Human trafficking is akin to modern day slavery. It occurs when people are forced into exploitative situations for profit. Men, women and children are exploited for a wide range of purposes, including forced labour, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and child soldiers. While trafficking for sexual exploitation is more commonly reported among women and girls, it can also happen to boys.
Trafficking is a hidden crime. Unfortunately the full scale of this brutal trade can’t be definitively detected. But it’s estimated that nearly 21 million people are trafficked for profit around the world today.
People are vulnerable to trafficking for a number of reasons, including lack of education and employment opportunities, discrimination and social isolation, and lack of protection by adults or social systems.
Human trafficking is different to people smuggling. People smuggling is a crime against a country by illegally crossing borders, whereas trafficking is an exploitative crime against an individual. While people consent to being smuggled, trafficking does not involve consent. People smuggling is always across borders, while this is not necessarily the case for trafficking. And whereas people smuggling has a final destination, trafficking involves ongoing exploitation.