not in control of their personal identification (passport, driver’s license, ID). They are more likely to face legal restrictions on work and travel related to their visas. TRUTH: Human trafficking victims are found across all age, gender, and racial demographics. Victims are very rarely left alone and are threatened with violence. For more useful information go to TexasCourtHelp, a website of the Texas Office of Court Administration's website. Traffickers lure victims in a variety of ways. “These victims often face threats workers with arrest and deportation, even workers who have the legal right to work in the United States. Generally, when inequality exists and where certain people lack access to social protection and justice, human traffickers are able to thrive. Here are a few: Survivor Perspectives on the Role of Health and Human Service Systems, Joining forces to fight human trafficking. not in control of their money or bank account. This includes immigrants smuggled into the U.S., or currently residing in the U.S., who are vulnerable to exploitation due to their undocumented status. How to fight human trafficking. The most vulnerable children. FREE, Not for Sale:  The information and forms available on this website are free. Trafficking sex and/or labor are the more commonly thought of forms of human trafficking among public policy leaders and general awareness campaigns. Media will often show a stereotyped trafficked innocent woman who is in need of rescue by a man. Vulnerable to Human Trafficking. In almost every case, there’s far more to the story than meets the eye. Homeless and runaway youth are another common target for traffickers. The most targeted populations for trafficking are homeless and runaway youths. Hearing their voices explain what they suffered through gives context to what this crime can be. © 2001–2021. These traffickers play the role of a boyfriend or a significant other, using feigned affection and manipulation to elicit commercial sex or services from the victim. Technically, they are true: Anyone can be trafficked, in any community, just as anyone can be the victim of any kind of crime. Human trafficking occurs all over the world, not just in specific regions based on socioeconomic development. Understand that exploitation and abuse occur in lots of situations in addition to crimes of human trafficking. Human trafficking takes place in every country, from the richest to the poorest. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Human trafficking affects everyone – women, men, children, youth, those foreign to a nation and a country’s own citizens. There are a number of factors which make people vulnerable to abuses of all kinds, particularly human trafficking. “Victims in these establishments are primarily controlled through debt, blackmail, and intense psychological manipulation. The journey a victim takes after the point of rescue is incredibly important to their future health and well-being. MYTH: Most human trafficking involves females under the age of 18. Individuals with a history of trauma or abuse are less resilient and more susceptible to human trafficking. Often, we have a very specific image of a person who’s been trafficked in our minds because of a documentary, film, or news story we’ve seen. Be aware that not all circumstances that first appear to be human trafficking necessarily are. Farmworkers holding H-2A temporary work visas are prohibited from working for an employer other than the one who requested their visa, leaving the worker vulnerable to abuse by an employer, crew leader, or recruitment agency.” (Human Trafficking Resource Center). Who is most vulnerable to human trafficking? It happens all over the world, including the United States. Some survivors of human trafficking in the U.S. may be eligible for a type of humanitarian relief called a “T visa” if they meet certain requirements. TRUTH: It can happen anywhere, any time of day or night. There are many reasons why someone who is being trafficked might not be able to leave. Runaway youth are often approached by traffickers at transportation hubs, shelters or other public spaces. Another common method of keeping a trafficking victim from leaving is debt bondage – this is when a trafficker claims a debt owed for shelter, food, or protection and inflates it to a point that it is insurmountable to the victim. People escaping from war and persecution are particularly vulnerable to becoming victims of trafficking. Additionally, their trafficker likely has justified their actions in a number of ways to convince a victim that their experience is normal and not a crime. David Brown, a TIP Hero from 2008, talks about the refugee highway. A study in Chicago found that 56 percent of prostituted women were initially runaway youth and similar numbers have been identified for male populations. A person who’s been trafficked likely lived a life with compounding vulnerabilities like: trauma, abuse, neglect, disability, violence, family breakdown, homelessness, poverty, or a combination of many factors. Foreign nationals are at an increased risk for human trafficking for many reasons. According to the United Nations, over 130 countries are origin, transit or destination countries for human trafficking. This is an effort by law enforcement to minimize re-traumatization as they move through the criminal justice system. They are also more likely to have a language barrier, and they’re more likely to be unfamiliar with the area where they live including the geographic layout, resources available, and legal protections regarding labor. “It also brings the underside of the criminal world, and that is those that are using a game, an entertaining event, to increase their sales of our most vulnerable," Moody said of human trafficking. This image is usually one of several varieties: a poor, shoeless person sitting in the dirt in a rural village; a teenage girl with chains around her hands and feet; or maybe even images we’ve seen in history books about the Transatlantic slave trade. This is why training for these individuals is so important. Reasons People Become Vulnerable to Trafficking. The Human Trafficking Prevention Project. Funding: This website is supported by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. TRUTH: Recruitment is a process that usually takes place over a long period of time and in a much less obvious manner. Las Vegas: Homeless youth most vulnerable to sex trafficking. Education is a central piece to the identification of victims and in turn the ability of law enforcement to be able to rescue them. Human trafficking is the end result of years – sometimes generations – of vulnerabilities that have been unaddressed, under-resourced, or unnoticed. Who is vulnerable to human trafficking? Sexploitation: Human Trafficking. No community, whether affluent or impoverished, isn’t immune to the crime of human trafficking (as discussed more thoroughly in our previous post: It Happens Everywhere). TRUTH: Human trafficking victims in the U.S. are foreign as well as domestic. We are working through our Human Trafficking 101 blog series, and this is part three. Intimate partner violence, domestic violence, incest, psychological or emotional abuse and neglect, and other forms of trauma and violence can make a person more vulnerable to human trafficking. The realities of the exploitation suffered and the complications around each situation are often misunderstood. Human smuggling, although not the same as human trafficking, often preys upon vulnerable people who then arrive on the European continent poor, and often in debt. Human trafficking occurs all around the world, and in each and every one of the 50 United States. This helps dispel common myths mentioned previously and leads to increased identification of human trafficking situations. “It can happen to anyone,” and “it’s happening in your backyard,” are common in the anti-human trafficking field. TRUTH: As outlined in our previous blog post defining human trafficking, the legal definition of human trafficking states: “by means of the threat or use of force, fraud, or coercion.” This means that a person could feel unable to leave a situation because of fraud, coercion, or manipulation, as well as physical restraint. They begin to believe that their bodies are all their worth. Vulnerability. Though cultural norms and values differ worldwide, the need to be loved and the desire to provide for one’s family are common to us all. Victims are often in plain view and go unidentified because they don’t match the stereotypical image the media portrays and the public consumes. Let us know in the comments what questions you have about human trafficking. When victims’ bodies are regularly used as objects, their self-worth is shattered. A form of modern-day slavery, human trafficking is defined by the U.S. Department of State as "the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for compelled labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud, or coercion." WHO and PAHO have developed a series of information sheets on violence against women that summarizes what is known about the prevalence, patterns, consequences, risk factors and strategies to address the different forms of VAW. MYTH: Human trafficking frequently happens in broad daylight in places like a park or the grocery store. © 2020 Engage Together® All rights reserved. Predators are insidiously capable of identifying the most vulnerable youth, those who lack self-esteem, self-confidence or are marginalized in some way. Billings notes that less than one percent of human trafficking cases are abductions. (, under 18 years old and performing commercial sex acts, unpaid or paid very little for employment, in large debt to employer and is unable to pay it off. Poverty is one of the largest contributors to human trafficking. While not inclusive of all vulnerabilities, the following highlights a few risk factors for victims of human trafficking. Irregular migrants are some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Human Trafficking, also known as Modern Day Slavery, is quite simply the exploitation of vulnerability. Additionally, individuals who are hard of hearing or sight are often targeted by traffickers because of their diminished ability to report their situation to police or someone who may be able to help them. Survivors of the illegal sex trade say the city’s culture and high rates of homelessness give traffickers the advantage. The most targeted populations for trafficking are homeless and runaway youths. Physical and social factors make individuals with disabilities more vulnerable to human trafficking. Social workers who provide services to these victims indicate that feelings of isolation and abandonment are often reported but that the lack of a support network increases the vulnerability to trafficking. Human trafficking isn’t limited … Outside of the actual act of forcing someone to stay in such situations, these factors greatly affect a person’s propensity to report a crime or try to leave.”  TIP Report, 2016. Minors in the child welfare system are significantly more likely to be trafficked than their peers who have had no contact with the child welfare system. The commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is another term for what we often call child sex trafficking. Some of us already have shit going on in our lives that might put us at risk of being targeted. ” TIP Report, 2016. Most victims of human trafficking will not self-identify as such because they’re unaware of what it means. Child sex trafficking is a cycle of abuse. Red flags to look for when trying to determine if the suspicious activity you have noticed is a case of human trafficking, specifically regarding an individual include someone who is: Other indicators include appearing fearful, anxious, submissive, tense, paranoid, etc. Runaway or homeless youth may be compelled to exchange sex for basic survival necessities, such as food, shelter, or protection. TexasLawHelp.org All Rights Reserved. Poverty. They are not for sale. Undocumented workers are especially vulnerable because they are less likely to report being the victim of a crime. It can drive people to … If you suspect a trafficking situation call the National Human Trafficking Hotline now: 1-888-373-7888, Faces of Human Trafficking Discussion Guide. It doesn’t begin the moment the victim was first exploited. Truth: Human trafficking knows no geographical bounds. Many people often wonder why someone caught in these horrible conditions doesn’t do something to escape or report their abuse. It is estimated that there are over 40 million global victims and hundreds of thousands in the United States.. Severe retaliation or attacks on their families hold many in fear of disobeying their traffickers. Human trafficking is a global issue, but certain countries are worse. or avoiding all eye contact. The Polaris Project has a detailed list with further explanations. “Although human trafficking affects every demographic, a common factor across all forms of modern slavery is the victims’ vulnerability to exploitation. Some survivors of human trafficking in the U.S. may be eligible for a type of humanitarian relief called a “T visa” if they meet certain requirements. At the same time, be vigilant and take note of all suspicious activity around you, and always report this to your local law enforcement. While anyone can be a victim, we know that kids who are homeless or … While there isn’t one face of a human trafficking victim, certain populations are more vulnerable, including runaway and homeless youth, children and youth in foster care, individuals fleeing violence or natural disasters, individuals with a disability, and those who have suffered other types of abuse or exploitation in their lifetimes. Also, in the United States, the TVPA has special protections for minors. The Human Trafficking Prevention Project (HTPP) was launched at the University of Baltimore School of Law in August 2015. They are always individually based and don’t seem to suggest that trafficking is a system that relies on power structures of gender, race, and class. Massage parlors, strip clubs, nail salons, and other businesses may pose as legitimate businesses, but actually, be run by human traffickers. Human trafficking Human trafficking has received increasing global attention over the past decade. These populations include men, women, families, or children as young as five years old who harvest crops and raise animals in fields or work in packing plants, nurseries, orchards, and kitchens. Always report it, when you see something suspicious to the local authorities in addition to calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline – 1.888.373.7888. Young children don’t know what they don’t know. Additionally, victims often have psychological trauma from their abuse, which can often cause them to bond to their abuser in irrational ways. MYTH: Victims of human trafficking are only found in large urban areas that are hot spots of crime or foreign villages in developing countries. Other times, family members may not have the financial resources to provide ongoing care to their loved ones with disabilities. To fight against the insidious scourge of human trafficking takes compassion for the most vulnerable in our community. Who is Most Vulnerable? However, victims are forced into organized begging rings because it is thought that they gain more sympathy (and therefore profit) by the traffickers. This is one reason why it is so important to be educated on the issue and share what you’ve learned with others. MYTH: All trafficked people are in other countries – mostly in Asia and Africa. Often, individuals are not able or not yet willing to seek treatment for their previous abuse. For more detailed descriptions of these warning signs and more take a look at the full list from the National Human Trafficking Hotline, as well as these other resources: US Department of Health and Human Services Fact Sheet, US Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign. Recognizing the warning signs a patient is a victim of trafficking is crucial in the ED and other healthcare settings. Although in the U.S. human trafficking is outlawed under The Trafficking Victims Protection Act, 75% to 80% of trafficking victims in America are involved in the sex trade. O rgan trafficking, a lucrative global illicit trade, is often a lesser discussed form of human trafficking among anti-human trafficking stakeholders due to its intricate and often stealth nature. The most vulnerable children The commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is another term for what we often call child sex trafficking. The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) was born out of a renewed commitment by world leaders in the battle against human trafficking to end this crime, one of the most egregious violations of human rights in the world today. How do traffickers lure their victims? People you know might be vulnerable to trafficking if they: Has an unstable living situation Has a history of domestic violence Has a caregiver or family member who has a substance abuse issue Seasonal work in the hospitality industry may also be at risk for exploitation. This includes immigrants smuggled into the U.S., or currently residing in the U.S., who are vulnerable to exploitation due to their undocumented status. Formally launched in March 2007 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime While these claims may appear to be legitimate at first, unfortunately for many men, women, and children, they’re targeted as easy prey for exploitation. By using this website, you agree not to sell or make a profit in any way from any information or forms that you obtained through this website. “In all forms of human trafficking, there are likely elements of grooming a victim prior to the individual becoming a victim and brainwashing and coercion to keep them from leaving. Familiarizing yourself with human trafficking traits and commonalities is important in helping the general public know what to look for. Combatting human trafficking requires a sustained commitment to investigating and prosecuting these crimes and to protecting the most vulnerable citizens and residents from human traffickers. For a broader knowledge of where human trafficking happens, read It Happens Everywhere. Foreign nationals may also be victims of sex trafficking. The most obvious is youth. Initially, trafficking of women and girls for forced sex work and, to a lesser extent, domestic servitude, were the sole focus of advocacy and assistance. There are many more reasons why someone might not be able to break the invisible chains holding them in their current state. Here in Barbados, our Embassy actively engages with the government to combat human trafficking. MYTH: Those who are trafficked in the U.S. are not American citizens. TRUTH: Human trafficking victims are found in affluent cities as well as small towns. Oftentimes a human trafficking case will be noticed by someone who is most likely to come in contact with a victim – a police officer, medical professional, parent, teacher, employees at a hair or nail salon, etc. It certainly isn’t easy, especially because no two situations are going to look exactly alike. These families fall target to traffickers who promise families that they will provide work or education to their loved ones with a disability. TRUTH: Human trafficking appears in many forms. But these images don’t provide a clear understanding of who is actually falling prey to human traffickers. It’s important that you’re educated on what to look for so that you can speak up and be a voice for victims of this crime who often can’t speak up for themselves. In the vicious human trafficking world, especially in commercial sex trafficking, the younger the victim, the more they earn for their trafficker. For a deep dive on this topic, take a look at Uncovering Myths & Intricacies. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Domestic Violence, COVID-19 & Human Trafficking, 5 Ways Guidance Counselors Are Uniquely Positioned, Why You Are Uniquely Positioned To Help End Human Trafficking, Your Response This World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, In 2013, 60 percent of children rescued in a nationwide raid led by the FBI in more than 70 cities were from foster care or group homes (, At least one in three homeless youth engage in “, Fifty-six percent of women in prostitution were once runaway youth. What we know about trafficking survivors is that, in most cases, they have struggled with issues such as poverty, low self-esteem, and homelessness at some point in their life. Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons or modern-day slavery, is a crime that involves compelling or coercing a person to provide labor or services, or to engage in commercial sex acts. Some myths about human trafficking victims and their truths: MYTH: Human trafficking applies mostly to prostitution or sexual exploitation. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Outside the influence of a trafficker’s threats and lies, there’s also a lack of awareness of what human trafficking is. If you missed the first two posts in this series, make sure to go back and read part one, Uncovering Myths and Intricacies and part two, Human Trafficking Happens Everywhere. , such as food, shelter, or protection going on in community... 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