Other Forms of Trafficking

Last updated July 2014

While sexual exploitation and forced labor are the most common forms of trafficking that women experience, any form of trafficking violates women’s human rights. Women can be subjected to other forms of trafficking such as forced marriages, organ trafficking, forced begging, illegal adoption, participation in armed conflict, and participation in crime.[1]{C}{C} Many victims of trafficking experience more than one form of trafficking. Geography, culture and other factors play a role in the prevalence of a certain types of trafficking, such as the trafficking of children as child soldiers in Africa.{C}{C}[2] The clandestine nature of the human trafficking problem poses challenges for data collection, especially for less common types of trafficking.

Forced Marriage

An increasing number of women and girls have been trafficked under the guise of marriage. Women are sold by their family members and trafficked with false marriage documentation. In many instances these women are taken to different countries. Forced marriage trafficking allows the perpetrator to bypass certain cultural or societal laws with false marriage documents. Forced marriage can involve “threatening behaviour, abduction, imprisonment, physical violence, rape and, in some cases, murder.”[3]{C}{C} This practice is more commonly found in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.{C}{C}[4]

Organ Trafficking

Organ trafficking accounts for less than 1% of detected trafficking cases, yet occurs over a significant geographic area. Victims may have organs removed without their consent, or treated for non-existing conditions and have organs removed without their consent for trading purposes.[5]{C}{C} Several international protocols are in place to address this issue, such as the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking of Persons and the World Health Organization’s Guiding Principles on Human Organ Transplant. This practice is reported in areas of Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia.{C}{C}[6]{C}{C} For more information on this type of trafficking, see the Council of Europe’s Trafficking in Organs Report or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s report on Trafficking in Human Beings for the Purpose of Organ Removal.

[1]{C}{C} United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2012 (Vienna: 2012).

[2]{C}{C} Ibid.

[3]{C}{C} United Nations General Assembly, In-depth study on all forms of violence against women: Report of the Secretary-General, A/61/122/Add.1, par.122, July 6, 2006.

[4]{C}{C} Ibid.

[6]{C}{C} United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2012 (Vienna: 2012).