What is human trafficking?
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking, also known as modern slavery, is a crime of exploitation and abuse. It refers to the act of recruiting people for forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation through the use of violence, force or coercion.
Victims of human trafficking can be anyone: men, women and children; citizens and non-citizens; undocumented immigrants as well as legal immigrants with visas. Women and children comprise the vast majority of trafficking victims. Read more about the victims of human trafficking.
While some trafficking victims are forced to work in the sex trade, many others are forced to perform other types of labor, such as domestic servitude, factory work or agricultural work. Trafficking victims commonly experience physical and psychological abuse, including beatings, sexual abuse, food and sleep deprivation, threats to themselves and their family members, and isolation from the outside world. In some cases, victims are killed for their organs, which are harvested and sold on the black market.
How Traffickers Work
Traffickers use violence, threats, deception, debt bondage, and other manipulative tactics to force people to engage in commercial sex or to provide labor or services against their will. Traffickers recruit, harbor, transport or receive victims by means of threat or use of force.
Many traffickers are members of transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) operating in highly sophisticated and organized networks. These groups may have connections extending around the globe and can often arrange transportation along well-established routes with their own long-distance drivers or on commercial airlines.
Some victims cross international borders illegally; others enter legally but are forced to work under conditions different from what they agreed to prior to their arrival. In both cases, an individual's immigration status provides no protection against human trafficking because traffickers regularly falsify identification documents for their victims—and similarly falsify immigration documents for themselves as employers.
Trafficking does not require movement; it also occurs within national borders—including within the United States. This is most prevalent in communities where individuals are isolated due to language barriers or cultural differences that make it difficult for them to escape abuse or seek help without assistance.
Human Trafficking in the United States
Human trafficking is most common in areas around the world where law enforcement is underfunded and rampant corruption exists at all levels of government. However, human trafficking also takes place in the well-policed, industrialized nations like the United States to both foreign nationals and citizens.
The U.S. government estimates that 14,500-17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the U.S. each year.
In addition, an estimated 100,000 American citizens are victims of human trafficking each year. The National Human Trafficking Hotline has reported nearly 30,000 cases since 2007; these reports involve both adults and minors who were trafficked for sex or labor by force or coercion (or both).
It is difficult to determine accurate numbers because perpetrators often operate outside of the public eye and frequently move their victims.
The Fight Against Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is one of the most pervasive crimes in the world today. It affects every community across the country and around the world. However, it is a hidden crime that often goes unnoticed because victims rarely come forward or seek help because of fear of law enforcement and fear of their traffickers’ retribution.
Operation Rescue Children seeks to raise awareness about this modern slave trade while also providing law enforcement and non-governmental organizations the tools and training to find and fight against human traffickers. Join the fight against human trafficking.