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Human trafficking

What is human trafficking?

Human trafficking is the movement of a person from one place to another using deception, coercion, the abuse of power or the abuse of someone’s vulnerability.

Most commonly, people are trafficked for the purposes of modern slavery such as:

  • sexual exploitation
  • domestic servitude
  • forced labour
  • criminal exploitation
  • other forms of exploitation – such as organ harvesting

See more about modern slavery

It is possible to be a victim of trafficking even if you give consent to being moved. Although it often involves an international cross-border element, it is possible to be a victim within your own country.

There are three main elements:

  • the movement – recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of people.
  • the control – threat, use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or the giving of payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim.
  • the purpose – exploitation of a person, which includes prostitution and other sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices, and the removal of organs.

Children cannot give consent to being moved, so the coercion or deception elements do not have to be present.

Countries throughout Europe translate and interpret the Palermo Protocol in different ways.  This means that the definition of what makes up human trafficking can differ between nations.

Report it

If you think a person is in immediate danger from trafficking, you should call us on 999.

If you are a victim, or hold information that could lead to the identification, discovery and recovery of victims in the UK, you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. They will treat your information in the strictest confidence.

More help and support

The UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC)

The UKHTC plays a central role in the National Crime Agency's (NCA) fight against serious and organised crime. Find out more about the UK Human Trafficking Centre.

Human Trafficking Foundation

Stop the Traffik

13 Nov 20 10:11 AM

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