Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking at the University of Nebraska


Date of this Version



Published by the U.S. Department of State, 2001.


Trafficking in persons is a fundamental and crucially important challenge in the areas of human rights and law enforcement. Based on reliable estimates, as the Congress has noted, at least 700,000 persons, especially women and children, are trafficked each year across international borders. Some observers estimate that the number may be significantly higher. Victims are forced to toil in sweatshops, construction sites, brothels, and fields. Deprived of the enjoyment of their human rights, many victims are subjected to threats against their person and family, violence, horrific living conditions, and dangerous workplaces. Some victims have answered advertisements believing that they will have a good job awaiting them in a new country. Others have been sold into this modern-day form of slavery by a relative, acquaintance, or family friend. Trafficking occurs across borders and within countries. It is found in both developed and developing nations, in countries where the government abuses human rights, and in countries where the government’s human rights record is generally excellent.