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What is Human Trafficking?

What is human trafficking? Also called “trafficking in persons” or “modern-day slavery,” the Department of Homeland Security defines human trafficking as “the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.” Coercion can be either physical or psychological.

Anyone can become a victim. Traffickers, however, tend to prey on the weak and vulnerable. They find individuals who lack support, have low self-esteem, or other vulnerabilities and coerce them into commercial sex or forced labor.

“There are 40+ million people in slavery globally.”

International Justice Mission

There are three main types of trafficking in persons. Labor trafficking, sex trafficking, and debt bondage. Labor trafficking is using force fraud or coercion to obtain a labor act. Some typical examples include agriculture, landscaping, and domestic work. Sex trafficking is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain a commercial sex act. Typical examples include prostitution, escort services, and massage parlor work. Debt bondage is the holding of a debt, either real or imaginary, over a person to obtain some form of labor. This typically happens when someone offers their work as collateral for a loan. The debtor is then exploited for more work than they owe.

What does the Center for Global Justice Do?

The Center for Global Justice works with organizations that are combatting human trafficking. We partner with International Justice Mission (IJM). IJM’s mission is to end violence against the poor. Shared Hope International is another one of our partners. Our student staff work on research for the Protected Innocence Challenge. This challenge rates each U.S. state on the quality of its laws relating to combating child sex trafficking. We also partner with Justice Ventures International (JVI). JVI’s mission is to free the oppressed from slavery. Finally, we partner with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE). NCOSE’s mission is to show the links between different forms of sexual exploitation.

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