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Human Trafficking: It's Not Just About Sex

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

Do you really know what Human Trafficking involves?

human trafficking child

When most people think of trafficking the thought of women, children, and sex seem to rise to the forefront. Human trafficking has become a large industry across the nation and can involve all ethnic groups and age ranges.

What is human trafficking?

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended (TVPA), defines “severe forms of trafficking in persons” as:

1. sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in

which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or

2. the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor

or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to

involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.[1]

sad child or teen

Yes, there is trafficking that involves sex—but there is more to it!

We all know that trafficking can involve escorts, pornography, and prostitution. Just as the definition states, there is so much more to consider. Trafficking can happen where the victims cross state and international lines, but it can also take place without transporting the victims very far. We have included a few categories for you to think about.

Human trafficking can include:

1. Forced labor (modern slavery)

This is where labor is forced through the use of violence or threats. This can take shape through many different areas.

Examples include (but not limited to):

· Domestic work

· Construction

· Agriculture & Landscaping

· Factories & Manufacturing

2. Fraud

Two common types involved:

· Well paying jobs with no experience- Traffickers use this to lure victims with the hope of prosperity (especially young and lower income individuals). Many teens love the thought of quick high paying jobs without thinking about the actual truth to this reality.

· “Sham” marriages- Victims are promised a better life if they will just marry a certain person. Once there, they find out differently and are forced into modern slavery and/or sexual


3. Debt bondage

This happens when one is unable to pay their debts and is threatened and coerced (by force, fraud, and deception) into forced labor, and other types of modern slavery. Many feel hopeless and trapped and see no other way out.

"In the modern slavery world today, it is estimated there are between 20 million and 40 million victims internationally."[2]

Depressed teen

It is difficult to fully measure the exact range of victims due to discrepancies in reporting.

As stated before, we know human trafficking involves different forms of sex. Be aware that it also involves many different forms of entrapment. If you have any knowledge of someone you think that may be a victim, please contact the hotline below.

Human Trafficking Hotline: call 1-888-373-7888/text 233733

Want more information?

Check out to find their Top 25 Classifications in their report of

The Typology of Modern Slavery: Defining Sex and Labor Trafficking in the United States.


1. "Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2018." Global Report on Trafficking in Persons Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2018, 2019, doi: 10.18356/9805f543-en.

2. “Forced Labor, Modern Slavery, and Human Trafficking.” International Labor Organization. Accessed July 31, 2019. “Monitoring Target 16.2 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.” United Nations Office on Drug and Crime. ↩︎


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