WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
Human Trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain labor or a commercial act. Every year, millions of men, women, and children around the world are victims of human trafficking – including right here in Washington. Human trafficking can occur in any community, and victims can be of any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers may use violence, manipulation, or false promises of good-paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure victims into the trafficking situation
Human trafficking is the modern form of slavery. It is the exploitation of men, women and children for forced labor or sex by third parties for profit or gain. In Human trafficking, there must be force, fraud, or coercion. Action, Means, and Purpose are three tools commonly used to understand human trafficking federal law.
Human trafficking is a criminal industry that deprives 24.9 million people around the world of their freedom. In 2017, human trafficking was classified as a $150.2 billion industry. Also in 2017, Polaris processed 8,759 human trafficking cases reported to the Polaris-operated National Human Trafficking Hotline and BeFree Textline. These cases involved 10,615 individual victims, nearly 5,000 potential traffickers, and 1,698 trafficking businesses. Human trafficking is notoriously underreported. As shocking as these numbers are, they likely represent only a tiny fraction of the real problem.
In October 2000, the United States Congress passed a critical piece of legislation-the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA)-that provided greater protections for victims of trafficking in the United States, made trafficking and related crimes a federal crime, and increased U.S. government efforts to provide services and prevention. This law served as a catalyst for two decades of rapidly expanding federal efforts to eradicate human trafficking and preserve the rights of survivors.
The Action-Means-Purpose (AMP) Model can be helpful in understanding federal law. Human trafficking occurs when an offender, often referred to as a trafficker, performs an act and then uses the means of force, fraud, or coercion to coerce the victim into providing commercial sexual acts, labor, or services. At least one element from each column must be present to establish a potential trafficking case.
The AMP model is provided below to assist in understanding the action, means, and purpose.
● Force, Fraud, or Coercion
U.S. law defines human trafficking as the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel a person to engage in commercial sexual acts, labor, or services against his or her will. The only exception concerns minors and commercial sex. The enticement of a minor to engage in commercial sex is considered human trafficking regardless of whether force, fraud, or coercion is involved.
MYTHS & FACTS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
SIGNS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Human trafficking encompasses both labor and sex trafficking, and the indicators within the workplace can look like the following:
● Recruited with false promises as to the nature and conditions of his or her work.
● Unpaid or paid very little by cash tips, unofficially.
● Has a pimp or manager or someone who will not leave their side
● Cannot leave freely or come and go as he or she pleases
● Works long and/or unusual hours
● Has large debts that cannot be paid off
● Is under 18 years of age and performs sexual acts in exchange for something of value
● Exchanges commercial sexual acts for needs such as shelter, food, or other means of survival
Mental and Physical Health
How do the effects of human trafficking exhibit themselves on a victim? Indicators can include the following:
● Anxious, fearful, depressed, submissive, tense, nervous, or paranoid
● Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture, such as bruises, cuts, etc.
● Has branding scars such as burns or tattoos with crowns or money symbols
● No access to medical care or unable to seek medical care without supervision
● Appears malnourished or extremely emaciated
● Appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
● Is overly attached to a person or has a person who is overly attached to him or her
● Needs permission or direct to make simple decisions, such as going to the bathroom
● Unusually anxious or fearful around law enforcement or when law enforcement is mentioned
National Indian Gaming Commission
NIGC is committed to working with tribal gaming operations, organizations, and communities to raise awareness and provide tools to prevent human trafficking. NIGC collaborates with federal, local, and non-profit agencies and entities to offer anti-human trafficking training courses specific to the Indian gaming industry.
NIGC Human Trafficking Resources
* For more information on red flags and indicators please refer to our links.
The safety of the public and the victim comes first. Do not attempt to directly approach a suspected trafficker or alert a victim to a suspicion. It is the responsibility of law enforcement to investigate suspected trafficking cases. If you suspect you or someone else is being trafficked, call or text one of these hotlines, or call 911.