What is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is a form of slavery that affects vulnerable women, children and men. It exists in every country, including the United States. Trafficking people for the sex industry; for labor in sweatshops, plantations, and mines, on farms and as beggars; and as domestic servants is nearly invisible. Each year thousands of people are trafficked annually to the United States.

Human trafficking has become one of the fastest growing enterprises in the world. The International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations (UN) estimate millions of people are victims of forced labor, domestic servitude or sexual exploitation. Trafficking and slavery are often linked to other crimes, including money laundering, drug trafficking, document forgery, human smuggling, rape and torture. Different forms of human trafficking include:

  • Involuntary servitude
  • Sex slavery
  • Child sex tourism
  • Domestic servitude including nannies, maids, gardeners, etc.
  • Slavery in manufacturing, agriculture, retail and begging
  • Bonded and peonage labor
  • Child labor, including child soldiers
  • Sale of body parts
  • Illegal adoption of children and babies