Human trafficking is a horrific crime against the fundamental rights and dignity of the human person. The United Nations Protocol on Human Trafficking defines it as “the “recruitment, transportation, harboring or receipt of persons by means of force, fraud or coercion.”
According to the U.S. State Department, every country in the world is affected by trafficking. The United States is no exception, serving as a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children – both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals. According to the State Department’s 2012 annual Trafficking in Persons Report, federal and state human trafficking data indicate more investigations and prosecutions have taken place for sex trafficking than labor trafficking in the US. However, victim service providers reported assisting significantly higher numbers of foreign national victims in cases of labor trafficking than in cases of sex trafficking. Non-governmental and religious organizations, such as the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, have noted increasing reports of children recruited into criminal activity, particularly at the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as traveling sales crews and peddling rings utilizing the forced labor of children and adults.
For detailed information on this issue, visit the USCCB website.