Trafficking is the modern face of slavery, and a global phenomenon, with dozens of millions of victims being trafficked for the purposes of prostitution. According to the United Nations:
- “’Trafficking in persons’ shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.
- Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;
- The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) have been used;
- The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered ‘trafficking in persons’ even if this does not involve any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article;
- ‘Child’ shall mean any person under eighteen years of age”
Trafficking is a global problem, and approximately hunderds of thousand of women are trafficked into Western Europe annually. Increasingly, all over Europe, foreign women outnumber the local women in prostitution. Women from Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, Central and Eastern Europe are the largest groups being trafficked into Western Europe. Organized international trafficking networks and small trafficking rings bringing in women from one particular country are the two types of operations used to traffic women into Europe. Legal fronts used to disguise trafficking into the EU include: entertainers, cabaret dancers, au-pair girls, students, applicants for political refugee status, adoptions, marriages, etc
The Trafficking in Persons Report is submitted each year to the U.S. Congress from the U.S. Department of State in an effort to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons. “Severe forms of human trafficking is defined 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 an act has not attained 18 years of age; or
- 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.”
The Trafficking Persons Report appoints a “Tier” to each country. The Tiers are defined as follows:
Countries whose governments fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards.
Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.
Tier 2 Watch List:
Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum
standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards AND:
- The absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing; or
- There is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or
- The determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.
Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.