Human Trafficking is the control of one person by another person for personal gain. Human trafficking victimizes individuals by force, fraud or coercion, in which the trafficker controls the victim by means of mental, physical and psychological abuses. The trafficker uses the victim to gain profit for themselves. Profit could be, but is not limited to, monetary gain, goods and/or services.
Human trafficking happens around the world but also right here in the United States.
Global and Domestic Trafficking happens in many different ways;
- Sexual Exploitation: Prostitution, strip clubs, pornography.
- Labor Trafficking: Servitude jobs, orchard workers, restaurant workers, house keepers, drug dealers.
- Soldier Trafficking: Forced into militant groups to wage war against their own families and villages.
- Organ Trafficking: Killed and mutilated for their organs and body parts for profit.
Globally, 27 million people are trafficked per year. With an estimated 100,000 minors being sexually victimized every year within the United States alone. The most common trafficking you will find in the United States is Sexual and Labor Trafficking.
Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
On the basis of the definition given in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, it is evident that trafficking in persons has three constituent elements;
- The Act (What is done)
Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons
- The Means (How it is done)
Threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim
- The Purpose (Why it is done)
For the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs. To ascertain whether a particular circumstance constitutes trafficking in persons, consider the definition of trafficking in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the constituent elements of the offense, as defined by relevant domestic legislation.
Find out more. Reference resource: Click here.
The Salvation Army partners with local coalitions to raise public awareness of the injustices of human trafficking. By planning prevention activities and working to reduce the demand for commercial sex and forced labor, we prevent future victims. By improving the identification and prosecution of local traffickers, we help provide survivors opportunity for renewal and restoration.
For over 200 years, The Salvation Army has been advocating for the rights of women and children subjected to organized commercial sexual exploitation. In the 1800s, we pioneered an undercover investigation of sex trafficking, which helped shape the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885. By 1900, we had established over 100 "rescue homes" throughout London to abet safe escape from exploitation. More than a century later, we continue to fight for the abolition of sex trafficking worldwide.
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Watch for the signs of human trafficking:
· Signs of fear, withdrawn, or depressed.
· Fear to speak for themselves.
· Bruises, cuts, looks malnourished or drug/alcohol abuse. Untreated illness.
· Is sexually exploited in strip clubs, spas, or pornography. Performs sexual acts as part of employment.
· Works excessive hours, no time off, not allowed to leave job.
· Unpaid for work or very little pay. Paid 'off' the books.
· No privacy. Lives with employer or co-worker.
· Has hotel keys, branding tattoos of names or symbols
· A handler; a person who is in charge of someone, Guards or video cameras are present
· Minor engaged in sex acts, dating an older or controlling person
· Can you eat when and what you want?
· Have you or someone you know been threatened?
· Are you allowed to have your own identification or travel documents?
· Do you know where you are? (State, City, Street)
· Are you being hurt, abused or drugged?
· Can you leave if you want?
· Do you get to see your family and friends?
· Is someone keeping money from you?
· Do you control your money?
· Are you fearful of your employer?
Signs of Recruitment and Grooming:
Changes in Behavior:
Absences from home/school, dress, attitude, signs of abuse
Changes in Lifestyle:
Money, material possessions, tattoos, tanning, hair and nails
Changes in peers:
New boyfriend, new friends, parties, drugs/alcohol, signs of gang affiliation
Reference: *Adapted from Rescue & Restore/acf.hhs.gov, Shared Hope International
If you suspect human trafficking, please call the National Human Trafficking Hot line. Anonymous calls accepted.
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Text: HELP to BeFree (233733)
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Read: Help understand more about the atrocities of human trafficking. See our suggested book list to help you decide which book is the best resource for you right now. Click here
Donate. Every dollar makes a difference in the fight against human trafficking. Give as your heart feels led. Click here to donate.
Join a community group to become educated or more involved. Learn how you can help your community and spread knowledge to stop human trafficking. Click here to find a local group.
Shop Ethically. One of the best actions you can take is to shop ethically. Ethical buying means that the product you are purchasing has been made from start to finish without victimizing someone along the way. Fair wages and proper work conditions were provided during the making of the product. Unfortunately, the majority of products you purchase here and around the world have been made by trafficking men, women and children. Look for the symbols below when you shop.
Find out how you are unknowingly involved in labor trafficking by going to slaveryfootprint.org.