What is Trafficking?

April 22nd, 2007

MYTH Trafficking involves transporting immigrants across international borders.

FACT That's smuggling. Trafficking means coercing another person to perform labor or a commercial sexual activity. It includes debt bondage, peonage, and involuntary servitude. Many victims never leave their home country.

MYTH Trafficking involves violence and confinement.

FACT It can, but deceit, psychological manipulation, and threats of violence are also effective - and illegal - means of coercion.

MYTH U.S. laws don't apply to sex tourism abroad.

FACT Under international and U.S. law, any commercial sexual activity - including pornography and prostitution - involving a child under age fourteen is illegal. The child is not old enough to consent.

MYTH Human trafficking is a Third World problem.

FACT While many victims come from poor countries, much of the market for labor and sex is in wealthy nations - including the United States and Japan.

What do you think?
See what other readers are saying about this article and add your voice. 
Related Issue
January / February 2006