Human Trafficking

United Nations defines human trafficking as 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.  

Human trafficking stems from three parts – Act, Means, and Purpose.

  • Act is the recruitment, transport, transfer, or harboring of persons.
  • Means includes threats, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, or abuse of power.
  • Purpose includes exploitation, prostitution, forced labor, slavery or similar practices, or other types of exploitation.

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a persons through force, fraud, or coercion, OR someone under the age of 18 and something of value is exchanged, promised, or received to perform. Examples include engaging a child for sexual performance, directing or promoting sexual performance by a child, or sexual battery, conduct, or performance. 

Sex trafficking can happen at strip clubs, residential brothels, fake massage businesses, street prostitution, escort services, hotels or motels or online. Labor trafficking can happen in domestic work, at farms, businesses, or factories.

Contact Maggie Malaney, STSM Trafficking Survivor Advocate, at for additional resources or support. If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, contact Sexual Trauma Services Crisis Hotline at (803) 771-7273. You are not alone.