The United Nations' Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (2000), defines trafficking in persons as:

the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of 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 payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for purpose of exploitation. Exploitation includes, in the least, exploitation for prostitution of others or any form of sexual exploitation of others, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery or servitude or the removal of organs. (Art. 3)

The United States Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report (2005) estimates that 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across borders each year, and 14,500 to 17,500 enter the United States. An estimated 80% victims of trafficking are women and children, and most are trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation. (Intro., p. 6) The international nature of this transgression requires that all nations that serve as points of origin, passage, and destination work collectively to raise awareness, nurture its victims, prosecute its offenders and end human trafficking.

The Carolina Women's Center, in partnership with the School of Social Work, the Office of Global Health in the School of Public Health, the Jordan Institute for Families, the Office of Research Development, and state and community partners sponsored a national conference on the trafficking of women and children on April 7 & 8, 2006 in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

UNC-Chapel Hill News Services Press Release: Conference on trafficking of women and children set for April 7-8 at UNC.