.

Although the legal institution of slavery was outlawed in the United States nearly a century and a half ago, more than 20 million men, women, and children around the world, including in the United States, are victims of modern slavery. “Modern slavery,” “human trafficking,” and “trafficking in persons” are used interchangeably as umbrella terms for this crime, which involves the exploitation of someone for the purposes of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Where a person younger than 18 is induced to perform a commercial sex act, it is a crime regardless of whether there is any force, fraud, or coercion.

A mother helps her child lift a basket of gravel into a barge anchored at the banks of the Yangon River in Burma on June 9, 2014. [AP Photo]

2.     Human trafficking does not require movement or the crossing of borders.

Even though the term “trafficking” may suggest movement, trafficking in persons is about the exploitation of an individual for the purpose of forced labor or commercial sex.  Trafficking victims are kept in a state of compelled service and are victims whether they are immigrants or citizens, and regardless of whether they have crossed any borders.

A child, left, stands between bricks while his sister, right, arranges them as she works with her mother at a brick factory in Pakistan, on January 30, 2014. [AP File Photo]

3.     Anyone can be a victim of human trafficking.

All forms of modern slavery -- forced labor, sex trafficking, involuntary domestic servitude, debt bondage, and child soldiers -- affect women, men, and transgender individuals, adults and children, citizens and non-citizens alike, from all socioeconomic groups. Women have been identified as victims of labor trafficking in many industries, including the agricultural and hospitality sectors as well as domestic workplaces.  At the same time, boys and men also have been among those identified as victims of sex trafficking.

Source: International Labor Organization, Profits and Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labor (2014)

4.     The illegal profits made from the use of forced labor in the private economy worldwide amount to $150.2 billion per year, according to the International Labor Organization.

Two thirds of the profits, amounting to an estimated $99 billion per year, are generated by commercial sexual exploitation exacted by fraud or force.  More than one third of the profits -- $51.2 billion -- are made from forced labor exploitation.

A man picks oranges in Florida on July 14, 2006. [AP File Photo]

5.     The food you eat, the products you buy, and the consumer items you use on a daily basis may have been produced by victims of forced labor.  Become a conscientious consumer by visiting Slavery Footprint to determine “How many slaves work for you?”

To learn more about the manifestations of modern slavery around the world, read the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report, and learn what you can do in your own life by visiting 20 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About the Author: Caitlin Heidenreich serves as a Program Analyst in the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons



Patrick W.
Maryland, USA
June 27, 2014
There is also a lot of Human Trafficking happening on the internet these days." And it does not require movement or the crossing of borders" like you said. - See more at:
Avishai D.
Washington, USA
June 28, 2014
May slavery be banished forever together with the distinction between castes, all remaining equal, so all may only be distinguished by vice or virtue... In the new laws, may torture not be allowed. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Jorge O.
June 28, 2014

Every country have different Kind of environment and economy system, slavery  (anyone) not have excuse specially with children.
We see what happen in countries not have any care for kits.
Abuse make worse happens everywhere, for our future, our children.
Energy of equality balance life for better...THANKS US GOV.

Sarah G.
Virginia, USA
June 29, 2014
Yes, please send me information. I want to be informed, as this is an issue dear to my heart, but tragic, of course.
Tareq H.
July 7, 2014
In Bangladesh, we also facing problems for extra human traffics.....most of the country can solve or minimize their problems and find out the best solutions, but in our country I think we are in still behind the development stage. Editor News World Inside
Abid A.
July 6, 2014
We must all attempt to put a stop to these atrocities. I say atrocities because these individuals who are subject to these degrading and inhumane conditions would otherwise be in situations where they would have the full potential to contribute towards a just and progressive society. Those people who perpetrate these acts should be brought to justice. Having said that, Governments who respect Human Rights should have emerging and progressive economies that would benefit the population as a whole so that individuals who find themselves in a good economic condition would be reluctant to engage in such immoral acts.
Ishwori b.
July 21, 2014
slavery is against humanity and is also a human trafficking.the person who has not get opportunity and economically not sound they become slave indirectly.state is a parents of all people so state give care and protection to them.we are equal
Constance K.
United States
October 7, 2014
Thank you for making this so clear! Education is the first step to enable others to see this Modern Day Slavery as the horror that it is...


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