Types of human trafficking

There are many forms of trafficking, but one consistent aspect is the abuse of the inherent vulnerability of the victims.

Overview

Trafficking for forced labour

Victims of this widespread form of trafficking come primarily from developing countries. They are recruited and trafficked using deception and coercion and find themselves held in conditions of slavery in a variety of jobs.

Victims can be engaged in agricultural, mining, fisheries or construction work, along with domestic servitude and other labour-intensive jobs.

INTERPOL operations have rescued trafficked men, women and children from forced labour. This crime is not limited to a single region or demographic.
Forced labour

Trafficking for forced criminal activities

This form of trafficking allows criminal networks to reap the profits of a variety of illicit activities without the risk. Victims are forced to carry out a range of illegal activities, which in turn generate income.

These can include theft, drug cultivation, selling counterfeit goods, or forced begging. Victims often have quotas and can face severe punishment if they do not perform adequately.

Trafficking in women for sexual exploitation

This prevalent form of trafficking affects every region in the world, either as a source, transit or destination country. Women and children from developing countries, and from vulnerable parts of society in developed countries, are lured by promises of decent employment into leaving their homes and travelling to what they consider will 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, where they find themselves forced into sexual exploitation and held in inhumane conditions and constant terror.

Sexual exploitation

Trafficking for the removal of organs

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 follow-up.

An ageing 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 human trafficking is the issue of people smuggling, as many migrants can fall victim to forced labour along their journey. Smugglers may force migrants to work in inhumane conditions to pay for their illegal passage across borders.