Human trafficking is the the illegal movement of people, typically for the purposes of forced labour or commercial sexual exploitation.

35.8 million people are estimated to be held in slavery worldwide.

$150 billion is generated by slavery each year

2 million children around the world are enslaved in the sex trade

In order to identify a person as a victim of human trafficking the UN definition says he or she must go through four stages.

Tricked: False promises, fake job offers, fabricated schools or soccer camps. These are only a few of the methods traffickers use to deceive their victims. Often, the trafficker preys on the hopes and dreams of a person to offer exactly what they are looking for, be it a good job, education or love. The victim is promised something that makes them willing to leave the environment they know.

Transported: The trafficker uses this willingness of the victim to take her/him from a familiar to an unfamiliar place. This can be a different continent, across borders, from city to city or just across the street. Victims find themselves in an unknown place and possibly unfamiliar language and with no other relationships than with the trafficker.

images-2Trapped: Traffickers use a variety of means to insure the victim does not run away. It can be a pretended love for the victim (“boyfriend”), forcible addiction to drugs, sexual and physical violence, pressure and threats to family back home, spiritual “juju” curses, as well as the promise of money once the enormous “debt” is paid back. In addition, passports and other identity papers are taken from the victim leaving her/him unable to travel and in an unstable situation if in a new country. This is all with the goal of breaking every resistance in the victim, which allows the trafficker to use the victim to earn a profit.

Used: In this stage the trafficker begins to make a profit using the victim.
The majority of human trafficking victims are used for sexual exploitation (prostitution). Other uses of victims are for the purposes of labor, forced begging, forced marriages, child soldiers and organ removal for donor purposes. The victim is seen as a “product” which is exploited so as to bring the most profit. Compared to other illegal trade, human trafficking is more profitable for the single trafficker. Drugs and weapons are only sold once, you can “resell” a human being hundreds of times and then often sell the victim when she does not bring any more profit.