top of page

What is human trafficking, sexual exploitation and human slave labour? Do we need to worry?

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

Our Mission at Hands Across the World is to implement quality education programs to empower communities to have impact in the prevention of human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and human slave labour.

Human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and human slave labour seems, for so many people, far away in a sort of “ I can imagine what these words mean, but this has nothing to do with me..” kind of thinking. And we don´t judge that, we just kindly ask you to read on.

If that´s not you and you are right in this subject matter, please contact us on and we would love to source your knowledge to constantly advance in our field.

But if you´re really not sure what all this is about, please read on. Your 2 minutes of reading this might actually already help a few children in this world.

These aforementioned complex crimes are notoriously hard to measure. Traffickers are denying nearly 25 million people their fundamental right to freedom, forcing them to live enslaved and toil for their exploiter’s profit. *

These are almost as many people as there live on the Australian continent including little children!

Do you think this is not happening in your country? No.Maybe… Would you like to check on that?

For example Germany is only listed as a Tier 2 country on the TIP report. Even Columbia and Namibia are above the Germans when it comes to safety measurements regarding human trafficking and human exploitation. Each country’s tier ranking is based on the government’s efforts to combat trafficking as measured against the `Trafficking Victims Protection Act: Minimum Standards for the Elimination of Trafficking in Persons´ and compared to its efforts in the preceding year.*

Slavery, human trafficking and the exploitation of people are often but not always interconnected.

What is Human Trafficking?

According to the definition of the United Nations, human trafficking means: “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons for the purpose of exploitation.

…this is a global crime that trades in people and exploits them for profit. People of all genders, ages and backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world. Traffickers use violence, fraudulent employment agencies, and fake promises of education and job opportunities to trick, coerce and deceive their victims. The organized networks or individuals behind this lucrative crime take advantage of people who are vulnerable, desperate or simply seeking a better life.**

What is sexual exploitation?

Sexual exploitation is an act or acts committed through non-consensual abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage, or any other non-legitimate purpose.***

Child sexual exploitation and abuse is when a person(s), of any age takes advantage of a power imbalance to force or entice a child into engaging in sexual activity in return for something received by the child and/or those perpetrating or facilitating the abuse. As with other forms of child sexual abuse, the presence of perceived consent does not undermine the abusive nature of the act.***

What is human slave labour (also called forced labour)?

Forced labour can be understood as work that is performed involuntarily and under the menace of any penalty. It refers to situations in which persons are coerced to work through the use of violence or intimidation, or by more subtle means such as manipulated debt, retention of identity papers or threats of denunciation to immigration authorities.***** This can take many forms from sexual exploitation, hard underpaid labour or organ trafficking. The enslaver's power can be manifested physically or psychologically. This is also happening to children worldwide.

Who is effected?

The atrocities mentioned above include children in a high percentage. They can affect people of any gender, race and age. However, it most commonly affects those made more vulnerable by insufficient access to opportunities, education, healthcare or sanitation.

So de we need to worry, inform ourselves and help? What do you think?

*United States Department of State. 2021. 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report - United States Department of State. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 30 June 2021].

**United States Department of State. 2021. 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report - United States Department of State. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 30 June 2021].

*** 2021. What is Sexual Exploitation? :: SHARE :: Swarthmore College. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 30 June 2021].

**** 2021. Child sexual exploitation: definition and practitioner briefing paper - [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 7 July 2021].

***** 2021. What is forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking (Forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking). [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 30 June 2021].

19 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page