What does it mean to be trafficked?

Here’s a good definition of what human trafficking means. The United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children defines trafficking in persons as:

“…the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of 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 labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”

Three important things to note about this definition are:

1. The victims are trafficked against their will under duress, threat and/ or deception.

2. Trafficking can take place in various different ways ranging from coercive abductions to fraud and abuse of power (and trust as well). The outcomes of human trafficking can also vary from forced labour, to organ harvesting, to sex slavery.

3. Vulnerability of the victim’s situation is a key factor. Some people may be more predisposed to being victims of human trafficking, because of factors such poverty, destitution, lack of family unit etc. Exploitation is the major outcome and injustice of human trafficking. Some people profit it, whilst the victims lose everything, including the right to themselves. They are slaves.

Maame x

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