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Human trafficking lock icon refers to the trading of human beings for the purpose of forced labor and/or sexual exploitation. It involves acts of transporting, transferring, harboring, or receiving a person through a use of force or coercion, and it is recognized by the United Nations (UN) as a crime against humanity. Every year, tens of thousands of men, women, and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their home countries and abroad. Every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims.

Banner for National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888 (TTY:711)

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Sex Trafficking Is recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purposes of a commercial sexual act, in which the person induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age. 
Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Refers to a number of transactional sexual activities involving minors in which adults offer false promises of food, shelter, clothing, money, or other items of value, either to the child or to an interested third party, usually a family member. Child sexual exploitation includes such activities as procuring children to participate in child pornography, child prostitution, sex tourism, extrafamilial sexual molestation, sending obscene unsolicited materials to a child via the US Postal Service, online enticement of children for transactional sexual activities, and digital transactions of sexual content.
Labor Trafficking Is 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. 
Peonage A system of involuntary servitude based on the indebtedness of the laborer (the peon) to his creditor.

Organ Trafficking 

“Trafficking in body parts” refers to the practice of selling one's body parts (organs, cells, biological tissue) to be implanted in another person for medical treatment. The recipient (illegally) pays the donor, but more often than not they pay a dealer for the body part. It is assumed that the trafficking in organs (such as kidneys) or organ parts (liver lobes) is pervasive.


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About This Page

This page was originally developed by Blaire Hiebsch.

Updated by: Elaine Patton

First published: Spring 2021