As defined by the United Nations, human trafficking is amodern-day form of slavery that consists of the illegal trade of human beings through force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor. It takes a variety of forms in every region of the world. Some people are trafficked for prostitution, pornography, and other forms of sexual exploitation. Some are trafficked for forced labor in agriculture, sweat shops, and domestic servitude. Some are trafficked for both. Through sexual slavery, the body becomes little more than an object to be exploited. For victims of forced labor, the body is made into a disposable machine, made to work long hours for little or no pay and for the profit of others. In both cases the person who is enslaved is treated as an object for another's benefit. The person's God-given human dignity is either ignored or forgotten.

As an institution that actively opposes evil in all its forms, the Church publicly identifies with the poor, the suffering, and those in despair. In this light, the bishops of the United States have been active in the fight against human trafficking. The Church has worked closely with government entities, private organizations, and individuals who are committed to eradicating this evil. Please find below some useful information on the issue of human trafficking and be sure to come back to this website soon, as new information will be added regularly.

Human Trafficking: A Short Primer