Exploitation is at the heart of human trafficking. In the case of sex trafficking, exploitation implies the forced prostitution or sexual abuses of vulnerable men, women, and children. The United States’ Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) declares it a crime to coerce, force, or mislead men, women, and children into sex slavery, whether those efforts to coerce are subtle or overt. However, if a victim is a minor (under 18), it is a considered a crime regardless if there is evidence of force, fraud, or coercion.
“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.”
Awareness is important:
•27 million people are slaves today - Unicef
•1-1.2 million children are trafficked every year - U.S. Dept. of State, Unicef
•80% of trafficking victims are women and girls - U.S. Dept of State
•50% of trafficking victims are minors - U.S. Dept of State
•Human Trafficking is the 2nd largest criminal enterprise behind drugs, and the fastest growing - U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.