The Legal Definition:
The definition of human trafficking commonly accepted by governments, law enforcement bodies and agencies including the UKHTC derives from the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children, supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organisational Crime. This is also commonly referred to as ‘the Palermo Protocol’.
According to the Article 3, “Trafficking in Persons” means:
‘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 a position of vulnerability, or 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 or organs’.
Children cannot give consent to being moved; therefore the coercion or deception elements do not have to be present.
Simples as the Meerkats would say:
In the simplest terms, human trafficking is the movement of a person from one place to another into conditions of exploitation, using deception, coercion, the abuse of power or the abuse of someone’s vulnerability. It is entirely possible to have been a victim of trafficking even if your consent has been given to being moved.
There are therefore three constituent elements: movement, control and exploitation.
This trade earns organised crime $31.6 billions every year (Study 2005).
People are trafficked for forced criminality and extremely minor anti-social offences such as washing car windows, begging, stealing handbags, shoplifting as well as prostitution and domestic servitude.
Debt slavery forms a great part of this business. This means that the victims often come from Europe's and the world's poorest and most marginalised communities. Often there are also cultural controls placed upon victims as it's their 'duty' to serve their trafficker/exploiter to pay off family debts.
Check out the website of some of the NGO's to see the horror that the trade continues to prevail upon the victims.