Human trafficking is defined as the use of force, fraud, or coercion to commodify one person for the benefit of another. Child trafficking has the same definition as human trafficking, except that the factors of force, fraud, and coercion are not necessary for an act to be considered trafficking. This is because children cannot give informed consent for things like sex or employment. The definitions of trafficking are intentionally broad to reach a larger scope of survivors and allow more people to access services.
One type of trafficking is labor trafficking. Statistics tell us this is actually the most common type of trafficking world-wide. Labor trafficking occurs when someone is made to work under threat of violence, coerced into employment, or lied to about an employment situation and is not allowed to leave. Sometimes there is a promise of a change in documentation status or better living conditions in order to coerce the person to work. Labor trafficking situations can include things like domestic servitude, nannying jobs, farm labor, nail salons, and construction work.
Another type of trafficking is sex trafficking. Sex trafficking is when anyone is made to perform sex acts via force, fraud, or coercion for the benefit of another person. For children who are victims of trafficking, force, fraud and coercion are not necessary for it to be considered a crime, as any sex act exchanged for anything of value with a child is considered to be child trafficking. This is so that any child who has experienced any type of commercial sexual exploitation or trafficking is eligible for services, and so that child victims of trafficking are protected under the law and are not charged with a crime. Child trafficking also includes online exploitation, such as pornography and the exchange of explicit photos through force, fraud, or coercion.
Services for victims of trafficking include legal and immigration services, medical services, tattoo removal, and financial assistance to name a few. The Child Advocacy Center of Niagara Safe Harbour Project provides case management to youth at risk of and victims of child sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, and links confirmed victims with additional services. Contact the Child Advocacy Center for more information.