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Understanding and identifying trafficking in persons Trafficking in persons is not always easy to understand or to identify. It involves a process and can consist of a series of acts. Some of these acts might not be illegal under different circumstances. The combination of recruitment/procurement, transportation/movement and exploitation, are the main characteristics of the “process” of trafficking in persons. What is important is the characteristic of “exploitation” that distinguishes this type of trafficking from other forms of trafficking, for example the trafficking of drugs. The element of exploitation is the feature that has led to the process being referred to as “trafficking in persons” rather than “trafficking of persons”. It involves the organised removal of a person through an act of deception or force into an abusive and exploitative situation from which there is no means of escape. This is often coupled with abuse and exploitation, which can sometimes take place during the act of relocating the person. Various role-players may be involved in a trafficking operation. They include: Recruiters; agents; transporters; intermediaries; counterfeiters; employers; pimps; brothel owners; and in some instances friends and family members of the victim of trafficking. Below, we provide a few examples of ways in which trafficking in persons can take place. Please note that it can involve the trafficking of an individual or of groups of people.

Example 1: A bogus employment agent goes to a town in a rural area and recruits young women for work in the city. The agent promises the young women that they will work in a particular setting. They are told of a specific amount of money they will earn every month. He or she also offers to assist the group of young women in getting to the city and to their place of employment. The agent then provides them with transport to the city. In the city they are dropped off at a place where they are kept with other young women and children. It is here that they discover that they have been brought to a domestic worker agency and that they are expected to pay the agency for their transport, the cost of their accommodation and food while they are at the agency. This money they are informed will be deducted from their monthly wages, which is less than the agent promised them. They are given no choice but have to work as domestic worker. They are also guarded so that they cannot leave the premises of the domestic worker agency until they are ‘sold’ to an employer who treats them like a slave.

Example 2: An overseas tourist visits a fairly poor area in a city of another country. There he encounters an eight year-old girl. She is not in school and stays at home to help her mother raise her younger siblings. The tourist approaches her parents and makes them an offer. If they let him, he will arrange for their daughter to be taken to his country where he will raise her as his own child and provide her with an education. The girl’s parents sign a consent form and the man takes her away. He arranges for her flight to his country. Once she is in his home he subjects her to sexual acts, which he records on his video, and his friends watch the recording over the Internet.

What to do about Trafficking in persons - Resource Manual produced by Molo Songololo & UNODC


Resource Manual  
Resource Manual  

What to do about Trafficking in persons - Resource Manual produced by Molo Songololo & UNODC 1 Produced by © Molo Songololo 2007 A resou...