The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has created the universally accepted definition for human trafficking. This article breaks down human trafficking into the act, the means and the purpose. The UNODC does this so that countries are able to properly criminalize human trafficking. This link also includes a portion on the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking In Persons, Especially Women and Children which was adopted by the UN in 2000 in order to help fight this dilemma. However, the UNODC does admit that even though 110 countries have signed the protocol, very few traffickers have been prosecuted.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. “Human Trafficking.” United Nations. 30 June 2010. http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html
The Trafficking in Persons Report 2010 was released by the U.S. Department of State in June of this year. This section of the report highlights the different forms of human trafficking. This piece is crucial because it effectively explains forms of human trafficking that are not as well known such as forced labor, bonded labor, debt bondage, involuntary domestic servitude and various others.
Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. “What is Human Trafficking?” U.S. Department of State. 30 June 2010. http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2010/142747.htm
Common misconceptions about human trafficking include the idea that victims are always from poor villages, that a person must be moved to be trafficked, that and physical harm must be apparent. In reality, human trafficking victims may come from any socioeconomic status, do not necessarily have to be transported and can be psychologically abused, rather than physically. The Polaris Project is an organization that fights human trafficking and has compiled a list of common myths about the crime.
Polaris Project. “Common Myths and Misconceptions about Human Trafficking in the U.S.” Polaris Project. 27 July 2010. http://nhtrc.polarisproject.org/materials/Common-Myths-and-Misconceptions-about-Human-Trafficking-in-the-US.pdf