DCSIMG

Five Things You Did Not Know About Human Trafficking

DipNote blog



A Students Looks Out a Window

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]

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]

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)

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]

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.

- Source: DipNote, the official blog of the U.S. Department of State

Disclaimer: The Office of Policy Planning and Public Diplomacy, in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, of the U.S. Department of State manages this site as a portal for international human rights related information from the United States Government. External links to other internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.