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 president has made points about problems with drugs and human trafficking at the border publicly throughout the past week. Rebecca Ballhaus, WSJ, "Senate Democrats Block Legislation to Press GOP on Shutdown," 8 Jan. 2019 The grisly human trafficking eventually stopped, but some say those who died in captivity have had a hard time leaving this world. Condé Nast Traveler, "8 Most Haunted Cities In America and Why You Should Visit," 18 Oct. 2018 She's been a panelist and performer for the United Nations on the Role of the Arts in Human Trafficking and received a Creative Coalition Award for Outstanding Achievement for her work in combatting human trafficking. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Pianist Chloe Flower Opens Up About Her Fierce Grammys Performance with Cardi B," 12 Feb. 2019 The people being moved are generally doing so willfully, as opposed to human trafficking, where they’re being forced or coerced. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Does Trump think there are actual coyotes coming over the border?," 21 Dec. 2018 Though the gathering was closed to the public, Kensington Palace shared a photo of the royal at work, discussing issues like human trafficking, modern slavery, gender equality, peace and reconciliation, and climate change. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Beige Aritzia Coat Should Be In Everyone's Closet for Winter," 6 Dec. 2018 If drones ruled the waves, fisheries would be more sustainable, pollution would be reduced and human trafficking would be harder to get away with. The Economist, "Avast, me hearties," 5 July 2018 The Crisis Intervention Team addresses mental health and substance abuse, while the Highway Enforcement Unit focuses on drug and human trafficking in the community. Robert Rhoden,, "St. Tammany Sheriff's Office gets $1 million federal grant," 3 May 2018 Aphrodite bribing the lad with the gift of the mortal Helen, queen of Sparta, which of course was the infamous case of human trafficking that started the Trojan War. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "Irving Park’s Eris is a space of supermortal dimensions," 22 Mar. 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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Last Updated

20 Mar 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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grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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