Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery in which people, mostly women and girls, are abducted, deceived or coerced into situations of forced labor. Human trafficking includes buying, selling and moving people from one location to another against their will, and it constitutes a grave violation of human rights. Trafficking occurs in unregulated and unprotected labor sectors including agricultural and industrial production, domestic service and sex work.

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Human trafficking is an international problem involving almost every country in the world as a source, transit or destination country. In addition, many people are trafficked within their own country.
The root causes of trafficking include poverty, violence and political conflict.
Worldwide, rising unemployment and the decline of government- sponsored social services, have contributed to severe poverty in the developing world and an increase in labor exploitation. Women bear the brunt of this economic instability. Desperate living conditions and the devaluation of women and girls, make them particularly vulnerable to trafficking.

Families living in absolute poverty often lack the means to feed all of their children. Parents may decide to sell one child because they cannot afford to raise that child without risking the survival of every member of the family. In many places, girls are considered less valuable than boys, and are more likely to be sold.

Violence in the home, often linked to economic instability, can also make women and children more vulnerable to trafficking. Fearing for their safety, women and children often run away from situations of domestic violence. In search of shelter and food, they may become targets of trafficking agents who deceptively offer them security.

Conflict and increasing militarization worldwide play a significant role in human trafficking. Traffickers often take advantage of the desperate conditions created by conflict, preying upon those living in refugee camps. The arrival of soldiers is often associated with a sudden rise in child prostitution and sex tourism, and an expansion of sex trafficking in the region.