Trafficking in Persons

Since its foundation, The Protection Project has been on the forefront of combating trafficking in persons by promoting the adoption of new legislation and effecting policy changes in order to enhance the protection of trafficking victims and increase awareness on the issue.

Trafficking in persons or human trafficking is a crime and a gross human rights violation that affects every country around the world. Article 3 of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (Palermo Protocol), the main international legal document to address trafficking in persons/human trafficking, gives the following definition:

“Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of  persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of  deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

In short, trafficking is movement of persons for the purpose of exploitation. To view trafficking routes with the United States as a country of origin or destination please click on the following links:


About our Anti-Trafficking Work

The Protection Project is partnering with governments and non-governmental organizations in the United States and countries all over the world, including Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, and many others to organize capacity building trainings on combating trafficking in persons.
Conferences: Each November, The Protection Project organizes an annual conference analyzing specific issues related to trafficking in persons. Past conference topics include: “The Procedural and Substantive Elements of Prosecuting Cases of Trafficking in Persons: Comparative Models and International Standards,” “The Five Elements of Civil Society: A New Approach to Participation in Combating Trafficking in Persons,” “The United Nations Protocol and the United States Trafficking Victims Protection Act: Ten Years Later,” “Trafficking in Persons as a Form of Violence Against Women,” “The Economics of Trafficking in Persons,” “Incorporating Trafficking in Persons in Human Rights Curricula in Universities in the United States and Abroad,” and “New Challenges in the Fight against Trafficking in Persons: Combating Child Sex Tourism and Child Pornography on the Internet.”

  • Field Programs: The Protection Project is constantly engaged in anti-trafficking programs in the United States and the abroad via fact-finings missions, workshops, partnerships and public awareness campaigns.
  • Legal Research: The Protection Projects conducts research and regularly updates its database on anti-trafficking legislation in the United States and abroad.  The database includes the anti-trafficking law of every country including the United States, international conventions, and national action plans.

  • Capacity Building Trainings: The Protection Project regularly conducts capacity building trainings to Government officials, representatives of regional and international organizations and of civil society on trafficking in persons.
  • Advocacy:  The Protection Project advises governments and legislators on enhancing legal standards, and building stronger anti-trafficking legal frameworks by testifying at congressional and parliamentary hearings, by assisting governments in drafting anti-trafficking laws and by conducting anti-trafficking public awareness initiatives.
  • Association of Scholars of Trafficking in Persons The Protection Project’s Association of Scholars of Trafficking in Persons serves as a forum for academics and scholars in the field of trafficking in persons to exchange information. The Protection Project publishes syllabi for courses which either focus entirely on human trafficking or which incorporate human trafficking into the presentation of another subject.
  • Publications: Each year in June, The Protection Project publishes a Review of the U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons Report and hosts an Ambassadors’ Luncheon to discuss the findings and recommendations of the Report.

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    National Trafficking Hotline