What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking (also referred to as trafficking in persons or TIP) is an umbrella term used to describe the process by which millions of people become enslaved each year. A widely accepted definition of TIP has been created by the United Nations (UN). The UN definition is as follows:
"(a) 'Trafficking in persons' shall mean the recruitment,
transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of
the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of
fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of
vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to
achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for
the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum,
the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual
exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar
to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;
(b) The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended
exploitation set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article shall be
irrelevant where any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) have
(c) The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of
a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered 'trafficking in persons' even if this does not involve any of the means
set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article;
(d) 'Child' shall mean any person under eighteen years of age"
The UN definition of trafficking in persons can be divided into three parts: acts, the means used to commit those acts, and goals for which those acts are committed. At least one element from each of the three parts of the trafficking definition is required to create a TIP case.
Each year millions of human beings are subjected to the trafficking process and find themselves exploited in settings such as brick kilns, sweatshops, chicken farms, cocoa plantations, mines, fisheries, rock quarries, or for compulsory participation in public works or military service, as well as a variety of other settings. Countless others, predominately women and female children, but also boys, are trafficked into the commercial sex industry where they are used in forms of commercial sexual exploitation like prostitution, pornography, and nude dancing. Some are sold as "brides."
Trafficking in persons is frequently referred to as modern-day slavery. Slavery is an apt analogy that shocks and challenges us. Americans in particular are moved by this comparison. To us, slavery is a sordid, indelible stain on our national heritage, but nevertheless it is an evil most believe we conquered and relegated to the history books. However, news media accounts, on-the-ground intelligence from nongovernmental organizations, and reports from agencies the U.S. Department of State and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, create a different picture. They reveal the inescapable truth that trafficking is one of the principle means by which slavery survives.
The size and pervasiveness of the crime presents a formidable problem, but we fight on despite the odds. Accordingly, the Salvation Army has established this website to educate and equip people desiring to engage in this battle against the exploitation and dehumanization of human beings.