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Chapter 2

Types of Human Trafficking

Brief Outline of Topic:

Types of Human Trafficking:

2.1.        Forced Prostitution

2.2.        Forced Labour

2.3.        Forced Marriage

2.4.        Organ Theft

2.5.        Child Abduction and Trafficking

2.6.        Child-Selling

2.7.        Forced Child Begging

2.8.        Trafficking Boat

Objective of Write-Up:

To help the youth learn more about the different types of human trafficking.


  • Human Trafficking is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons of various ages, for exploitation. There are many ways in which human trafficking may occur such as: threat, use of force, other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, giving or receiving payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over the victim. The purpose of exploitation includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs.

  • A trafficker is a person who trades in illegal goods, especially drugs, or who buys or sells people or makes money from the work people are forced to do, such as sex work.

  • Child abduction is defined as the unauthorized removal of a minor from the custody of the child’s natural parents or legally appointed guardians.

  • Forced prostitution also known as involuntary prostitution, is prostitution or sexual slavery that takes place as a result of coercion by a third party. The terms “forced prostitution” or “enforced prostitution” appear in international and humanitarian conventions such as Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court but have been insufficiently understood and inconsistently applied.

  • Forced labour – According to the International Labour Organization Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), “Forced or compulsory labour is all work or service which people are forced to do against their will and is exacted from any person under the threat of a penalty / punishment and for which the person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily.”


  Cyprus is a main destination country for trafficking victims, subjected to forced labour and prostitution.

  • Female sex trafficking victims are recruited with false promises of marriage or work as barmaids or hostesses.

  • Foreign migrant workers are subjected to forced labor in agriculture. Migrant workers subjected to labour trafficking are recruited by employment agencies and enter the country on short-term work permits; after the permits expire, they are often subjected to debt bondage, threats, and withholding of pay and documents.

  • Asylum-seekers are subjected to forced labor in agriculture and domestic work.

  • Unaccompanied children, children of migrants, Romani, and asylum-seekers are especially vulnerable to sex trafficking and forced labour. Romani children are vulnerable to forced begging.

2.1. Forced Prostitution

Forced prostitution is a crime against any person. Cyprus made some progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2009 by convicting an increased number of traffickers; however, overall sentences for trafficking-related offenses remained inadequate. Cyprus prohibits both sex and labor trafficking through Law 87 (I)/2007, which also contains protection measures for victims. Although the penalties prescribed for sex trafficking range up to 20 years’ imprisonment, these penalties are not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape, for which the maximum sentence is life in prison. Of the 17 trafficking cases, eight were sent to court, seven are still under investigation, and two were “otherwise disposed of.” The government convicted ten sex trafficking offenders in 2009, compared with one in 2008, and courts handed down harsher penalties for some traffickers. Sentences ranged from a $4,400 fine to four years in prison.

2.2. Forced Labour

It affects millions of men, women and children around the world. It is most often found in industries with a lot of workers and little regulation. These include:

●      Agriculture and fishing

●      Domestic work

●      Construction, mining, quarrying and brick kilns

●      Manufacturing, processing and packaging

●      Prostitution and sexual exploitation

●      Market trading and illegal activities

Number of people in forced labour worldwide (estimates by the 2012 International Labour Organization):

●      24.9 million people across the world

●      1.6 million in Central, Southeast and Eastern Europe (non-EU) and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

2.3. Forced Marriage

Forced marriage is a marriage in which one or more of the parties is married without his or her consent or against his or her will. Marriages throughout history were arranged between families, especially before the 18th century. Practices varied by culture, but usually involved the legal transfer of dependency of the woman from her father to the groom.

Secondary Topics for Forced Marriage:

●    Child marriages were common historically, but began to be questioned in the 19th and 20th century. Child marriages are often considered to be forced marriages, because children (especially young ones) are not able to make a fully informed choice whether or not to marry, being influenced by their families.

●  Historically, forced marriage was also used to require a captive (slave or prisoner of war) to integrate with the host community and accept his or her fate.

●      Forced marriage was also practiced by authoritarian governments as a way to meet population targets.

●  Raptio is a Latin term referring to the large scale abduction of women, (kidnapping) either for marriage or enslavement (particularly sexual slavery). The practice is surmised to have been common since anthropological antiquity.

An arranged marriage is not the same with a forced marriage: in the former, the spouse has the possibility to reject the offer; in the latter, they do not. The line between arranged and forced marriage is however often difficult to draw, due to the implied familial and social pressure to accept the marriage and obey one’s parents in all respects.


According to data provided by the Forced Marriage Unit, from the United Kingdom, this issue is not a problem specific to one country, region or culture. There have been identified over 90 countries across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and America that face this social threat even nowadays. The six highest volume countries in 2016 were: Pakistan – 612 cases (43%), Bangladesh – 121 cases (8%), India – 79 cases (6%), Somalia – 47 cases (3%), Afghanistan – 39 cases (3%), Saudi Arabia – 16 cases (1%).

European and International Legislation against Forced Marriage

Although forced marriage in Europe is most often associated with the immigrant population, it is also present among some local populations, especially among the Roma communities in Eastern Europe.

The UK Forced Marriage Consultation, published in 2011, found forcing someone to marry to be a distinct criminal offence in Austria, Belgium, Turkey, Denmark, Norway and Germany. In 2014, it became a distinct criminal offence in England and Wales.

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence defines and criminalizes forced marriage, as well as other forms of violence against women. The Convention came into force on 1 August 2014.

In November 2014 UCL held an event, Forced Marriage: The Real Disgrace, where the award-winning documentary Honor Diaries was shown, and a panel including Jasvinder Sanghera CBE (Founder of Karma Nirvana), Seema Malhotra MP (Labour Shadow Minister for Women), and Dr Reefat Drabu (former Assistant General Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain) discussed the concept of izzat (honour), recent changes in UK law, barriers to tackling forced marriage, and reasons to be hopeful of positive change.

The 1956’s  Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery defines “institutions and practices similar to slavery” to include any institution or practice whereby:

(i) A woman, without the right to refuse, is promised or given in marriage on payment of a consideration in money or in kind to her parents, guardian, family or any other person or group; or

(ii) The husband of a woman or his family has the right to transfer her to another person for value received or otherwise; or

(iii) A woman on the death of her husband is liable to be inherited by another person;

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, states:

Article 32 – Civil consequences of forced marriages

Parties shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that marriages concluded under force may be voidable, annulled or dissolved without undue financial or administrative burden placed on the victim.

Article 37 – Forced Marriage

1 Parties shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that the intentional conduct of forcing an adult or a child to enter into a marriage is criminalised.

2 Parties shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that the intentional conduct of luring an adult or a child to the territory of a Party or State other than the one she or he resides in with the purpose of forcing this adult or child to enter into a marriage is criminalised.

2.4. Organ Theft

Organ theft was considered a belief and a popular urban legend topic that an organized scheme exists to steal human organs for the purpose of transplantation and being sold to the highest bidder. However, there are some cases that have been proven to be real, with reported incidences in India of such criminal activities, as well as in territories controlled by the Islamic State.

Organ theft in Kosovo has also been widely reported. Documented cases have shown up in Indonesia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, and many other countries. The reason? The demand for organ transplants, especially kidney transplants, is just so high. 123,000 men, women, and children are on the organ donor’s list right now. An average of 25 will die each day. As a result, there is a huge scramble to find organs, legitimate or otherwise.

11,000 human organs were obtained on the black market in 2010, according to the World Health Organisation. That organization states that an organ is sold every hour, each day, every day of the year.

The UN HUB or Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, has listed the organ trade as one of their top priorities. Someday 3D printed organs using stem cells will make donation obsolete. But human organ trafficking will continue to be a serious, global problem as long as global inequality remains unchanged, desperate people of affluence and those just as desperate financially tight — tight regulations or not — believe there are huge profits to be had.

2.5. Child Abduction and Trafficking

Around 250,000 children are reported missing in the European Union every year. 2-5% of this figure of missing children cases reported involved third party criminal abductions based on the Missing Children Europe Annual Report 2014. The problem that arises from available statistics is the fact that they may be inaccurate due to: under-reporting or under-recognition, inflation, incorrect database entry of case information and deletion of records once a case is closed.

In Cyprus, 4 children went missing during 2016 none of which were recovered within a month, based on Amber alert Europe. In addition, based on the Europol Data, during 2015-2016 about 50 cases of missing children were reported. Out of the 29 cases reported in 2016, the 16 were actual abductions. 24 cases were reported in 2015.

The use of illegal airports and harbours by the illegal Turkish-Cypriot regime has become a source of crime and numerous illegal activities, with the abduction of children being one of them. Furthermore, the Republic of Cyprus authorities have faced obstacles when carrying out strict controls in barricades, due to enforcement of the Green Line Regulation.

Within and across the European borders, children are trafficked into a variety of exploitative situations, violating their human rights and threatening their survival and development. The trafficking of children and young people into Europe in an increasing phenomenon.

Child trafficking is the movement and exploitation of children. Children may find themselves forced into prostitution, drug smuggling, domestic slavery, criminal activity, street begging, exploitative labour or they may be exploited for benefit fraud or adoption. Many of these children come from West Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia, often lured away by promises of jobs and a better life with no idea of what awaits them.

2.6 Child-Selling

Child-selling is the practice of selling children, usually by parents, legal guardians, or subsequent masters or custodians. After a sale, when the subsequent relationship with the child is essentially non-exploitative, the usual purpose of child-selling is to permit adoption.

In ancient Rome, Augustine wrote that “there were indigent parents selling their children because they needed the cash.”

In contemporary Nepal, parents of poor families sell their children to orphanages (or sometimes simply hand them over without any payment). The orphanage then misrepresent them as “orphans”, ensuring an income for the orphanages.

Worldwide, in recent years, according to reporter Barbara Bisantz Raymond, brokers steal and sell children. In France, Italy, Greece and Portugal, in 2007, brokering was being investigated by Interpol.

Children may be trafficked for the purposes of adoption, particularly international adoption. Children are sourced from orphanages or kidnapped, or parents may be tricked, cajoled or coerced into relinquishing custody. Disreputable international adoption agencies then arrange international adoptions, charging high fees to prospective adoptive parents.

The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in regard to Intercountry Adoption is an international agreement designed to protect children from such exploitation and to assist in preventing such illegal intercountry adoptions. The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption is a treaty which bans the buying and selling of children and attempts to impose controls and regulation on inter-country adoption, which gives rise to the practice.

2.7. Forced Child Begging

Forced Child Begging is a type of begging in which boys and girls under the age of eighteen are forced to beg through psychological and physical coercion.

Begging is defined by the Buffalo Human Rights Law Review as “the activity of asking for money as charity on the street”.

There is evidence to suggest that forced begging is one industry that children are trafficked into, with a recent UNICEF study reporting that 13% of trafficking victims in South Eastern Europe have been trafficked for the purpose of forced begging. The United Nations protocol affirms that “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered ‘trafficking in persons’ even if this does not involve any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article.” With this definition the transportation of a child to an urban center for the purposes of begging constitutes trafficking regardless of whether this process was enforced by a third party or family member. The severity of this form of trafficking is starting to gain global recognition, with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the European Union, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the United Nations, among others, beginning to emphasize its pertinence.

The European Union’s Brussels Declaration on Preventing and Combating Trafficking includes child begging as one form of trafficking, stating “trafficking in human beings is an abhorrent and worrying phenomenon involving coercive sexual exploitation, labor exploitation in conditions akin to slavery, exploitation in begging and juvenile delinquency as well as domestic servitude.” This issue is especially difficult to regulate given that forced begging is often imposed by family members, with parental power leveraged over a child to ensure that begging is carried out.


By definition child begging occurs in persons younger than eighteen, though forced begging has been found by UNICEF to exist among children as young as the age of two. Incidents of this practice have been recorded by the World Bank in South and Central Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and West Africa.

Most research, such as studies done by UNICEF, suggests that boys are much more likely than girls to be trafficked for the purposes of begging; experts presume this is because there is a greater female presence in trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation. In Albania, where forced begging is a common practice, seventy percent of victims are male.

While concrete figures are difficult to determine, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has recently reported that there are at least 600,000 children involved in forced begging. The problem may be much more extensive, however, with China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs reporting that as many as 1.5 million children are forced into begging. Additionally, a recent study done in Senegal by Human Rights Watch projected that a minimum of 50,000 children within the country and neighboring nations have been trafficked for the purposes of begging. Begging is often the primary source of income for street children in a number of countries, with a current study conducted by UNICEF finding that 45.7% of children who work on the streets of Zimbabwe engaged in begging, though there is no way of knowing whether it was through forced means. Gang networks involving forced begging have been found to occur in populations of 500 or greater.

General Abuses

UNICEF has found that children who are forced to beg by third parties are often removed from their families, surrender the majority of their income to their exploiter, endure unsafe work and living conditions, and are at times maimed to increase profits. The process of maiming is common given that according to the Buffalo Human Rights Law Review children with apparent special needs often make upwards of three times as much as other children who beg. In addition to inflictions such as blindness and loss of limbs, other physical abuses for the purposes of heightening profits include pouring chili pepper on a child’s tongue to give the appearance of impeded speech, the use of opium to elicit cries, and administering forced injections of drugs that will increase a child’s energy and alertness. Testimonies against trafficking ring gang leaders have discussed the detainment of individuals in small cells devoid of food, water, and light to make victims weak and feeble, and thus more likely to elicit donations.

The conditions in which begging takes place commonly expose children to further physical and verbal abuse, including sexual victimization and police brutality. Research completed by Human Rights Watch revealed that when begging hours are completed for the day children often do not have proper shelter, adequate food, or access to healthcare where they reside. Furthermore, many of the gangs which run networks of forced begging have heavy drug involvement, thus the children under their control are often turned into drug addicts in order for them to become further reliant on their exploiters.

Long-Term Implications

Studies have shown that children forced into begging primarily receive little to no education, with upwards of sixteen hours a day dedicated to time on the streets. With education being a leading method in escaping poverty child beggars have been shown to engage in a cyclical process of continuing this practice cross-generationally. Interviews conducted by UNICEF show that children who beg have little hope for the future and do not believe their circumstances will improve. Children who work on the streets typically have little or no knowledge of their rights, leaving them especially susceptible to exploitation both as juveniles and later as adults. Children who beg have also been found by UNICEF to have much higher instances of HIV-infection due to lack of awareness and supervision on the streets.



2.8. Trafficking Boat

More than 70% of migrants travelling overland through north Africa to Europe have become victims of human trafficking, organ trafficking and exploitation along the way, according to the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

The IOM’s surveys of migrants arriving in Europe by boat reveal that nearly three-quarters of those interviewed show strong indicators of having been trafficked or exploited for profit by criminals at some point on their journey.

Nearly half of all those questioned (49%) reported being held in a location against their will, often for ransom. The majority of these cases occurred in Libya.

Half of migrants said they had worked without pay, with many being threatened with weapons by an employer or labour broker. Others said that forced labour was the only way of being freed from captivity or securing a place on a boat to Europe.

The surveys also revealed an emerging trend of organ and blood trafficking: 6% of all respondents reported that they had experience of someone being forced to give blood against their will or while captive, or of organs being used as payment for parts of the journey.

According to the surveys, men are more likely to have fallen victim to human trafficking than women, although the IOM did not ask specific questions about forced prostitution or trafficking for sexual exploitation.

The surveys also show that the longer someone is in transit, the more vulnerable they are to being exploited or trafficked, with migrants who spent six months or more journeying to Europe three times more likely to have fallen prey to criminal exploitation than those who were in transit countries for less than two weeks.

On the eastern Mediterranean route – where migrants travel overland via Turkey and Greece – 14% of migrants reported signs of human trafficking and exploitation. About 6% reported being held against their will, 7% said they worked without pay. As many as 4% said they were forced into work against their will, most of these instances occurring in Turkey. Incidents of organ and blood trafficking were reported in Turkey, Greece, Albania, Macedonia and Serbia.

2.9. Conclusion

Anti-Trafficking Policy in Cyprus:

●   In April 2014 Law 60(I)/2014 was ratified. This Law has aligned legislation on trafficking in human beings with EU directives and UN Conventions. Furthermore, Cyprus has signed agreement with GRETA in 2008 and in 2012 with International Organisation for Migration for cooperation between them.

●   The 2016-2018 Action Plan emerged from the evaluation of the previous Action Plan 2013-2015, the proposals of members of the Multidisciplinary Coordinating Group, and the provisions of Directive 2011/36/EU and of the European Strategy against Trafficking in Human Beings 2012-2016. It has taken into account the recommendations of GRETA and the US State Department Report (TIP Report 2016). The priorities in the implementation of the Action Plan are:

·     The amendment of the existing legislation

·     The support to victims with special emphasis on safe accommodation

·     The training of frontline officers, the training of judges

·    The promotion of cooperation protocols between NGOs and government agencies.

Since March 2015, the role and competences of the Police Anti-Trafficking Bureau have been expanded. Specialized investigators have joined existing staff, undertaking tasks within an upgraded framework. The empowerment of the Police Anti-Trafficking Bureau is aimed at providing qualitative, proper and in-depth investigation of trafficking cases by the Police, as well as improving the operational aspect of police actions.

However, government does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking:

●       Penalties do not comply with the law. Conviction of traffickers is done under non-trafficking statutes, leading to more lenient sentences (6 months – 8 years instead of up to 20 years according to the law).

●      Key witnesses leave the country before trial due to long delays, hindering prosecution efforts.

●   Some of the police officers within the anti-trafficking unit conducted insensitive interviews that may have re-traumatized victims.

●       3 NGOs withdrew from the Multidisciplinary Coordinating Group (MCG) due to the non-substantive role of NGOs and infrequent meetings.


Brussels Declaration on Preventing and Combating Trafficking Archived 2012-06-17 at the Wayback Machine., 2002,

ILO-IPEC (2010). “Child Trafficking – Essentials” (PDF). Geneva: ILO.

Menefee, Samuel Pyeatt, Wives for Sale: An Ethnographic Study of British Popular Divorce (N.Y.: St. Martin’s Press, 1981 (ISBN 0-312-88629-2))

UN.GIFT (2008). “An Introduction to Human Trafficking: Vulnerability, Impact, and Action” (PDF). United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

United Nations (2000). “U.N. Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children” (PDF).



Chapter 1: What is Human Trafficking?

1.1.        Definition of Human Trafficking

1.2.        Human Trafficking and EU Law

1.3.        October 18: EU Anti-Trafficking Day

1.4.     Ways to prevent human trafficking

Chapter 2: Types of Human Trafficking

2.1.        Forced Prostitution

2.2.        Forced Labour

2.3.        Forced Marriage

2.4.        Organ Theft

2.5.        Child Abduction and Trafficking

2.6.        Child-Selling

2.7.        Forced Child Begging

2.8.        Trafficking Boat

2.9.        Conclusion

Chapter 3: How to Recognize the Signs/Indicators of Human Trafficking

3.1.        Failure to Recognize Trafficking Victims Forced Labour

3.2.        Misidentifying Trafficking Victims Organ Theft

3.3.        Reasons Trafficking Victims Do Not Come Forward

3.4.        Knowledge Is Power

3.5.        Signs of Trafficking:  How to Identify a Victim Being Trafficked

3.6.        Human Trafficking Indicators

3.7.        Questions to Ask

3.8.        Where to Get Help


Chapter 4: Abolition Groups

4.1.        Phases of Abolition

4.2.        Awareness Actions

4.3.        Policy Actions

4.4.        Rescue Actions

4.5.        Prosecution Actions

4.6.        Aftercare Actions

4.7.        Empowerment Actions

4.8.        Groups

4.9.        Your Role and Act in Abolition Groups

Chapter 5: What can the Youth do to help STOP Human Trafficking?

5.1.         Name of NGO & Country

5.2.         Brief Outline of Topic

5.3.        Objective of Write-up

5.4.        Definitions

5.5.        Content

5.6.        Conclusion

5.7.        References

Chapter 6: Recommendations for Improvements/Moving Forward

Chapter 7: General Indicators and Signs of Human Trafficking

7.1.        General Indicators

7.2.        Children

7.3.        Sexual Exploitation

7.4.        Domestic Servitude

7.5.        Labour Exploitation

7.6.        Begging and Petty Crime



This manual is a culmination of contributions from several young people that took part in the IUME youth exchange that was implemented in Malta in June 2018. The aim of this youth exchange was to bring together young people and their leaders to participate in the implementation of a project that focused on raising awareness on human trafficking using arts. Taking advantage of Valletta being the European Capital of Culture for 2018, the youths performed in the evenings at the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta on 29th June and at the new Paola Pjazza on the 30th of June 2018

You can easily download the manual here   trafficking