Slavery and Trafficking

Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery

The crime of human trafficking or Trafficking in Persons (TIP) involves violence, control and the ‘ownership’ of human being – all for profit. In 2018,  the Global Slavery Index estimated that more than 40 million people are living as slaves today. Over 24 million people are forced to work for very little or no payment. The report also said 15 million people are in forced marriages, including child marriage.  Of the 40 million, 10 million are minors, children aged 17 years and younger. Furthermore, 71% are female, 29% male.

Who are the victims of this crime?

Anybody, can be a victim of human trafficking – and even in your own country, your  own city. Traffickers target people who are desperate and vulnerable. Poverty, unemployment, little or no education, illness, war, persecution, and disasters, such as, earthquakes can make people vulnerable. Traffickers also look for people who seem emotionally vulnerable, who feel lonely or unloved and would like to feel ‘special’ – especially children and teenagers.

With smiling eyes, human traffickers tell lies.             

Traffickers lie and they are very good liars. They tell lies so that victims believe there are wonderful opportunities for work and a better life. With smiling eyes, traffickers tell victims about fake jobs. Sometimes the trafficker will pretend to be in love with the victim. They might buy presents, meet the victim’s family and promise a romantic adventure. However, the trafficker’s intention is to make money by exploiting the victim. Traffickers use threats control their victims. ‘If you try to escape, we will hurt (or even kill) someone in your family.’ Fear and violence are powerful, effective ways to control a person. Traffickers are both male and female, and can be of any age.

How are victims exploited?

Human traffickers or slaveholders exploit victims in different ways. They might force people to work in construction, mines, fishing, agriculture, or factories. Slavery is often in the supply chain of our daily products – chocolate, sugar, tea, coffee, cotton, fish, fruit, vegetables and minerals in our smart electronics. Another form of exploitation is called commercial sexual exploitation (CSE). This can happen to both males and females, including children, teenagers and adults – online or face to face. Workers in private homes are sometimes treated like slaves. This form of abuse and exploitation is called domestic servitude. Forced marriage, child soldiers and forced illegal activity such as theft and pickpocketing are also ways in which people of all ages can become victims of the crime of Trafficking in Persons.

Go online and learn more.
Do you know the trafficking hotline number in your country? Learn it. Share it.
Do you know what lies and fake promises traffickers use to recruit their victims? Find out what’s happening in your country.

Where is slavery happening?

In private homes
In our suburbs
In downtown city areas
In hotels
In restaurants, bars, clubs
In beauty salons
In car wash facilities
On farms, orchards, vineyards,
In cotton fields
On cocoa plantations
In mines for gold and other minerals you find in your electronics
On fishing boats
On construction sites
In factories
In handmade carpet workshops
In clothing factories
…in other words


What drives slavery and human trafficking? 


Human traffickers make money by exploiting other human beings. Using physical and psychological violence, or threats of violence, traffickers are able to exploit the vulnerability of their victims, and exploit them in different ways to generate profit. Fear and the threat of violence to love ones are often methods used to control victims. 

Poverty, little or no formal education, family illness, limited economic opportunity, persecution, war, political instability, natural disasters, an unsafe family environment are all factors that may create a situation of extreme vulnerability for potential victims of human trafficking.

But do these factors cause human trafficking?  

No. Not exactly.  

Human trafficking is a business. Like any successful business, it cannot thrive without a demand for the product/service.


Human trafficking and human smuggling are not the same crime. Human smuggling is a crime based on transportation, while human trafficking – or Trafficking in Persons – is a crime based on exploitation. Despite the word ‘trafficking’ which suggests movement – a person can become a victim of Trafficking in Persons in their own community. If they are being forced to do something against their will, not being paid – or paid very little, or in paid in-kind e.g. food/housing’ only, and if this person’s movement and activities are being controlled by another person – either through psychological manipulation, threats or physical abuse  – all in order to generate financial gain for another person or people -then these are all key indicators of the crime of Trafficking in Persons.

Smuggling requires the illegal crossing of an international or state border and may not involve any of the above criteria.

This feature-length documentary is about the outstanding work of Nobel Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi, his family and his team. If you ever doubt that child slavery does not exist in this century – watch this. It should be compulsory viewing in every high school globally.

Published by The NO Project