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Sex trafficking is not just a problem that happens in far off countries it is a crime that is prevalent in our own state and is growing through the use of technology. Traffickers befriend young people, often online with romance or flattery, and once they have their trust use their relationship to exploit them. Other traffickers use force or shame to coerce their victims. Traffickers may spend moments, days, weeks, months to ‘groom’ their target. Trafficking in Arizona is a felony (ARS § 13-1307).


Q: What is sex trafficking?

A: The term `sex trafficking’ means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act (22 USC § 7102(9), ARS §13-1307).


Q: What is the difference between smuggling and trafficking?

A: “Traffic” means to entice, recruit, harbor, provide, transport or otherwise obtain another person by deception, coercion or force(ARS §13-1308). While “Smuggling” is an illegal transportation or migration of people crossing international borders (ARS §132319(F)(3)).


Q: What can I do if I know of someone who is being trafficked?

A: Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text “INFO” or “HELP” to be free (233733) this organization can provide resources and information for victims of sex trafficking.


Q: Is there any aid for immigrants who are victims of trafficking?

A: Yes, under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (VTVPA) law enforcement agencies can offer protection of victims through T Visas, call 1-888-3737888 for more information.


Q: I am being trafficked, what can I do, am I going to get in trouble?

AThere are programs and agencies to help you contact the national hotline for help at 1-888-373-7888 or text “HELP” to (233733).


Q: Is it illegal to buy sex?

A: Yes, it is illegal to buy any form of sexual contact (A.R.S §13-3211,3214).


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