Human Trafficking & International Trafficking
Slavery, Sex Trafficking, Involuntary Labor & Debt Bondage
According to the Bureau of Justice Assistance,human trafficking is reputed to be one of the most profitable endeavors of organized crime and the fastest growing; an endeavor which enslaves thousands of people within our borders each year and perhaps millions outside those borders.
Human trafficking preys on crime that preys on the world's most vulnerable people including runaways, and undocumented immigrants. The individuals are often forced into slavery, prostitution, sex trafficking, involuntary labor, debt bondage, and children are sexually exploited for commercial purposes. Individuals are threatened, forced (beaten, raped, shot, starved, confinement), coerced (threatening to use physical violence) or defrauded (offers of employment, marriage or better life) against to provide labor or services for their owners.
According to an article in the Bradenton Herald, Florida ranks as one of the nation's worst offenders as the No. 3 destination for traffickers next to Texas and California. Human trafficking is now worth an estimated $35 billion in the United States alone.
New laws and legislation, along with a vigilant public can start making a difference in these horrific crimes:
- In 2012, Florida passed a law that expanded the definition of human trafficking to mirror federal law and made it so that after an incarceration, sex traffickers could be subjected to lifelong monitoring (like registered sex offenders) and forfeiture of property connected to their crimes.
- In 2013, Florida’s Safe Harbor Act changed the law which now treats young victims of human trafficking as crime victims and they can be placed in safe houses and then secure shelters that offer counseling, life skills classes and other services. Govern Rick Scott also signed two additional laws allowing victims to petition the court to clear their criminal record of arrests and convictions if they committed crimes under duress and keeps such an expunged criminal history private, exempt from public records requirements.
- The federal government is also taking new steps to highlight the horrors of human trafficking and help victims of the often hidden crime through the Blue Campaign. (). Their purpose is to combat human trafficking by working in collaboration with law enforcement, non-governmental agencies and private organizations to protect the basic rights and freedoms and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice. The Blue Campaign provides information on training and outreach, how traffickers operate, and victim assistance to help keep the public informed.
Report Human Trafficking
- Suspected incidents of trafficking can be reported to the Department of Justice Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint Line at: 1-888-428-7581 or by contacting your local FBI office.
- In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services maintains, through the Polaris Project, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), which operates 24-hours, 7-days-a-week and can be reached at 1-888-3737-888.
- Call 911 in emergencies.
Bureau of Justice Assistance
National Human Trafficking Resource Center
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