Human Trafficking is essentially modern-day slavery that requires the use of force, coercion, or fraud to force an individual to engage in either non-consensual commercial sexual acts and/or forced labor. Human trafficking can be very difficult to find because many times, the crime rings involved with human trafficking make it very difficult for their victims to have contact with the outside world.
Unfortunately, each year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in countries all over the world. There is even human trafficking that occurs within the United States illegally today. Human trafficking is a very lucrative business, particularly sex trafficking, which has turned into an industry that generates billions of dollars of profit each year.
It is challenging to prosecute those engaging in human trafficking since many times, their victims are prevented from having any communication to the outside world, cannot speak the language of the country they are in or have a fear of being caught by their captors in an attempt to escape. In addition, victims have been told to fear law enforcement, which perpetuates the vicious cycle of human trafficking not being reported.
Traffickers use force, coercion, or fraudulent means to lure their victims and force them into sexual or labor exploitation. Traffickers typically target those that are vulnerable from economic hardship, natural disasters, political instability, lack of social protections, or psychological vulnerabilities. For example, a woman may receive an opportunity to gain employment legally in Texas from El Salvador. Upon arriving, she may be forced into commercial sexual exploitation.
In headlines, sex trafficking is more commonly discussed. Many individuals believe that the era of forced slavery has ended. In many parts of the world, forced labor still occurs in the form of labor trafficking. Sex trafficking can also be combined with labor trafficking where victims will be forced to work at bars or nightclubs and then perform paid sexual acts that their captors gain a profit while they suffer.
The United States has made legislation to protect against human trafficking. The legislation code is a very extensive document codified in the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000. This act has been periodically amended to protect as many victims as possible. The United States has trained specialized law enforcement to deal with the particularities of human trafficking cases.
Human trafficking is a sensitive issue that causes outrage in many parts of the world. It is tempting to immediately go into the establishment and try to stop what is occurring. In cases of human trafficking, matters need to be handled with care because there is a flight risk of moving the victims into another undisclosed location where it will take a long time to find them.
In these circumstances, it is essential to not directly confront the victim or suspected trafficker. Be sure to report the activity and then let the experienced law enforcement officers navigate the situation. Furthermore, if a victim somehow reaches out to you for help, report that contact directly to law enforcement to help them as soon as possible. Do not alert either party of any suspicions to protect the victim as much as possible.
Human trafficking is one of the gravest problems in the world today. While the international community is making significant efforts to catch traffickers, it is still one of the most complex criminal areas to pursue since many times, the crimes occur across multiple borders and legal systems.
Human Trafficking is when individuals are forced to either commit forced commercial sexual acts through fraud, coercion, or force. Human trafficking can also involve forced labor and is often referred to as modern-day slavery. It is vital to act with caution when suspecting human trafficking to protect victims. There are several hotlines that can be contacted to alert law enforcement within the United States of suspected human trafficking activity.