The business of human trafficking is carried out by individuals, small, loosely organized criminal networks, or by traditionally organized crime groups. It includes both small “mom-and-pop” type operations, as well as larger well-organized businesses that operate in a competitive international arena. Some involved in trafficking may assist with a single border crossing while others may work in an ongoing manner with a larger trafficking organization. These larger trafficking organizations often function on a more permanent basis and are involved in the entire trafficking enterprise from the recruitment of victims to the selling and reselling of victims to employers. Organized crime groups or criminal organizations are local, national, or transnational groupings of centralized enterprises with the purpose of engaging in illegal activity for financial gain. Transnational organized crime refers to the planning and execution of unlawful business ventures by groups or networks of individuals working in more than one country. Those involved in both national and transnational organized crime systematically use violence and corruption to achieve their goals. Transnational organized crime undermines democracy and impedes the social, political, economic, and cultural development of societies around the world. It is multi-faceted and can involve a variety of different illegal activities including drug trafficking, trafficking in firearms, migrant smuggling, and human trafficking. In addition to human trafficking being carried out by organized crime groups, it is also carried out by more loosely organized criminal networks.
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