The following is excerpted from the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Fact Sheet: Human Trafficking, www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking/about/fact_human.html.
Human trafficking is a form of slavery where victims are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of
2000 (TVPA) defines “Severe Forms of
Trafficking in Persons” as:
Sex Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act , in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person forced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years; and
Labor Trafficking: 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.
Human traffickers use force—rape, beatings and/or confinement—to control their victims, especially during the early stages of victimization.
Human traffickers make false offers that induce people into trafficking situations. Women and children who reply to advertisements for jobs as waitresses, maids and dancers in other countries are sometimes forced into prostitution once they arrive at their destinations.
Human traffickers coerce victims with threats of serious harm to them or their loved ones back home. Victims are also led to believe that they will be arrested or deported if they don’t follow the traffickers’ demands.
Human traffickers sometimes loan money to people to entice them to move to another country. To repay these transportation fees victims fall into debt bondage. Victims do not realize that their debts may be legally unenforceable and that it is illegal for anyone to dictate how to pay off debts.
Traffickers may also take away the victims’ travel documents and isolate them to make escape more difficult. Victims are usually not allowed to have the money they are supposed to be earning and may not know the amount of their debt. Victims who realize that their bondage is illegal or unjust are often unable to obtain help because of language, social, or physical barriers.
DOMESTIC TRAFFICKING WITHIN THE UNITED STATESVictims of human trafficking include U.S. citizens and residents trafficked within its borders. Similar to other countries, the U.S. has a large domestic component of human trafficking - both sex trafficking and labor trafficking. According to the Polaris Project, a U.S. anti-trafficking organization (http://www.polarisproject.org/), one of the largest forms of domestic sex trafficking in the U.S. involves traffickers who coerce women and children to become part of the commercial sex industry. Traffickers use a variety of techniques, such as unlawful debt incurred through their transportation or recruitment and their "sale" to customers of sexual services, to force them to work in strip clubs, street-based prostitution, escort services, and brothels. Domestic sex traffickers, also known as pimps, target vulnerable youth, especially runaways and homeless youth. Labor trafficking of U.S. citizens occurs primarily in restaurants, the agricultural industry, traveling carnivals, peddling/begging rings, and traveling sales crews.
IDENTIFYING VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Common Work and Living
Conditions of Victims:
(See "Recognizing the Signs," Polaris Project at http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/recognizing-the-signs)
- Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
- Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
- Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp / manager
- Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
- Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
- Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
- Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
- Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
- High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)
- Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
- Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
- Avoids eye contact
- Lacks health care
- Appears malnourished
- Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
- Has few or no personal possessions
- Is not in control of his/her own money, no financial records, or bank account
- Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)
- Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)
- Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address
- Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
- Loss of sense of time
- Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story
HELP FOR VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
- The National Human Trafficking Resource Center
(NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline
available to answer calls and texts from any
where in the country 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week, every day of the year. The NHTRC is a
program of Polaris Project, a non-profit,
non-governmental organization working
exclusively on the issue of human trafficking.
You can call 888-373-7888 or text HELP or
INFO to BeFree (233733).
- To report a tip;
- To connect with anti-trafficking services in your area; or,
- To request training and technical assistance, general information or specific anti-trafficking resources.
- Victims of human trafficking who are not U.S. citizens are eligible to receive benefits through the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000. Furthermore, victims of human trafficking are eligible for a "U Visa" which gives noncitizens temporary legal status and work eligibility if they are victims of criminal activity that occurred in the United States or a U.S. Territory, or that violate U.S. law. If you think someone is a victim of human trafficking, call the Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline.
- The International Institute of Connecticut, http://www.iiconn.org/human_traffic.html, provides services to victims of trafficking in Connecticut. The Institute's Project Rescue offers language and cultural assistance, legal and immigration services, housing, health services, transportation, job training skills and referrals to other organizations for victims of trafficking.
- The Barnaba Institute, http://www.barnabainstitute.org,
raises awareness about domestic human
trafficking and how to identify and aid human
trafficking victims. The Institute also provides
preventative education to young girls and boys
to help them stay safe from community and online
sexual predators, drug pushers and exploiters.
Intervention and after care services are
provided to teens and young girls and boys who
have been affected by commercial sexual
exploitation and/or human trafficking. The
Institute has also developed a pilot project to
provide training workshops to assist social
service staff members to help professionals
identify and assist human trafficking victims.
TO FIND PROVIDERS IN CONNECTICUT'S COMMUNITY
Search by service names:
SOURCES: Polaris Project: Domestic
Trafficking within the U.S.; The Barnaba
Institute; U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services: Fact Sheet: Human Trafficking;
Office of Victim Services, State of Connecticut
Judicial Branch and U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services: Brochure: Look Beneath the
Surface; U.S. Department of State: Major
Forms of Trafficking in Persons.
PREPARED BY: 211/rj
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: July2013