Human Trafficking in all its forms is an enormously complex issue. Its eradication requires a multi-faceted battle strategy that incorporates preventative actions, such as awareness, prevention, and rescue, as well as the prosecution of perpetrators, and the protection and restoration of victims. It is not enough to focus on victims and their traffickers; we must address the ocean of demand—both sexual and monetary—that feeds this atrocity.
It is a commonly held belief that slavery was abolished 150 years ago, reality reveals that more people live in slavery today than in any time in human history. Its impact is felt in every nation across the world with some victims being exported across borders to other nations, some nations being destination countries for victims from other countries, and many victims being trafficked within their home country. It does not require transport of movement of victims as some victims are sold within their own homes by their own families.
The most widely-accepted formal definition is from the United Nations’ Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons which defines Human Trafficking as: ”The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.” 
Put simply, it is modern day slavery. People are trafficked for the purpose of forced labor, sexual exploitation and even organ harvesting.
Rape Culture is when societal and social attitudes normalize or trivialize sexual assault and abuse. Music lyrics and movies will often illustrate sexual assault and depict it as being the norm. When we repeatedly receive messages that tell us sexual violence is common and normal, it gives rapists and traffickers the idea that society accepts and is accustomed to their criminal behavior. This also makes survivors less likely to come forward, because it makes the only "legitimate rape" out to be a woman getting attacked by a stranger in a dark alley. So what are some examples of rape culture? Some simple examples are rape jokes, sexual violence prevention programs that teach girls how to keep themselves from being raped rather than teaching people not to rape, and also assuming that false reporting for sexual assault cases are the norm or inflating false report statistics, when in reality, false reports make up for only 2-8% of reported rapes. The 2-8% false reporting statistic is consistent among all other violent crimes including grand theft auto.
Click here to watch a Poetry Slam with modern day examples of rape culture *Adult Language*
Forced Labor/Labor Trafficking
A form of Human Trafficking in which victims are held by force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of labor. Today forced labor victims are typically used in agriculture, mining, factory work and domestic servitude.
A form of Human Trafficking that involves the sexual exploitation of an individual for commercial/financial gain or in exchange for something of value. It includes physical abuse, pornography, prostitution, erotic type entertainment, stripping and the smuggling of individuals for the purpose of sexual exploitation. This term makes no distinction to the age or nationality of the individual. It can be anyone, anywhere. Sex trafficking is defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, (reauthorized in 2008), as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act”  Sex trafficking is a term with legal implications where elements of force, fraud and/or coercion are involved. Cases involving minors (because of age of consent laws) are always sex trafficking regardless of whether force, fraud and/or coercion are present.
Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is the sexual exploitation of an individual for commercial financial gain, or in exchange for anything of value (such as drugs, food or housing). What makes CSE different from other forms of sexual abuse or violence is that these acts are commodified, meaning they are for sale. Street, online and brothel-style prostitution, illicit massage businesses, the production, sale and use of pornography, and other forms of pornographic entertainment are all forms of commercialized sex. The difference between sex trafficking and CSE is sex trafficking is a term with legal implications. CSE is broader in its recognition that the commodification of sex is in and of itself exploitative. On a systemic level, CSE propagates gender inequality, the oppression of society’s most vulnerable and marginalized members, as well as empowering criminal elements and organizations.
Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) is a form of Human Trafficking involving minors. Specifically, it is the sexual exploitation of an individual minor (under 18 years of age) for commercial financial gain or in exchange for anything of value (such as drugs, food or housing) within the domestic United States. DMST includes physical abuse, pornography, prostitution, erotic type entertainment, stripping and the smuggling of individuals. The exchange of something of value be it monetary or other, is what distinguishes DMST from other forms of child abuse.
Commercial Sexual Exploitation of a Child (CSEC)
CSEC involves the commercial sexual exploitation of a minor child.
Prostitution is overwhelmingly not an individual’s “choice” and as a result is greatly misunderstood. Studies have shown that when presented with another option a person would almost without exception choose an alternative to prostitution. Other research of prostituted persons reveal that nearly all want to escape that life but may not know how or have any other choices.
A person can be physically forced into prostitution, tricked or coerced, or feel that they simply have no other options either through circumstances of limited opportunities or through a lifetime of systematic abuse and trauma. Making a distinction between Sex Trafficking, “Forced Prostitution” and “Prostitution” is a stumbling block to really solving this problem. As stated by a well known expert in prostitution research “Prostitution and sex trafficking are the same human rights catastrophe,”