Frequently Asked Questions
What is Human Trafficking?...
Isn’t this just another illegal immigration issue?...
What’s the difference between trafficking and smuggling? ...
What’s the difference between sex trafficking and prostitution?...
Who are these victims? ...
How big a problem is it?...
Human Trafficking is a hidden crime. All statistics about human trafficking are considered estimates.
- There are up to 20.9 million slaves in the world today according to the US Trafficking in Persons Report 2014. of that number 14.2 million are in forced labor and 4.5 million are in sex trafficking with the remainder in both. In absolute numbers, there are more people held in slavery today than during the height of the transatlantic slave trade.
- An estimated 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders yearly, not including millions who are traded within their own country.
- About 80 percent of these victims are females, and 50 percent are children.
- Human Trafficking generates approximately $150 billion internationally annually, making it one of the top 3 international crimes, along with trafficking of drugs and guns.
What has been accomplished so far?...
- In 2014, the National Hotline (888-373-7888) reported that 3,598 cases of sex trafficking cases. More than 929 labor cases were investigated. More than 40,000 victims have been recognized worldwide related to trafficking in the last year.
- In the U.S. in 2012, 128 cases were prosecuted, charging 200 defendents. 162 were involved in sex trafficking and 38 in labor trafficking in 2012.
- Some form of anti-trafficking legislation has been passed in all countries except North Korea and all 50 United States have anti-trafficking legislation
- Areas with the greatest awareness efforts and proactive and trained law enforcement successfully investigate the most cases and resolve the most cases.
Where are the Victims? ...
- In agricultural fields
- In homes, working as nannies, maids, caretakers.
- At restaurants, hotels, resorts, restaurants
- In sweatshops & factories
- At construction sites
- At nail spas, massage parlors, beauty shops
- On the street prostitution or in brothels, especially near military bases or migrant worker housing
- In pornographic films, photos, on the internet
- In your neighborhood, at the mall, at school.
Child Sex Tourism [CST] involves tourists, mostly men who go on “sex vacations”. US citizens can be prosecuted under US law even if their crime was committed in another country.
Why don’t they escape on their own?...
How do traffickers control their victims?...
Traffickers control their victims through:
- Violence and Threats of Violence
- Imprisonment or Isolation
- Debt Bondage
- Religion, Culture or Belief
- By alternating love and punishment, traffickers can often completely manipulate their victims.
How can I recognize a victim?...
- Evidence of being controlled: physically or psychologically
- Evidence of inability to move or leave job
- Poor working conditions
- Bruising, branding or other physical signs
- Overly dependent or fearful of boss, spouse or others around him
- Fear or depression
- Non-English speaking or not allowed to speak
- Recently entered U.S. from Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America, Canada, Africa or India
- Observe nonverbal behavior: posture, facial expressions and tone of voice
- Not in control of identification documentation?
- Child in public during school hours
- Large age difference between the victim and the person with the suspected victim
- Red Flag if a victim does not speak for him or herself
If you suspect that a person may be a victim, DO NOT attempt to rescue that person yourself. Call your local authorities instead and do it immediately or the National Hotline: 888-373-7888
What are the human trafficking laws?...
Federal Law: The Trafficking & Violence Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA)
- Designed to Prevent, Protect & Prosecute severe forms of trafficking
Article A: Protects against sexual exploitation for commercial purposes. It covers people:
- Forced, Tricked, Coerced or
- Any Victim under 18 (even if not forced, coerced, etc.)
Article B: Protects against Forced labor:
- Involuntary servitude
- Personage/Debt bondage
FORCED LABOR IS: The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of subjecting that person to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Falls under Homeland Security, with responsibility in the FBI, ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) and the US Dept. of Justice (DOJ)
This law was updated in 2005, 2008 and 2012 and 2014. You can influence your state legislators to improve your state laws. You can also monitor the enforcement and updating of the law in your state if necessary.
What happens to the traffickers when they are prosecuted under TVPA?...
- LIFE SENTENCE FOR:
- Sex Trafficking
- Sexual abuse
- UP TO 20 YEARS FOR:
- Forced Labor
- Trafficking into servitude
- Involuntary servitude
- UP TO 5 YEARS FOR:
- Conspiracy against rights
State laws vary which is why it’s important to get the federal authorities involved and to advocate for tougher laws in your own state.
What happens to rescued victims?...
What are the needs in my state? ...
Summary of Current Florida Trends in Combating Human Trafficking: Source:...
Florida State University Center for Human Rights. For full report, go to: www.fsu.cahr.edu
1. Labor Trafficking is one of the most prevalent form of trafficking in Florida: 1) Agriculture 2) Hospitality and Tourism.
2. Domestic Minor Trafficking is the other most prevalent and is the most under-reported and under-prosecuted human trafficking offense in Florida.
3. Sex trafficking remains a scourge throughout Florida: No longer just conducted within nationalities anymore, but is now “globalized”.
4. Sex trafficking is more complex and nuanced than previously thought. Investigators must really delve into the circumstances to understand the difference between prostitution and sex trafficking.
5. Psychological coercion against trafficking victims assumes many forms and should not be underestimated by law enforcement investigators. “Invisible chains” of threats, debt servitude.
6. Males are increasingly being identified as trafficking victims: Homeless men, foreign national males, gender roles resist the label of victim.
7. After personal safety, housing is the overwhelming need.
8. Fulfilling housing needs of U.S. victims can be more difficult than for foreign victims, especially for domestic minor victims of sex trafficking. Need for “Safe Harbor” law.
9. There is a need for proactive law enforcement work and evidence that it works.
10. There is a need for statewide intelligence database for law enforcement officials of trafficking leads and perpetrators: suspects, known pimps, businesses, brothel networks, labor subcontractors, current leads on cases.
11. Leadership from State Law Enforcement agencies (FDLE) is crucial.
12. Training of veteran law enforcement agents is required.
13. Training for Florida Prosecutors in using the Florida State Law is needed.
14. The Office of the Statewide Prosecutor needs to be more involved as every trafficking case has crossed judicial boundaries. Many involve organized crime, money laundering, violent crime and internet predators.
15. State Agencies need training as it pays off.
16. No matter how good law enforcement efforts are, trafficking can’t be eradicated with a “law enforcement only” approach.
17. Vetting for emerging community groups is necessary. Evidence of some scams and lack of knowledge can be detrimental to the many excellent groups and the work in general.
What can I read to broaden my understanding about human trafficking and slavery?...
How can I help?...
Spread the word: slavery is here, now, but not to stay if we all do our part:
- Organize your community. This is not a crime which can be avoided through ignorance or inertia or successfully fought without the efforts of law enforcement, human service providers and citizens working together. No one person can solve this problem.
- Know how to identify a victim/criminal
- Know who to call
- Encourage police & government officials to work on this issue in your community
- Use your skills and those of your colleagues to help by
- Advocating for stronger laws, better training and enforcement
- Assisting organizations dedicated to fighting slavery
- Telling as many individuals about the crime as possible
- Organizing awareness campaigns through your church, neighborhoods, service club, social groups.
- Educate youth about the problem.
- Making a financial contribution to a group combating human trafficking, such as HTAP.
Statistics taken from State Dept.’s Trafficking in Persons Report 6/13, PolarisProject Policy Alerts and UN documents. All statistics are estimates as human trafficking is a hidden crime, hard to detect and measure.