human trafficking


Definition of human trafficking

: organized criminal activity in which human beings are treated as possessions to be controlled and exploited (as by being forced into prostitution or involuntary labor)

Examples of human trafficking in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Massage parlors will be required to post signs on how to report human trafficking, and the state will have more latitude in suspending licenses of operators. Skyler Swisher,, "Florida to use online registry to shame people who buy sex," 2 July 2019 The body representing America’s lawyers has staked out an eye-opening position in recent years—lobbying against efforts in Congress to close a loophole that enables terrorism, human trafficking, money laundering, and a host of other crimes. Max De Haldevang, Quartz, "The American Bar Association is fighting Washington’s efforts to tackle money laundering," 1 July 2019 Though Castro stumbled through the citation, the former Obama housing chief accurately pointed out that there are other laws specifically penalizing human trafficking (title 18) and drug smuggling (titles 21 and 22). CBS News, "Fact check: The first Democratic primary debate," 27 June 2019 The rumors only strengthened after Garcia’s arrest this month in Los Angeles on charges of human trafficking, rape and child pornography. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Must Reads: Sex crime case renews tension in Mexico between Catholics and evangelical church," 27 June 2019 The United States is again ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for human trafficking. Andrew Keiper, Fox News, "Human trafficking in America among worst in world: report," 23 June 2019 In the past 14 months, those efforts have resulted in 43 arrests, 19 guilty verdicts, one referral to juvenile court and one indictment for human trafficking. Kate Elizabeth Queram, Howard County Times, "Eleven men arrested in Howard County prostitution sting," 6 Apr. 2018 The group also encouraged doctors to play a more active role in reporting and preventing human trafficking. Javonte Anderson,, "American Medical Association: Let minors override parents' vaccination refusal," 11 June 2019 Livin’ La Vida Loca,’’ was celebrated alongside his foundation, which is dedicated to fighting human trafficking. Deepti Hajela,, "Puerto Rican Day parade honors arts, culture trailblazers," 9 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'human trafficking.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of human trafficking

1904, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for human trafficking

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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The first known use of human trafficking was in 1904

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More Definitions for human trafficking

human trafficking


Legal Definition of human trafficking

: the business of inducing a person to perform labor or engage in prostitution through force, fraud, or coercion — see also labor trafficking, sex trafficking

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