Q & A

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Is there really a lot of trafficking in the US and Europe, isn’t it a ‘developing world’ problem?

Trafficking is a global problem and it’s happening in our communities, perhaps even on your street. In a 2005 report, the International Labour Organisation estimated that $31.6bn is made from the forced labour of trafficking victims, with $15bn of that money being generated within industrialised nations. With the public paying more for services in developed nations, there is more profit to be made from forced labour and sex trafficking in these countries.


How do you identify a trafficking victim?

There are many examples of red flags or indicators of a potential trafficking situation.  Just a few include:

  • Whether the individual(s) can leave or come and go as they please
  • Whether the individual is under 18 and is engaged in commercial sexual activity
  • Whether the individual works excessively long and/or unusual hours
  • Whether there are unusual physical security measures present, such as bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, constant surveillance, etc.
  • Whether the individual avoids eye contact or does not seem to be allowed to speak for themselves
  • Whether the individual is in control of his/her own identification documents
  • Whether the individual seems to have local knowledge and is aware of his/her location


What is the average amount paid for a trafficked person today?

In 1809 at the height of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, the average price of a slave equates to €31,500, however, today the average price is €70.


Who is demanding traffickers should work?

Consumer demand for cheap products, labour and services is enormous. In the commercial sex industry, business is booming. Traffickers can work in virtually every country around the world and move to wherever the greatest profit can be extracted. Their prime recruitment zones shift rapidly to best exploit opportunities. Combating the crime is complicated. Its covert nature coupled with improperly trained government and civic bodies, corruption and lax enforcement of laws and statutes, create the perception of low risk for traffickers.


Are children prosecuted as prostitutes if found to be selling sex?

If a child under the age of 18 is selling sex they are classed as a victim of sex trafficking. No child wants to be a prostitute. Most countries’ laws state that a minor is not capable of consenting to commercial sexual activity, so a minor engaged in commercial sexual activity is a victim of sex trafficking. Thus, the terms “child prostitute” or “juvenile prostitution” are inaccurate and should instead be replaced with “minor victim of sex trafficking”.