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What Is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is a serious federal crime with penalties of up to imprisonment for life. Federal law defines "severe forms of trafficking in persons” as: "(A) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or (B) 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 subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery." [U.S.C. §7102(8)]

Those who recruit minors into commercial sexual exploitation violate federal anti-trafficking laws, even if there is no force, fraud, or coercion.

Human trafficking is an estimated multi
-billion dollar a year industry.

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In the past decade more than 32,000 cases of human trafficking have been reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, which is run by the anti-trafficking organization Polaris.

It's a common thought that human trafficking happens mainly in other countries. However, that is not the case, in a 2018 report by the National Human Trafficking hotline, the United States, Mexico and the Philippines were ranked the world's worst places for human trafficking.

Trafficking can happen in these industries too:

  • Childcare, nannies and Au pairs

  • Restaurant workers

  • Foreign massage parlors in the US

  • Hair and nail salons

  • Agricultural workers

Traffickers can also put kids on street corners as panhandlers asking for money
Girls are trafficked more often than boys, however, boys are trafficked at a younger age.

Younger the child, the higher the selling price.

Teens traffick other teens

Trafficked kids have a "shelf life" and are then sold to other traffickers.

Those trafficked are not all walking the streets, some are sold online via escort agencies and strip clubs.

Some traffickers 'brand' their "stable" to show ownership.

Trafficked kids can be 'trauma-bonded' to their trafficker and will protect their trafficker at all costs.

Traffickers are not all men, women have been known to traffick too.

The term 'Trafficker' is a more polite term for pimp.
Children are trafficked for many reasons:
  • Survival (trade sex for food or shelter)
  • Family members traffick their children.
  • Trafficked by romantic partner
  • Debt (owe someone money)
  • Brothels (a way to hide the trafficked child)
  • Cyber (recording videos on phones and trafficker distributes to pedophiles)
  • Gangs (an initiation requirement)
Just like being in a domestic abuse situation, it can take a trafficked child many attempts to leave their trafficker. Sadly, if a trafficked child gets aways their life becomes endangered.
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