Definition of Trafficking

last updated December 2014

 

In partnership with UN Women, The Advocates for Human Rights created the following sections for UN Women's Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls. This section, along with sections addressing other forms of violence against women and girls, may be found under Legislation at www.endvawnow.org.


Definition of Trafficking    

Legislation should prohibit the trafficking of widows into forms of exploitation, such as prostitution or forced marriage, and punish perpetrators. Drafters should define sex trafficking to include:

The acts of: recruitment, receipt, enticement, harboring, obtaining, providing, transferring, or transportation of persons;

The means of:

o By any means (recognizing that no one can consent to being trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation); or

o By one of the following means to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation (except where the trafficking victims are under age 18 in which case drafters should ensure that the means element of the definition of sex trafficking in not required):

§  Threats or use of force; or

§  Other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception; the abuse of power or a position of vulnerability; or

§  The giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person; AND

The purpose of:  Sexual exploitation, which must include at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others. 

(See Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, Article 3(a)).

Drafters should ensure that the means element of the definition of sex trafficking is not a required element for the sex trafficking of children, where a child or children is defined as any person under the age of 18. (See the Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls section of this module for more information).