Types of Human Trafficking

Trafficking can come in many forms. While some types are more common than others, the one consistent aspect is the abuse of the inherent vulnerability of the victims.

Trafficking for forced labor
Victims of this widespread form of trafficking come primarily from developing countries. They are recruited and trafficked using deception and coercion, finding themselves held in conditions of slavery in a variety of jobs. Men, women, and children are engaged in agricultural, fisheries, and construction work, along with domestic servitude and other labor-intensive jobs.

Trafficking for sexual exploitation
This prevalent form of trafficking affects every region in the world, either as a source, transit, or destination country. Primarily women and children from developing countries and vulnerable parts of society in developed countries are lured using promises of decent employment into leaving their homes and traveling to what they consider to be a better life. Victims are often provided with false travel documents and an organized network is used to transport them to the destination country. There they find themselves forced into sexual slavery and held in inhumane conditions and constant fear.

Trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation of children in tourism
This crime type has been apparent in Asia for years and has now taken hold in Africa as well as Central and South America. The phenomenon is promoted by the growth of inexpensive air travel and the relatively low risk of prohibition and prosecution in these destinations for engaging in sexual relations with minors.

Trafficking for tissue, cells, and organs
Trafficking in humans for the purpose of using their organs, particularly kidneys, is a rapidly growing field of criminal activity. In many countries, waiting lists for transplants are very long and criminals have seized this opportunity to exploit the desperation of patients and potential donors. The health of victims, even their lives, is at risk as operations may be carried out in clandestine conditions with no medical experience of follow-up. An aging population and increased incidence of diabetes in many developed countries is likely to increase the requirement for organ transplants and make this crime even more lucrative.

People smuggling
Closely connected to trafficking in human beings is the issue of people smuggling. This has taken on new proportions in recent months, especially in the Mediterranean region. It is clear that organized criminal networks are taking advantage of the humanitarian crisis for financial gain.

Information gathered by Interpol.

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