Encyclopedia of Migration

Living Edition
| Editors: Reed Ueda

Sex Trafficking

  • Grace Chang
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6179-7_3-2


The definition of sex trafficking has been contested across international and US contexts and among US government policy and legal and advocacy frameworks as well. The US Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) defines “severe forms of trafficking” as: (1) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion or in which the person induced to perform such an act is under 18 or (2) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of subjecting that person to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. The TVPA also defines “sex trafficking” as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act” (Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000).

Detailed Description

The US TVPA definition differs from international definitions of “human trafficking” in...


Human Trafficking Trafficking Victim Debt Bondage Labor Trafficking Palermo Protocol 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Chang G, Kim K (2007) Reconceptualizing approaches to human trafficking: new directions and perspectives from the field(s). Stanf J Civ Rights Civ Lib 3:318–344Google Scholar
  2. Cheng S Anti-trafficking discourses and policies: a gendered and human rights perspective. Paper presented at Women’s Worlds 2005 conference, Ewha Women’s University, Seoul, Korea, 21 June 2005; see also Lisa Katayama, Sex Trafficking: Zero Tolerance, Mother Jones Blog, 4 May 2005. http://www.motherjones.com/news/dailymojo/2005/05/sex_trafficking.html
  3. Cheng S (2010) On the Move for Love: Migrant Entertainers and the U.S. Military in South Korea. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ditmore M (2009) The use of raids to fight trafficking in persons: a study of law enforcement raids targeting trafficking in persons. Sex Workers Project (SWP) of the Urban Justice Center, New York. http://sexworkersproject.org/publications/reports/raids-and-trafficking/
  5. Leigh C, Op-Ed. Behind the moral panic, an opportunity to work, S.F. Chron., 22 July 2005, at B9Google Scholar
  6. McMahon K, Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (2002) Speaking out: three narratives of women trafficked to the United States. Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  7. Press Release, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 29 charged in connection with alien harboring conspiracy (1 July 2005)Google Scholar
  8. Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, G.A. Res. 55/25, Annex II, U.N. Doc. A/RES/55/25 (15 Nov 2000)Google Scholar
  9. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, Pub. L. No. 106-386, reauthorized and supplemented by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2003, Pub. L. No. 108–193 and the TVPRA of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109–164Google Scholar
  10. U.S. Dep’t of State, Trafficking in persons report, http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/ 2012/

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Feminist Studies, UC Santa BarbaraUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA