Around the world millions of men, women, and children are being exploited. Trafficking of Human Beings (THB) is one of the fastest growing criminal issues in the world, generating over $32 billion a year in profits (Polaris Project, 2012). The United Nations has identified at least 510 issues of human beings trafficking flows around the world. THB victims can be trafficked within their own country (origin) or internationally (destination country), within their work environment or outside its boundaries. The use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel an employee to do a work, to provide a service, or to have sex against his/her will is considered trafficking. In other words, it is a form of modern day slavery – victimizing the employees under the slogan of flag of work responsibilities.
In Europe for instance, Eastern European countries and the Balkans tend to be origin countries of trafficking and those within Northern and Western Europe are normally the most vulnerable destination countries to trafficking of human beings. While, Southern European countries tend to be used when victims are in transit from Asia, Africa and the Americas. Although, most of the reported victims of THB have been trafficked away from their home countries in the destination countries, an increasingly notable number of victims are trafficked close to their homes, within the regions or even within their country of origin, and their exploiters are often fellow citizen (Datta and Bales, 2013). Human trafficking includes trafficking for labor and sexual purposes. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimated 21 million victims of trafficking worldwide and forced into labor (2012). Additionally, more women and children are believed to be victims of human trafficking compared to men. According to the ILO (2014), about 11.4 million victims of trafficking are women and girls. Minors under the age of 18 years induced into commercial sex are victims of sex trafficking—regardless of whether the trafficker used force, fraud, or coercion.
In reality, trafficking happens regardless of the age, race, and place, in developed countries and developing ones, in international companies and local ones with migrants or native young or old and male or female individuals. Labor trafficking occurs in a range of different circumstances, labor trafficking is the result of poverty and a weakening social fabric in sender countries. It comes in the form of discrimination against vulnerable groups including women and ethnic minorities.
According to a 2008 U.S. Health and Human Services report, there are some common characteristics that make labor vulnerable to traffickers (Walters and Davis, 2011):
Ø They lack high education levels.
Ø They come from developing countries or communities with poverty, corruption, and high crime rates.
Ø They have social problems; for example, the lack of family support (e.g. are orphaned, runaway/ throwaway, homeless, have family members collaborating with traffickers).
Ø They have histories of physical and/or sexual abuse.