Additional Resources

Here you will find curricula, conversation starters, and other tools to expand your own understanding of human trafficking and help educate your family and community on the issue.

  • Abolition(ist): One who works to end human trafficking. Some advocates of legalizing prostitution use this term to refer to one who works to eradicate all prostitution, including sex trafficking.
  • Child Prostitute: The traditional term for a minor who provides sexual services in exchange for anything of value (money, drugs, food, a place to stay, etc.). The word is generally disfavored, because it incorrectly assumes that minors have the legal capacity to consent and that the victim “chooses” this. The preferred term is “child sex-trafficking victim” or “child sex-trafficking survivor.”
  • Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC): The exchange of sexual services with a minor for anything of value (money, drugs, food, a place to stay, etc.).
  • Demand: A term used by trafficking and prostitution scholars to describe the buyers, who provide the economic “demand” for prostitution and sex trafficking (which traffickers respond to with a “supply” of sex trafficking victims).
  • Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST): The sex trafficking of US-citizen minors in the US. By some estimates, DMST is the most common form of human trafficking in the US.
  • Human Smuggling: Helping others illegally cross a border, often for a fee. Human smuggling is NOT a synonym for human trafficking. Human smuggling refers to illegal immigration, whereas human trafficking refers to modern-day slavery. Human trafficking does not require any movement of persons at all, much less the crossing of a border.
  • Human Trafficking: “The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for
    • (1) sex trafficking in which
      • (A) a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or
      • (B) in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
    • (2) labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery[commonly known as labor trafficking].” (official US definition, Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000)
  • John/Buyer: One who exchanges anything of value (money, drugs, food, a place to stay, etc.) for any sexual services. Also called a “trick,” a “client,” or a “hobbyist.”
  • Labor Trafficking: See “Human Trafficking” (2).
  • Modern-Day Slavery: The “shorthand” often used by anti-trafficking advocates to sum up the legal definition of human trafficking. While it is a useful term, it is worth noting that some situations which would meet the federal definition of “human trafficking” might not involve every element of what many people associate with the term “slavery,” e.g., the overt buying and selling of persons, physical violence, getting paid absolutely nothing for work, etc.
  • Pimp: A sex trafficker. The term “sex trafficker” is preferred, because it appropriately connotes the criminality and human rights abuses the person is engaging in, and avoids some of the pop-culture stereotypes of what a “pimp” is (which are utterly wrong).
  • Prostitute: The traditional term for a person who provides sexual services in exchange for anything of value (money, drugs, food, a place to stay, etc.), especially one who does so “of their own free will.” The word is generally disfavored for its pejorative connotation, and because well over 90 percent of people in prostitution report that they would like to stop but feel unable to do so.  The preferred term is “prostituted person” or “person in prostitution.”
  • Prostituted Woman/Person: The preferred term for people in prostitution, which rightly recognizes that others, i.e., traffickers and buyers, are responsible for prostitution, even “voluntary” prostitution, if, in fact, such a thing truly exists.
  • Sex Industry: The market for sexual services.
  • Sex Slavery: A near-synonym of “sex trafficking.” The only difference is that sex slavery may not always involve a commercial element, e.g., the recent case of the three captive girls in Ohio.
  • Sex Trafficking: See “Human Trafficking” (1)(A) and (B).
  • Sex Work(er): A term used primarily by advocates of the legalization of prostitution to describe “voluntary” prostitution (assuming that such a thing exists), in an effort to portray “sex work” as being no different from other occupations.
  • Sexual Assault: When an individual engages in any sexual activity without the explicit consent of the other person. Minors cannot give consent under the law.
  • Swedish Model: An approach to prostitution policy, first enacted in Sweden and later replicated elsewhere, in which the sale of sex is legal, but the purchase of sex is illegal. This policy has empirically reduced both sex trafficking and so-called “voluntary” prostitution more than either total legalization or total criminalization of prostitution.
  • Trick: (1) An individual transaction in prostitution. (2) A buyer.

Global Centurion–curriculum for middle and high school students

Bodies are Not Commodities” curriculum by the A21 Campaign

Chosen” DVD curriculum by SharedHope

Freedom’s Journey: Understanding Human Trafficking,an interactive site from the online MSW program at the University of Southern California

The Typology of Modern Slavery by Polaris

Únete a la Solución by Polaris: An awareness campaign entirely in Spanish directed toward empowering Latino and Hispanic communities to join the fight against human trafficking.

National Runaway Safeline: The National Runaway Safeline (NRS) serves as the federally designated nation hotline for runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth, and provides 24/7 nationwide hotline (1-800-RUNAWAY) and online services (1800RUNAWAY.org). NRS’ Home Free service provides free Greyhound Lines bus tickets to qualifying runaway and homeless youth, as well as victims of trafficking ages 12-21.

Pimp Culture Glorification and Sex Trafficking: An article from Psychology Today

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