UNODC on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling

According to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, which supplements the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, trafficking in persons is defined as follows:

"Trafficking in persons" shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring 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 labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. Trafficking invariably involves forcible movement of a person from one place to another and forcible utilization of their services with the intention of inducting them into trade for commercial gains. The word 'forcible' signifies that the action is against the person's will or that consensus has been obtained by making deceptive claims and false allurements. In some cases, consensus is obtained because of the victim's social conditioning, where the victim is not even aware that s/he is being exploited.