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WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines “severe forms of human trafficking” as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for:

Coercion includes threats of physical or psychological harm to children and/or their families. Any child (under the age of 18) engaged in commercial sex is a victim of trafficking

HOW BIG OF AN ISSUE IS THIS REALLY?

DOES THIS APPLY TO ME OR JUST INDIGENT PEOPLE FROM OTHER COUNTRIES?

Teens and youth from all walks of life and countries are at risk of sex trafficking. Educating yourself about this issue is the key to empowerment. How to protect yourself:

WHO IS AT RISK FOR BEING TRAFFICKED?

Teens are at risk where they have been abused and run away from home finding themselves living on the streets. This leaves our children vulnerable to predators involved in prostitution.

IS THIS THE SAME THING AS SMUGGLING?

No. Smuggling is a crime against the border of a country. Human Trafficking is a crime against a person. 

HOW ARE CHILDREN TRAFFICKED IN THE UNITED STATES?

In the United States, children are subjected to human trafficking by prostitution on the streets or in a private residence, club, hotel, spa, or massage parlor; online commercial sexual exploitation; exotic dancing/stripping; agricultural, factory, or meatpacking work; construction; domestic labor in a home; restaurant/bar work; illegal drug trade; door-to-door sales, street peddling, or begging; or hair, nail, and beauty salons.

WHERE ARE THE VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING FROM?

Victims of human trafficking have been lured to the United States from Thailand, Peru, Romania, Costa Rica, Mexico, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, China, Cambodia, Honduras, and Russia— just to name a few

WHO IS TRAFFICKING CHILDREN?

Family members, acquaintances, pimps, employers, smugglers, and strangers traffic children.

HOW DO TRAFFICKERS OPERATE?

They often prey upon the the common hopes of youth – promises of an education, a job, or a better life in another country – and may use psychological intimidation or violence to control the children and gain financial benefits from their exploitation.

HOW CAN PEOPLE (INCLUDING ADULTS, TEENAGERS, & CHILDREN) HELP?

If you see any of the following, contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text to BeFree (233733) for specialized victim services referrals or to report the situation

HOW DO I REPORT HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

If a child is in urgent need of assistance, contact law enforcement or child protective services to report abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a child. The Childhelp® National Child Abuse Hotline professional crisis counselors can connect a caller with a local number to report abuse. Contact Childhelp at 1.800.4.A.CHILD. (1.800.422.4453).

HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF FROM BECOMING A VICTIM?

 1. Be Aware:

 Always be aware of your environment, be conscious (alert) of the people around you. Become informed about how predators prey on teens, the more knowledge you have the better.

 2. Tell Someone:

Don’t be silent! If you or someone you know who is vulnerable and is falling prey, tell someone you trust, a police officer, the church or a shelter. Always depend on 911. Don’t be ashamed!

WHAT IF SOMEONE WHO IS THE VICTIM OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS AFRAID TO TELL ANYONE BECAUSE HE OR SHE IS AFRAID OF BEING DEPORTED?

There are special immigration visas that may give victims of human trafficking legal status (allow them to legally stay in the United States) if they meet the eligibility requirements of those visas. The “T” Visa is set aside specifically for victims of human trafficking, and the “U” Visa is set aside for victims of criminal activity. Generally a victim must be willing to assist law enforcement officers in their investigation though there is an exception to that rule for “T” Visas. To obtain more information about these visa programs and to view all the eligibility requirements visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services webpage for “Victims of Human Trafficking and Other Crimes.” http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/victims-human-trafficking-other-crimes

 

Laws may have changed since the last time this article was updated.  The current and most up-to-date laws can be accessed here. 

Laws Section

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