Criminal Means: By any means; or threat, Force, Coercion, Fraud, Abuse of Power, or abuse of a Position of Vulnerability

Drafters should first seek to adopt a definition of sex trafficking which uses the phrase “by any means.”

Alternately, drafters should adopt a definition of sex trafficking such as that contained in The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children (UN Protocol), which recognizes that traffickers often use subtle means of “deception or the abuse of power or a position of vulnerability” to ensnare their victims.


Illustrative Examples:

Drafters should consider broadly defining the means and should consider the means contained in the laws cited here and in the Definitions section.  

  • “…regardless of their own will, by means of coercion, abduction, deprivation of liberty, fraud, abuse of power, abuse of a state of dependence, or by means of giving, receiving or promising benefits to obtain the consent of a person who has control over another person….” (See: Bulgarian “Combating Trafficking in Human Beings Act”, Additional Provision 1(1-2))
  •  “…the use of unlawful coercion or deception, exploiting someone’s vulnerable situation or by some other such improper means….” (See: Swedish Penal Code, Chapter 4, Section 1a)

Drafters should be aware of the concerns and confusion surrounding the means of force fraud and coercion and the abuse of a position of vulnerability. For more information, please see the sub-sections on Force Fraud or Coercion and Abuse of a Position of Vulnerability.