The issues we work with
Human trafficking is the recruitment, transport, receipt and harboring of people for the purpose of exploiting them sexually or exploiting their labor. It always includes some form of coercion or deceit to lure the victims into the situation and keep them there: for example debt bondage, threatening with hurting the victim’s family, etc. AAT concentrates on helping victims of trafficking for sexual abuse, whereas other organizations specialize in fighting labor trafficking. Most of AAT’s trafficking cases include trafficking for forced prostitution, but we have also handled other kinds of cases, such as a well-known case of trafficking for surrogacy.
There are very few reliable statistics on the amount of human trafficking victims, but trafficking occurs in almost all parts of the world and keeps increasing. According to an UNFPA estimate, between 700,000 and 2 million women are trafficked across borders each year – or 4 million per year if we include those who are trafficked within their own country.
More information about trafficking in the Mekong region from the UNIAP website.
According to the United Nations, “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another.” AAT works with all kinds of sexual exploitation but especially with prostitution, which we consider to be a form of exploitation. In the region where we work, a large part of persons exploited in prostitution are children – mostly girls between the ages of 15 and 17 but sometimes as young as 12.
Sexual abuse refers to sexual crimes such as rape or child sexual abuse, and it is different from sexual exploitation in the sense that the main objective of the perpetrator is the act itself and not making a profit. The UN defines it as follows: “The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.” Although AAT’s main focus is in fighting trafficking and sexual exploitation, we have dealt with various cases of rape and child abuse and in our projects, a part of our work consists of building communities’ capacities to eradicate sexual abuse and provide assistance to victims.
Help us protect and provide new opportunities to women and girls in South East Asia