Trafficking & Exploitation

What happens to trafficking victims?

Human Trafficking In Your Country

An introduction to modern slavery where you live.


Visit our dedicated Professionals area for in-depth briefings on human trafficking, specialist resources and information about training offered by Hope for Justice for frontline agencies, organisations and individuals.

Types of Exploitation

we have found prevalent in our work

Sexual Exploitation

A person who is trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation may be controlled by violence, threats, substance abuse, deception or grooming.

Grooming of children and young people can also include what is described as the ‘lover boy’ approach. Vulnerable girls may be approached and befriended by a man who acts like their boyfriend and gains their trust by giving them attention, affection and/or gifts. This ‘lover boy’ then asks the girl to go with his ‘friend’, the “lover boy” is a recruiter, his ‘friend’ is the trafficker. The trafficker controls the recruiter through threats and/or payments. The girl is then exploited by the trafficker and/or his clients.

Sexual exploitation may include:
Prostitution (commercial sex) – Creation of pornographic material – Ritual abuse.

 Forced Labor

Forced labor is work done involuntarily under the threat of a penalty such as violence or harm to the victim’s family. Control mechanisms can also include debt bondage where a person is forced to work to pay off a debt or loan which can never actually be paid off because the wages are so low or because unreasonable deductions are made. Domestic servitude is a type of forced labor in which a victim is usually expected to work around a person’s home every day and be ‘on call’ 24 hours a day. A victim often won’t have any personal space or their own bed. The term ‘forced labor’ also covers forced criminal activity.

Forced labor can occur in many industries but is most common in ‘cash-in-hand’ transactions in industries such as:  
Agriculture – Construction – Car Washes – ‘Agency-organised’ casual labor like food packaging.


Commercial Sexual Exploitation
of Children (CSEC)

“Commercial sexual exploitation of children occurs when individuals buy, trade, or sell sexual acts with a child. Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act. Children who are involved in the commercial sex industry are viewed as victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons, which is sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age. A commercial sex act is any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.


How does a child become a victim?

“Pimps and traffickers target vulnerable children and lure them into prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation using psychological manipulation, drugs, and/or violence. Any child may be vulnerable to such a person who promises to meet his or her emotional and physical needs. A trafficker/pimp’s main purpose is to exploit the child for monetary gain. Often traffickers/pimps will create a seemingly loving and caring relationship with their victim in order to establish trust and allegiance. This manipulative relationship tries to ensure the youth will remain loyal to the exploiter even in the face of severe victimization. These relationships may begin online before progressing to a real-life encounter.”


See references

Internal & External Trafficking

Human trafficking is a national as well as an international problem.

Internal Trafficking

Internal Trafficking

Internal trafficking occurs when a person is recruited in one area of a country or city and moved from area to area or city to city within the same country for the purposes of exploitation. An example would be a runaway girl picked up in Philadelphia, USA who is then driven from truck stop to truck stop up and down America’s East coast to be sold for sex.

External trafficking

 External Trafficking

If a person is trafficked into one country from another country it is case of external trafficking. An example would be a homeless man in Warsaw, Poland who is offered a job in the UK and travels to the UK but then finds himself trapped in forced labour. He is unable to leave because he has no money, can’t speak English and his trafficker has taken his passport.


“Hope for Justice works with all victims of human trafficking. Whether it’s a young girl sold for sex again and again in the city where she grew up or a father who’s travelled overseas trying to support his family at home. We believe in the incredible value of every life.”

Dave Rogers
US Director


“You can call me Emma,
No one has called me Emma since this all began.”