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Human trafficking is a serious crime that involves the exploitation of individuals for the purpose of forced labor or sexual exploitation. It is a form of modern-day slavery and is considered to be one of the most egregious human rights violations.

 

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), in 2021, there were around 50 million people worldwide living in modern slavery—mainly in forced labor or forced marriage. In addition to these two examples of human trafficking, there are also several others. The different types of human trafficking include:

 

  • Labor Trafficking – This type of trafficking involves the use of force, deception, or coercion to recruit, harbor, transport, or obtain a person for labor or services. This can include forced labor in factories, construction sites, agriculture, and other types of work.
  • Sex Trafficking – Sex trafficking involves the recruitment, transportation, or harboring of individuals for the purpose of sexual exploitation. This can include prostitution, pornography, and other forms of sexual exploitation.
  • Child Trafficking – This type of trafficking specifically targets children and can include forced labor, sexual exploitation, child marriage, and the use of children in armed conflict. Child trafficking is especially problematic as children often have no say in what is happening, are trusting of others and can be easily convinced, aren’t able to fight back, and aren’t always able to take care of themselves.
  • Bonded Labor – This type of trafficking—also known as debt bondage—is a form of forced labor in which a person is compelled to work in order to repay a debt or loan, often passed down through generations.
  • Forced Marriage – This type of trafficking involves marrying someone against their will. In this case, the victim may be forced to work, live in inhumane conditions, or may be forced to marry with the intent of using them for sexual exploitation or forced labor.
  • Organ Trafficking – The illegal removal, sale, or transplantation of human organs, tissue, or cells, is also considered a form of modern slavery, as the victims often are not able to make a voluntary decision. Instead, they are preyed upon for different parts of their body.

 

It is important to note that trafficking can occur within a country as well as across international borders. It is also important to remember that traffickers can be individuals or organized criminal groups. It is a complex problem that requires a multifaceted response, including law enforcement, social services, and a focus on preventing the demand for trafficked individuals. Understanding how to spot human trafficking is an essential part of helping to stop it.

The International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) advocates for the rights of all uprooted people, including refugees, internally displaced persons, and all migrants. ICMC and its members remain committed to supporting immigration policies that produce more sustainable solutions, including eliminating human trafficking.

ICMC and its members, the national conferences of Catholic Bishops worldwide, work to end human trafficking and support survivors. For example, in India, ICMC’s member performs rescue missions to remove survivors from situations of labor trafficking. ICMC’s European office has developed online resources to help communities support survivors of sex trafficking as they reintegrate into society. In the Central African Republic, ICMC and its member are developing a joint project to educate former child soldiers and children forced into prostitution and provide them with psychosocial support.

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About the International Catholic Migration Commission

 

The International Catholic Migration Commission is a nonprofit organization that protects, serves, and advocates for displaced people throughout the world. We help refugees, asylum-seekers, victims of human trafficking, and migrants of all faiths, races, and ethnicities forge lives in safety and dignity.

With support from people like you, ICMC delivers humanitarian aid and social development, protects vulnerable migrants, contributes to refugee resettlement efforts, advocates before governments, and partners with civic leaders. We seek a sustainable solution to dangerous migration and refugee crises.