Also known as "trafficking in persons," human trafficking is modern-day slave trade. It victimizes millions of people by forcing them from their homes and families and forcing them to work against their will, often in degrading circumstances. It is one of the most urgent human rights issues in the world today.
What is it?
The United Nations defines "Trafficking in persons" as the 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.
Who are the Victims?
Victims of trafficking often come from vulnerable populations, including undocumented migrants, runaways and at-risk youth, oppressed or marginalized groups, and the poor. Traffickers specifically target individuals in these populations because they are often easiest to recruit and control and are least likely to be protected by law enforcement.
The needs of survivors of trafficking are among the most complex of crime victims, often requiring a multidisciplinary approach to address severe trauma and medical needs, immigration and other legal issues, safety concerns, multicultural barriers, and financial hardship.
Who are the Traffickers?
Many different people are traffickers. Sometimes they run recruitment agencies or are family members or friends, others encourage young women to believe they are their boyfriends. They may be small groups of individuals from poor backgrounds who have recognized how profitable trafficking can be, or even former victims of trafficking.
Why are people Trafficked?
People generally put themselves in the hands of traffickers to escape poverty and/or discrimination or war. They are promised fantastic opportunities such as well paid jobs, education, or marriage. Many imagine that they will be able to send money home to help their families.
Human trafficking remains a low risk-high profit crime. Where laws exist they are often rarely implemented, and sentences are not equal with the crime. Criminals prosecuted for trafficking drugs receive a higher sentence than those prosecuted for trafficking human beings into slavery.
How Bad is It?
A recent U.S. Government estimate indicates that approximately 900,000 people are trafficked across international borders worldwide annually, and between 18,000 and 20,000 of those victims are trafficked into the United States.
Find Out More
Check out these Websites:
Free the Slaves
U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Human Rights Watch Campaign against the Trafficking of Women and Girls
Administration for Children and Families Campaign to Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking
Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy
by Kevin Bales
Human Traffic: Sex, Slaves and Immigration
by Craig McGill
The Traffic in Women: Human Realities of the International Sex Trade
by Siriporn Skrobanek , Nattaya Boonpakdi , Chutima Janthakeero
Freeing God's Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights
by Allen D. Hertzke
There are a number of charities working to assist victims of trafficking including Safe Horizon, and others.
We are watching the End Demand for Sex Trafficking Act of 2005.
Flyer - Coming Soon
Brochure - Coming Soon
Poster - Coming Soon
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This website has been developed as part of the Amnesty International Chapter of the University of Oklahoma's Spring 2005 campaign to raise awareness of the problem of human trafficking. Amnesty @ OU | Amnesty International |