Most people experiencing a human trafficking/slavery situation are being exploited and can articulate a loss of freedom or inability to change their situation. Sometimes this is achieved through physical violence, restraint or control. In other instances, a loss of freedom is achieved through more subtle means of psychological control, including threats and false promises. Traffickers/slaveholders may use their caste, class, or dominant position to manipulate their victims.

Exploitation on its own is not solely determinative of human trafficking/slavery. It depends on how that exploitation was achieved.

This, combined with the trafficked/enslaved person’s vulnerabilities, lack of rights awareness and dependence on their trafficker can create a prison without walls from which escape does not seem possible.