What is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is trafficking for sexual slavery, labor exploitation, or sexual exploitation for traffickers or others. Forced marriage, removal of organs or tissues, and surrogacy are among the most common examples of human trafficking.

Human trafficking prevents the victim's free movement through coercion, a crime against their human rights. Human trafficking is a crime that crosses international borders. Millions of men, women, and children are trafficked around the world every year. Traffickers can use promises such as violence, manipulation, well-paid jobs, or romantic relationships to lure victims into trafficking situations. 

Victims can be prevented from seeking help for reasons such as language barriers. Criminal organizations use fraud and coercion to coerce their victims. They choose sensitive people who have problems due to psychological and emotional fragility, economic difficulties, lack of social safety net, and natural disasters. Due to the trauma caused by the traffickers, victims may not identify as victims.

Human Trafficking vs. Modern Slavery

"Modern slavery" is used as an umbrella term in the international arena to refer to a set of specific legal concepts pertaining to situations of labor, domestic, and sexual exploitation that a person cannot refuse, leave, or quit due to threats, violence, coercion, deception, inability to consent, and/or abuse of power.

 "Modern slavery" is legally defined in several countries, including the United Kingdom (U.K.) and Australia.

The legal definitions of modern slavery in the United Kingdom and Australia are extremely similar to the legal definitions of severe forms of human trafficking in the United States and trafficking in persons under international law. In the United States, "modern slavery" is not a legal phrase, and it is rarely used to avoid associating the contemporary expression of this situation with the previous legal institution of chattel slavery, in which the state acknowledged one person's ownership of another.

3 Myths and Misconceptions about Human Trafficking

Human trafficking and smuggling are the same things.Smuggling and human trafficking are two different things. "Trafficking" is based on exploitation and does not necessitate cross-border migration. Smuggling is centered on mobility and entails transferring a person across a country's border with the cooperation of that person in violation of immigration regulations. Although human smuggling is not the same as human trafficking, it can become trafficking if the smuggler employs force, deception, or coercion to keep persons against their will for work or sexual exploitation.
Human trafficking is only sex trafficking.Although sex trafficking happens, it is not the sole human trafficking. Another sort of human trafficking is forced labor; both entail the exploitation of individuals. Victims can be found in legal and illegal labor industries, such as sweatshops, massage parlors, agriculture, restaurants, hotels, and domestic service.
Human trafficking victims are only foreign-born people who are poor.Victims of human trafficking can be of any age, ethnicity, gender, or nationality. They might be from any socioeconomic background. A socioeconomic group is an individual's or group's social rank or class. It is frequently calculated as a composite of education, income, and employment.

What Makes Someone a Target of Human Trafficking?

People who are vulnerable and, hence easy to exploit are targeted by traffickers. The following are the primary social and personal variables that lead or contribute to persons being vulnerable to trafficking:

Political Uncertainty

War, civil unrest, political strife, violence, lawlessness, and natural disasters create insecure environments in which people may live in perpetual terror with few alternatives for survival or earning a livelihood. Children may be removed from their families and left without the protection and guidance of their parents or guardians.

Political instability may also result in forced migration, in which individuals depart their homes in pursuit of more stable or safe regions. They may, however, wind themselves homeless or in temporary settlements, unemployed and potentially unwelcome by their host community, and separated from their accustomed family and social networks. Traffickers profit from these difficult conditions.

Forced labor and human trafficking are risks that migrants face for a variety of reasons


Poverty is a source of sadness. Traffickers deliberately target poor and underprivileged groups, offering vulnerable people false opportunities to improve their situation. These individuals are more prone to take on higher risks in order to provide for themselves and their families. Indigenous peoples are frequently marginalized in many nations, making them vulnerable to recruitment by human traffickers.

Gender Inequality

Gender inequality refers to the gap in opportunity between men and women depending on gender. Women are considered less than males in many cultures; they are paid less for equal labor, have fewer rights, have less access to healthcare, education, and property, are supposed to be obedient to men, and are therefore open to recruitment by traffickers.


To maintain control of the trafficked victim, traffickers employ drug dependency and addiction. Some drug traffickers offer narcotics to vulnerable people on purpose in order to break down their resistance and push them into forced labor or prostitution. When a trafficked victim gets dependent on a certain substance, the trafficker exploits that vulnerability to keep them trapped in the cycle of abuse.

The Expansion of Human Trafficking

Because human trafficking is defined as non-consensual economic engagement, it can include any job, labor, service, or commercial sex activity. As a result, human trafficking is a vastly distinct crime that appears differently depending on location. Nonetheless, there are distinct characteristics linked with human trafficking business strategies.

The Role of Financial Institutions in Proper AML Configuration and Human Trafficking

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