The definition of the crime of trafficking is provided in Article 3(a) of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (please see excerpt), 2000. Furthermore, the definition has been repeated in the same wording in the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings (please see excerpt) and has been affirmed by many documents of the OSCE (also see excerpts). This internationally agreed upon definition reflects the complex nature of trafficking in human beings and can be broken down into three elements (act, means and purpose). Only a combination of these elements constitutes the crime of trafficking in human beings. All signatories are required to criminalise trafficking in human beings either through a single criminal offence or by combining several offences. Whichever legislative option is chosen, the definition serves as a minimum benchmark, rather than a maximum. Hence, the definition on the one hand classifies the culpability as well as delineating a particular group of victims of crime, who are eligible to access comprehensive assistance and protection.
Forced Labour and Human Trafficking: Casebook of Court Decisions