In the past years, counter-trafficking actors were increasingly concerned also about human trafficking for labour exploitation.

Data reflects important progress made in recent years in the field of counter-trafficking in building recognition and awareness that men are also victims of trafficking and that trafficking does not always involve sexual exploitation.

Historically, anti-trafficking efforts tended to focus on combating trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation. As a result, the victims of trafficking that were identified tended to be those who had been trafficked for sexual exploitation. As anti-trafficking efforts have expanded to include a focus on trafficking for the purposes of labour exploitation, identification of victims of trafficking for the purposes of labour exploitation has increased.

Exploitation types

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Victims identified are more likely to trafficked either for sexual or for labour exploitation.

Sexual and labour exploitation over time

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Data now demonstrates that in the recent years, counter-trafficking actors have assisted a higher percentage of victims that were trafficked for labour exploitation than those who were trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Exploitation of female victims of trafficking over time

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In recent years, the proportion of identified female victims of trafficking who have been exploited for labour has grown relative to those trafficked into sexual exploitation.

Exploitation of male victims of trafficking over time

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Identified male victims continue to be mostly individuals trafficked for the purpose of labour exploitation, while identified female victims are exploited for the purpose of either sexual or labour exploitation.

Exploitation of children over time

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Over time, children have been identified as victims of sexual or labour exploitation. In a smaller number of cases, children have been subjected to both sexual and labour exploitation.

Means of control for victims labour and sexual exploitation as a proportion of cases (where specified)

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Displayed here is the proportion of each means of control for cases of victims of labour and sexual exploitation. It is possible for each victim to have been subject to multiple means of control, however in recent years IOM’s total caseload has a larger proportion of victims of human trafficking who have been exploited for labour than victims exploited for sex, possibly explaining the higher proportion of means of control recorded in cases of labour exploitaiton, except for sexual abuse and use of psychoactive substances.

Means of control for victims labour and sexual exploitation as a proportion of total instances reported (where specified)

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This graph represents the proportion of instances of means by which victims are controlled. It is notable that there are proportionately more instances of victims of sexual exploitation controlled by traffickers through physical and psychological means, including restriction of movement and the use of psychoactive substances. Victims of labour exploitation are subject more to instances of exploitative labour practices such as withholding of wages, debt bondage and excessive working hours.

Relationship to recruiter victims of labour and sexual exploitation

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There are significant differences in the relationship victims of labour and sexual exploitation have to the person who recruited them into trafficking. Most of the victims are recruited by an intimate partner are trafficked for sexual exploitation. The role of people who were considered friends by the victim is important in both cases of sexual and labour exploitation. Others, such as acquaintances, business contacts and neighbors play an important role in the recruitment of victims trafficked for labour exploitation.

Cases of human trafficking for labour exploitation have increasingly been identified in the past decade, especially in the case of women. In the recent years, an increasing percentage of victims of labour exploitation were female.

Duration of trafficking for victims of sexual exploitation

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Exploitation type for adults and children

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In recent years, the proportion of identified female victims of trafficking who have been exploited for labour has grown relative to those trafficked into sexual exploitation.

Duration of trafficking for victims of labour exploitation

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Child and adult victims of labour and sexual exploitation

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