Like drugs and arms trafficking, human trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry that is based on the principles of supply and demand. Many factors make children and adults vulnerable to human trafficking. However, human trafficking does not exist solely because many people who are vulnerable to exploitation. Instead, human trafficking is fuelled by a demand for cheap labour or services, or for commercial sex acts. Human traffickers are those who victimise others in their desire to profit from the existing demand. To ultimately solve the problem of human trafficking, it is essential to address these demand-driven factors, as well as to alter the overall market incentives of high-profit and low-risk that traffickers currently exploit.
The definition contained in article 3 of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol is meant to provide consistency and consensus around the world on the phenomenon of trafficking in persons. Article 5 therefore requires that the conduct set out in article 3 be criminalised in domestic legislation. Domestic legislation does not need to follow the language of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol precisely, but should be adapted in accordance with domestic legal systems to give effect to the concepts contained in the Protocol.
In addition to the criminalisation of trafficking, the Trafficking in Persons Protocol requires criminalisation also of:
· Attempts to commit a trafficking offence
· Participation as an accomplice in such an offence
· Organising or directing others to commit trafficking.
National legislation should adopt the broad definition of trafficking prescribed in the Protocol. The legislative definition should be dynamic and flexible so as to empower the legislative framework to respond effectively to trafficking which:
· Occurs both across borders and within a country (not just cross-border)
· Is for a range of exploitative purposes (not just sexual exploitation)
· Victimises children, women and men (Not just women, or adults, but also men and children)
· Takes place with or without the involvement of organised crime groups.