Definitions of Human Trafficking
As defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000:
“The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age” (22 USC § 7102), with “commercial sex act” defined as any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person (22 U.S.C. 7102).
As defined by The Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking’s “2013 Report on Human Trafficking”:
Sex trafficking of adults involves the exploitation of a person for commercial sexual activity through force, fraud, or coercion. However, sex trafficking of a child does not require a showing of force, fraud, or coercion. Victims of sex trafficking are often forced to engage in commercial sexual activity such as prostitution, exotic dancing, and pornography.
An organization known as Polaris Project developed The Action Means Purpose Model for better illustrating the ways in which trafficking can be identified and defined. For a PDF of the model, click here.
Signs and Symptoms of Human Trafficking
Common Work and Living Conditions
- Is not free to leave or come and go as he / she wishes
- Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp / manager
- Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
- Works excessively long and / or unusual hours
- Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
- Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
- Was recruited trhough false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his / her work
- High security measures exist in the work and / or living conditions (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)
Statistics on Sex Trafficking
- In 2014, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, operated by Polaris, received reports of3,598 sex trafficking cases inside the United States.
- In 2014, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children estimated that 1 in 6 endangered runaways reported to them were likely sex trafficking victims.
- Globally, the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 4.5 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation globally.
The above list of statistics on sex trafficking is not comprehensive. The list was taken from Polaris and can be found here.