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

The two bills were meant to mitigate human trafficking by holding websites more accountable for the content on their sites, but their sweeping language has been much more effective at curbing free expression. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: The NAACP’s weeklong boycott of Facebook and Instagram begins today," 18 Dec. 2018 The Salvation Army works to prevent human trafficking and support its victims. CNN, "How to help: Anti-trafficking organizations around the world," 13 Mar. 2018 Some of them have criminal history including child cruelty, murder and human trafficking. Fox News, "Watters' Words: A tale of two tours," 15 July 2018 Future sessions of the Safety Series at Evelyn’s Park include cyber safety July 26, human trafficking Sept. 13 and every day safety and crime trends Oct. 11. Tracy Maness, Houston Chronicle, "Evelyn’s Park safety series addresses teen dating violence," 19 June 2018 The two people arrested from a Davidson nail salon on human trafficking charges had allegedly been abusing a woman for months, according to arrest warrants. Lavendrick Smith, charlotteobserver, "Duo accused of human trafficking at NC salon stabbed woman with tools, warrants say," 29 June 2018 Authorities have described the probe as a crackdown on human trafficking in a network of spas that were fronts for prostitution while the women worked in poor conditions and were not allowed to leave the spas. ... Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Pleads Not Guilty to Soliciting Prostitution," 28 Feb. 2019 Acosta, who helped Epstein serve his time in an office rather than a prison cell — and measure it in months, not years — oversees Trump’s Labor Department, which is responsible for, among other things, preventing human trafficking. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained," 22 Feb. 2019 According to a statement from Smith’s office, the congressman has authored initiatives to combat human trafficking in both Russia and the U.S. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Russians deny election meddling, mum on Trump, US lawmaker says in Berlin," 8 July 2018

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

15 May 2019

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Time Traveler for human trafficking

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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using a distributed computer network

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