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The crime of Trafficking in Persons 

Human trafficking harms women and men, girls and boys and affects every country in the world - as countries of origin, transit or destination or a combination of all three.

Under the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children : ''Trafficking in Persons'' is defined as "the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of 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.''

On the basis of the Protocol definition, the crime of trafficking has three constituent elements:

THE ACT =) Recruitment, transportation, harbouring or receipt of persons;

THE MEANS =) Threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim;

THE PURPOSE =) For the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs.



The Victims of Trafficking in Persons

The crime of human trafficking is heavily rooted in social and economic conditions including poverty, family violence,  marginalisation, lack of education. It is facilitated by practices that discriminate against the most vulnerable groups in society - in particular, women and children, but also refugees and migrants.

Women and girls make up 70% of overall trafficking victims worldwide. The vast majority are young women who have been forced into the sex trade. Women are also exploited for domestic servitude and forced labor.

Men are often exploited for forced labor, enduring harsh physical conditions and abuse. Male victims are frequently overlooked because of a common misperception that men are not trafficked.

Children trafficking is a major concern. Children are exploited for forced labor, petty crime and begging, child pornography and sex. Children account for 1 in 3 victims of human trafficking worldwide, though in some regions these figures are higher. Children who are forced to serve as soldiers are also considered as victims of human trafficking.




Recent News


Annual Report 2017

The 2017 Annual Report provides an overview of the management of the Trust Fund and outlines the call for proposals launched for the Third Grant Cycle and activities supported.

UNVTF Brochure

The UNVTF brochure highlights the work and achievements of the Trust Fund and its NGO partners. Learn more about the progress and impact of our projects around the globe. 

Trust Fund at a Glance

The UN Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons is enabling specialized protection and direct assistance to 3,000 victims every year. Click here for translations in: EN, FR, SP and CH.

Call for Proposals

The Trust Fund's small grants programme awards multi-year grants to non-governmental organizations around the world that provide direct assistance to victims of human trafficking.


Useful links

UNVTF NewsRoom UNVTF Newsletter
Human Trafficking Testimonials UNODC and Human Trafficking
UN Blue Heart Campaign Against Human Trafficking United Nations Global Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons




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