What is Human Trafficking?
Slavery doesn’t just occur in history books. Slavery happens everyday in our own communities. Human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world and the fastest growing. We are now faced with the vastest global slave trade ever known to humanity with more people enslaved today than at any point in history.
Human trafficking is modern day slavery. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Victims are young children, teenagers, men and women.
Human trafficking is a violation of basic human rights. Human trafficking needs to be addressed from a human rights’ perspective that centers on efforts to restore the most basic human rights of a trafficked person…their human freedom.
In the United States, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines “Severe Forms of Trafficking in Persons” as:
Sex Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person forced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years;
Sex Trafficking may occur but not limited to:
- Strip Clubs
- Spas/Massage Parlors
- Modeling Studies
- Residential Brothels in Hotels, Motels, Apartments and Houses.
Labor Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.
Labor Trafficking may occur but not limited to:
- Agricultural Work
- Nail Salons
- Domestic Servitude
- Peddling/Begging/Traveling Sales Crew
Traffickers use force, fraud, and/or coercion to maintain control over their victims and keep them in servitude.
Traffickers offer fraudulent promises of employment, education or a better life to control victims. They coerce victims into servitude by threatening serious harm to the victims or their family members. Traffickers even force victims into slavery through confinement, physical assault and/or rape.
Human trafficking is slavery happening right now in our own communities. The ultimate goal of United Against Human Trafficking (formerly Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition) and every organization against human trafficking is to ensure that one day, human slavery will truly be a thing of the past. Because no human life should be for sale.