Human trafficking represents a severe form of exploitation (labor or sexual) of another human being. At its most basic level, human trafficking is theft and violence. Traffickers rob victims of their human rights and subject them to physical, mental, emotional, and/or psychological abuse. Human trafficking creates a cycle of violence that encircles victims, their families, traffickers who may also be victims, and the community in general.
The legal definition of human trafficking provides insight into how the Federal government understands this crime. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 was the first comprehensive Federal law to define human trafficking as:
- a) sex trafficking in which a 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; or
- b) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
In the U.S., this looks like pimping, domestic servitude, migrant farm worker abuse in fields, exploitation of sheep herders, among many other forms. We invite you to visit our Resources page for additional information. You can also watch our video, "Every Small Action," to learn a bit more about trafficking and how we invite you to join in the effort to work toward a solution.