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Two Main Types of Trafficking

According to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, the different types of trafficking are

Sex trafficking: In which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion or in which the person induced to perform a sex act is not yet 18 years of age (child sex trafficking).

Labor trafficking: Recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for labor or services, through using force, fraud, or coercion. The person is subjected to involuntary servitude, debt bondage, peonage, or slavery.

Smuggling vs. Trafficking

Trafficking and smuggling are two different crimes, and law enforcement regards trafficked persons and smuggled persons in different ways.

Trafficking involves:

  • An element of coercion. A person cannot consent to enslavement.
  • A restriction of movement, withholding documents, providing low or no pay, etc.
  • Crime or violation against a person.
  • Subsequent exploitation and/or forced labor.
  • Trafficked persons are seen as victims by the law.

Smuggling involves:

It is important to distinguish between trafficking and smuggling, in order to identify those who are trafficking victims and to provide appropriate services.

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