Loading the content... Loading depends on your connection speed!


Return to Blog

Human Trafficking / Slavery Awareness Month

Posted on Monday, January 9, 2017
There are two main types of Human Trafficking and Slavery - Sex Trafficking and Labor Trafficking. And odds are, it's happening in your backyard. Learn the difference between the two, how to identify it and how to report it or get help.

Sex trafficking is a form of modern slavery that exists throughout the United States and globally.

Sex traffickers use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage, and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will. Under U.S. federal law, any minor under the age of 18 years induced into commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking-regardless of whether or not the trafficker used force, fraud, or coercion.
The situations that sex trafficking victims face vary dramatically. Many victims become romantically involved with someone who then forces or manipulates them into prostitution. Others are lured in with false promises of a job, such as modeling or dancing. Some are forced to sell sex by their parents or other family members. They may be involved in a trafficking situation for a few days or weeks, or may remain in the same trafficking situation for years.
Victims of sex trafficking can be U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, women, men, children, and LGBTQ individuals. Vulnerable populations are frequently targeted by traffickers, including runaway and homeless youth, as well as victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, war, or social discrimination.
Sex trafficking occurs in a range of venues including fake massage businesses, via online ads or escort services, in residential brothels, on the street or at truck stops, or at hotels and motels.

Labor trafficking is a form of modern slavery that exists throughout the United States and globally.

Labor traffickers - including recruiters, contractors, employers, and others - use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage, or other forms of coercion to force people to work against their will in many different industries.
Labor traffickers often make false promises of a high-paying job or exciting education or travel opportunities to lure people into horrendous working conditions. Yet, victims find that the reality of their jobs proves to be far different than promised and must frequently work long hours for little to no pay. Their employers exert such physical or psychological control - including physical abuse, debt bondage, confiscation of passports or money - that the victim believes they have no other choice but to continue working for that employer.
U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, women, men, children, and LGBTQ individuals can be victims of labor trafficking. Vulnerable populations are frequently targeted by traffickers. Immigration status, recruitment debt, isolation, poverty, and a lack of strong labor protections are just some of the vulnerabilities that can lead to labor trafficking.
Labor trafficking occurs in numerous industries in the U.S. and globally. In the United States, common types of labor trafficking include people forced to work in homes as domestic servants, farmworkers coerced through violence as they harvest crops, or factory workers held in inhumane conditions. Labor trafficking has also been reported in door-to-door sales crews, restaurants, construction work, carnivals, and even health and beauty services.

Are you or someone you know being trafficked? Is human trafficking happening in your community? Recognizing potential red flags and knowing the indicators of human trafficking is a key step in identifying more victims and helping them find the assistance they need.

To request help or report suspected human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Or text HELP to: BeFree (233733).

Common Work and Living Conditions: The individual(s) in question
-Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
-Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
-Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp / manager
-Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
-Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
-Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
-Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
-Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
-High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)

Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior
-Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
-Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
-Avoids eye contact

Poor Physical Health
-Lacks health care
-Appears malnourished
-Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture

Lack of Control
-Has few or no personal possessions
-Is not in control of his/her own money, no financial records, or bank account
-Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)
-Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)

-Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address
-Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
-Loss of sense of time
-Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story

This list is not exhaustive and represents only a selection of possible indicators. Also, the red flags in this list may not be present in all trafficking cases and are not cumulative. Learn more at www.humantraffickinghotline.org.
(All information taken from POLARIS at https://polarisproject.org/)

Please consider donating to POLARIS at https://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5417/donate_page/donate2017 , Your gift makes freedom happen now for thousands of victims of human trafficking.