What Do We Mean When We Speak of Human Trafficking?

By Instituto Nacional de Migración

Human trafficking is a phenomenon that affects all regions and most countries of the world. Today it is increasingly affects many sectors of society, since it does not respect rank or condition, and trafficking networks are becoming more sophisticated, using modern technology to circumvent the laws, and perfecting their methods of capturing victims.

Report trafficking to:
01 800 008 5400
Río Elba No. 17, Col. Cuauhtémoc,
Del. Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06500, México, D.F.
Calle Maquiladores esq. con
Pespuntadores No. 200, Col. CD. Industrial, C.P. 37490, León, Gto.
01 800 368 6242
Camino a San José de Cervera No. 140
Col. San José de Cervera, C.P. 36250, Guanajuato, Gto.

Each year thousands of people, mostly women and children are tricked, sold, coerced, or in other ways subjected to exploitation from which they cannot escape. Trafficking constitutes a global industry worth billions of dollars, which is dominated by well-organized groups of criminals operating with impunity. Traffickers use various methods to recruit their victims, ranging from outright abduction, to purchasing people from their own family members. However, in most cases, the potential victim, looking for an opportunity to emigrate, is approached by an acquaintance or is attracted by an advertisement. Some are led to believe that they are being recruited to work legally or be married abroad; others know that they are being recruited for the sex industry and that they will be forced to work to repay the cost of their recruitment and transportation, but they are deceived about their work conditions.

A complex network of dependency is woven, in which traffickers generally try to take over the legal identity of the victim, confiscating their passports or documents. Entry or stay in the country of destination is often illegal, which only serves to increase reliance on traffickers. It is bondage that controls the victims of trafficking and ensures their long-term profitability. Traffickers often use physical coercion, violence, and intimidation.

Traffickers are rarely arrested and almost never prosecuted. In most cases, victims of trafficking are regarded as criminals by the authorities of the receiving state, and are often arrested, prosecuted, and deported. Victims of trafficking are not inclined to cooperate with law enforcement authorities in the countries of destination, due to fear of reprisals from the traffickers. Ignorance of their rights and legal protections, cultural and linguistic barriers, and lack of support mechanisms make victims feel even more isolated and prevents them from seeking justice or receiving a response from the judicial authorities.


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