Efforts to combat trafficking are hindered by poor understandings of the problem. Using Latin America as a case study, this article identifies the definitional, sociological, and legal issues that hinder an accurate assessment of the problem. The article focuses not upon the empirical problems of assessment, but upon those issues within the compass of policy makers and advocates. The article then describes the basic features of trafficking in Latin America and identifies efforts to address the problem, highlighting the role of the United States, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, (TVPA) and the donor/NGO community. Finally, the article suggests appropriate methods for limiting the problem and assisting its victims.