Though many like to believe that slavery and human trafficking ended a century ago, these practices are unfortunately still thriving in present times. The International Labor Organization estimates there are 4.8 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation on a global scale. Women and young girls make up 96 percent of victims involved in human sex trafficking. Federal criminal law defines human trafficking and sets punishments for slavery accordingly; however, victims can also seek compensation through civil litigation.
What is Human Trafficking?
The United States Department of Justice describes human trafficking as an everyday term used to describe many forms of exploitation of human beings. For many, these words bring to mind images of smuggling victims across international borders; however, the term has a very different and highly specific meaning under the Title 18 of the United States Code. Human trafficking crimes specifically focus on the act of compelling or coercing a person’s labor, services, or commercial sex acts. The coercion can be subtle or overt, physical or psychological, and can happen in person as well as online.
Experts consider human trafficking to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world. There are various forms of human trafficking, including sex trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).
Human Trafficking Resources
Many human trafficking organizations use legitimate businesses as a front for their illegal operations. If you suspect human trafficking is occurring somewhere in your city, report it immediately.
For immediate help:
Call 911 to contact your local police department to report any immediate emergencies.
To report suspected crimes or get help from a nongovernmental organization:
Call The National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Operators are available 24/7 and all reports remain confidential. You are not required to submit your name, so reports can remain anonymous. People can also text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733).
To report suspected human trafficking crimes to law enforcement:
Call the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at 1-866-347-2423 or submit a tip online. All tips are anonymous.
To report suspected human trafficking, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation of minors:
Call the Childhelp National Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) to speak with a professional crisis counselor. Counselors can connect callers with local law enforcement officials.
Call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678). You can also submit tips online.
Survivor Support and Assistance
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking or sex trafficking, you are not alone. There are resources available for victims regardless of U.S. citizenship status. The federal government provides resources for all victims at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ website. These services can help victims obtain security, shelter, medical treatment, food, clothing, legal services, and counseling, among other aid.
We Care and We Can Help.
In addition to criminal charges, individuals that participate in or are complicit in human trafficking crimes can be held accountable in civil lawsuits. If you are interested in learning more about the process of filing a civil lawsuit, you can contact Blizzard Law PLLC. We understand this is an incredibly difficult time, which is why our attorneys treat all clients with compassion while aggressively fighting for you.