Forms of Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking is also referred to as Modern Slavery.

Elements are:

  • The Process: the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons;
  • The control of persons by means of: threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits;
  • The End: Exploitation, which includes (at a minimum) sexual exploitation, forced labour, forced marriage, domestic servitude, slavery-like practices
What is Human Trafficking

Victims often go willingly with their traffickers because they are being deceived about the nature and conditions of the work.

Trafficking is a global phenomenon and nearly every country is a source, transit or destination (or combination of these three) for trafficked persons.


Slavery (Chattel Slavery) is the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised.

Or, in its narrowest sense, the word “slave” refers to people who are treated as the property of another person, household, company, corporation or government.

Slaves are held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase, or birth, and are deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to receive compensation (such as wages) in return for their labour.

Forced Labour

Forced Labour is all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty, and for which the said person has not offered him/herself voluntarily.

It is defined in section 73.2(3) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth) as:
“the condition of a person who provides labour or services (other than sexual services) and who, because of the use of force or threats:

1. Is not free to cease providing labour or services; or

2. Is not free to leave the place or area where the person provides labour or services.”

Labour Trafficking

‘Trafficking for the purposes of labour exploitation’ and ‘labour trafficking’ tend to be used to refer to trafficking in humans which has the end purpose of involving persons in forced labour e.g., enslaved workers on fishing vessels, or enslavement of migrant domestic workers, or bonded labour in an agricultural setting, or labour in a sweatshop or restaurant.

Domestic Servitude

Domestic Servitude is a form of slavery which occurs in households, and in most cases effects women and children. Domestic workers are brought into a country or are transported within a country; many suffer abuse by their ’employer’ including sexual assault. Domestic workers have been trafficked into private homes as well as Embassies and Consulates. Visas often require that a domestic worker remains with the original employer or face deportation; this discourages a worker from reporting any abuse.

Forced Marriage

Forced marriage occurs where full and free consent by both parties to a marriage does not exist, often as the result of coercion or deceit.[1]

Servile Marriage

Servile marriage refers to situations in which a person is considered a chattel that can be sold, transferred or inherited into marriage.[2]

Sham Marriage

A fraudulent marriage is one where there is no intention on the part of one or both of the spouses to participate in a genuine relationship as husband and wife.[3]

Organ Trafficking

Trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal is a growing international problem and sits uneasily within the normal trafficking in persons framework. The global demand for transplantable organs continues to increase with the development of modern transplantation procedures and immunosuppressant drugs (Scheper-Hughes 2005). The organ most commonly procured illegally is the kidney, as it can be retrieved from living donors. As awareness of trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal (TPOR) has increased, so has the number of declarations by international bodies and domestic laws condemning and criminalising such acts. [4]

Supply Chain

Supply chain is the name given to the production process of a good from the collection of raw material through to the final product. Workers may be enslaved at any stage of the supply chain.


The term “exploitation” may carry two distinct meanings:

1. The act of utilizing something for any purpose. In this case, exploit is a synonym for use.

2. The act of utilizing something in an unjust or cruel manner. It includes forcing people into prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

For children, exploitation may also include forced prostitution, illicit international adoption, trafficking for early marriage, or recruitment as child soldiers, beggars, for sports (such as child camel jockeys or football players), or for religious cults.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation is the result of a situation where a participant is forced into sexual servitude.

The trafficking protocol intentionally does not define the phrase “exploitation of prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation” because governments could not agree on a common meaning.

All delegates agreed that sexual servitude was trafficking. (Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women viewed 21 January 2008)


Coercion is the practice of compelling a person or manipulating them to behave in an involuntary way (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats, intimidation or some other form of pressure or force.

These are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way. Coercion may involve the actual infliction of physical pain/injury or psychological harm in order to enhance the credibility of a threat.

The threat of further harm may then lead to the cooperation or obedience of the person being coerced. Torture is one of the most extreme examples of coercion i.e. severe pain is inflicted on victims until they give interrogators the desired information.

The term is often associated with circumstances which involve the unethical use of threats or harm to achieve some objective. Coercion may also serve as a form of justification for a conclusion in a logical fallacy or non-logical argument.

Debt Bondage

Debt Bondage (Bonded Labour) is the status or condition that arises when a pledge of services is given as security for a debt, but the length and nature of such services are not limited and/or defined, and their value is not applied to the liquidation of the debt. The debtor may give his/her personal services or of those of a person under his/her control as security for the debt.

[1] Larson, Jacqueline Joudo, Lauren Renshaw, Samantha Gary-Barry, Andrevski, Hannah, and Toby Corsbie. Trafficking in persons monitoring report: January 2009-June 2011. AIC Monitoring Report, Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, 2012. P31
[2] Ibid, p 31
[3] Ibid, p3
[4] Ibid, p 18

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