What Is Human Trafficking?


By: Daniella Kirk

So What’s The Problem?

Anti-Human Trafficking ads can be spotted all over the place; from airports to planes to Churches and businesses… all telling me to call if I spot signs of human trafficking, but what is human trafficking and how do we know if we’ve seen it?

Well, let’s start from the beginning!

What Is Human Trafficking? 

In short: The Exploitation of Vulnerability.

Officially, the U.S. Government defines human trafficking as:

  • Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age. 

  • The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. 

What Does Human Trafficking Look Like?

There are many different forms of human trafficking, including:

  • Forced Labor

  • Sex Trafficking

  • Child Trafficking

  • Child and Forced Marriage

  • Bonded Labor / Debt Bondage

  • Domestic Servitude

  • Child Soldiers

  • Organ Harvesting

Why Should I Care?

Human Trafficking is a global problem and with so many enslaved in it (an estimated 27 Million), there is a high chance that you or someone you know has or will in the future, come across a victim, client or perpetrator.  It is good to be equipped for if you do.

How do I know if it’s happening here?

Doing a search for “Human Trafficking in _________ (state place)”, will always bring up results, but there has also been some great research done and reports made through sites like https://humantraffickinghotline.org/ where you can search for statistics in your specific state (U.S. only).

What Do I Do If I Think I’ve Seen Something Suspicious?

Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline, if your country has one. In the U.S. that number is:


If you are in immediate danger, you should of course call the police.

ACTION POINT: Do your research! 

Take time this week to read through and familiarize yourself with signs of human trafficking here and enter your national human trafficking hotline into your phone. 

Want to go a step further? Research statistics for human trafficking in your area. To combat a problem, we must find out what that problem is.

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Crystal Russell