The context

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What is the definition of "human trafficking" ?

The trafficking of human beings, more often called "human trafficking" is a commerce in which individuals, often very poor and isolated, find themselves at the mercy of traffickers who "sell" them to exploiters. The transaction is based on an unequal power relationship, lies, and false promises of financial gain. The victim, with insufficient education or information, accepts the promise of work or marriage without suspecting the fate that awaits them.

There are an infinite number of situations, each person has their story. However the causes are the same in each case.
A person who is extremely poor possesses only one resource, themselves. In a fraudulent context they believe that they are selling their capacity to work, whereas the employer is buying the person. The children who are dependent on the decisions of their parents find themselves in an even more difficult situation.

Who is concerned by this trafficking of human beings ?

Each year more than 2 million people fall into the trap, are sent to another region or another country, without papers and without work contracts. 80% of them are sexually exploited, the others are modern-day slaves condemned to forced labor, compounded by psychological and even sexual harassment, with violence of all sorts entrapping them in the role of victim, from which it is difficult to escape.

On average victims are 13 years old.


Giri, emigrated to India, sold by her uncle.

Rescued from India at the age of 16, Giri (an assumed name), now 30 years old, is the director of the Nepalese organization struggling against trafficking. She created the organization with 15 other young girls trapped in Bombay and sexually exploited as she was. 5 of them have died of AIDS. "When I was 5, my family went to live on a farm in India. Everything went well until I was 14; 

my uncle arranged my marriage against my will and against the will of my parents. One day I was alone at home, a man arrived, declared that he had paid for me and raped me. My parents fled with me. But I was pregnant. Until the birth of my son, in spite of our difficult situation, life was alright. Then a Nepalese farmer who was part of our group of seasonal workers drugged me and sold me to a brothel. For 6 months I was forced to prostitute myself. Following a raid by the police of Bombay I was freed along with 500 other young girls and placed in a shelter for a year. The conditions were hard; we were mistreated daily, but Nepal refused to reintegrate us because we had no identification papers and thus no proof of our nationality. It was necessary for the media and the non-profits to intervene so that we could return to Nepal.".

What are the causes of this huge and growing phenomenon?

  • An extremely profitable commerce: the commerce in human being, in constant expansion, generates more than 30 billion dollars in profits per year! It is growing faster than the traffic in arms and in drugs.
  • The existence of supply: the residents of regions where poverty is endemic, vulnerable children and women who are already victims of domestic violence, families impacted by the absence of job opportunities and revenues.
  • The existence of demand: in most countries sexual services are sought after; this violence is supported by permissive attitudes towards prostitution. Violence is seen as common-place, sexual services are widely accessible through the internet with the idea that "anything can be bought or sold", making the commerce of human beings easy and tolerable.
  • Lack of resources for public institutions, especially in countries where state structures are fragile or non-existent..

How to fight back?

Planète Enfants has developed a global approach and interventions adapted to each population addressed.

>> To find out more

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