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Human Trafficking Center

Definitions / Taxonomy Database

TAXONOMY PROJECT

As an aid to social science research the Human Trafficking Center began the Taxonomy Project in 2010 to define certain key terms-of-art.  They are specifically not meant to be legal definitions as found in such documents as the UN Palermo Protocol, the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), and International Labour Organization’s (ILO) conventions.

 

Download the Definitions and Taxonomya consistently updated document that aims to identify and define key terms-of-art in human trafficking and modern slavery. (Last update: 10-15-2013).

Current Defined Terms:

 

Slavery

Slavery is the condition of being under the control of another person, in which violence or the threat of violence, whether physical or mental, prevents a person from exercising her/his freedom of movement or free will.

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is the recruitment and/or movement of someone within or across borders, through the abuse of power/ position with the intention of forced exploitation, commercial or otherwise.

Forced Labour

Forced Labour: All work or service, legitimate or otherwise, which is exacted from any person under violence or the threat of violence, whether physical or mental, which prevents a person from exercising his/her freedom of movement and/or free will.

 
Debt Bondage

Debt Bondage is a creditor-debtor arrangement by which a person is forced to work off a debt, legitimate or otherwise, in which his/her movement and/or free will is controlled.  When external factors, such as custom or force, eliminate the possibility of repayment by the victim and/or succeeding generations the condition becomes Bonded Labour.

Sex Trafficking

Sex Trafficking is the recruitment and/or movement of someone within or across borders, through the abuse of power/position with the intention of sexual exploitation, commercial or otherwise.

Sex Worker

Sex worker:  A person who claims agency or choice to perform sexual acts in exchange for monetary and/or non monetary compensation.

Prostituted Person

Prostituted person:  A person under the control of another who has limited agency and/or choice and is coerced to perform sexual acts in exchange for monetary and/or nonmonetary compensation.

Child Soldier

Child Soldier:  Any person under the age of 18 engaged in any capacity in an armed group or directly taking part in an armed conflict, due to the special level of vulnerability.

Irregular Child Labour

Irregular Child Labour:  Excessive work or work that is detrimental to the welfare or education of children.

Migration

Migration:  Movement of persons within or across international borders.

Regular Migration

Regular Migration: Movement of persons within or across international borders authorized by the state of origin, transit, and destination (including Legal Immigration and Legal Emigration).

Legal Immigration

Legal Immigration:  Movement of persons across international borders as authorized by the destination state.

Legal Emigration

Legal Emigration: Movement of persons across international borders as authorized by the state of origin.

Irregular Migration

Irregular Migration:  Movement of persons, typically under duress and/or subject to extreme deprivation, within or across international borders that is unauthorized by the state of origin, transit, and/or destination.

Illegal Immigration

Illegal Immigration:  Movement of persons across international borders that is unauthorized by the destination state.

Illegal Emigration

Illegal Emigration: Movement of persons across international borders that is unauthorized by the state of origin.

 
Enganche

Enganche: A coercive system of labour recruitment based on wage advancement intended to entrap workers in a cycle of indebted subsistence.

 
Neo-bondage

Neo-bondageA short-term/seasonal arrangement in which manipulation of wage advancement or loans to a labourer with severely limited economic opportunities results in the forcible exploitation of labour.

 
OTC (Organ, Tissue, Cell) Trafficking

OTC (Organ, Tissue, Cell) Trafficking:  human trafficking for the purpose of the forced and/or exploitative harvesting of a living person’s organ, tissues, cells, and/or body parts.

Forced Marriage

Forced Marriage: A union in which one or both spouses has not or cannot give free and full consent for any reason but not limited to age, disability, cultural, and/or the use of power/position.

Arranged Marriage

Arranged Marriage: A union, orchestrated by a third party, in which both spouses give free and full consent.

Indentured Servitude

Indentured Servitude: The condition in which an individual enters into a contractual agreement, freely or otherwise, binding him/her to work for an employer for a fixed term in order to repay a debt.

Demand Reduction

Demand Reduction (broadly defined): Demand reduction is aimed at diminishing the demand for products and services of forced labour and exploitation (including sex trafficking) through preventative education and/or punitive measures.*

 

* Narrowly and commonly defined, “demand reduction” may also refer to an anti-prostitution strategy aimed at deterring the purchase of commercial sex through preventative education and/or punitive measures for consumers and/or third party sellers.

 
”Trauma-Informed”

Trauma-Informed: Trauma-informed approaches incorporate an understanding of the vulnerabilities or triggers of trauma survivors, including the physical, mental, and emotional impacts of trauma, so that service delivery practices do not exacerbate harms or re-traumatize survivors.

 
”Victim-Centered”

Victim-Centered: A victim-centered approach prioritizes the rights, dignity, agency, and self-determination of victim-survivors (including those who have been complicit in criminal activities) by providing social services for safety and stability while engaging victim-survivors as participants in the process of prosecution.