Human Sex Trafficking in America
By Anoop Kathrani on January 30, 2019
What is Human Trafficking?
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), as amended (22 U.S.C. § 7102), defines “severe forms of trafficking in persons” as:
Sex trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; (and)
Labor trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Fastest Growing Crime in the World
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s report ‘Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2016’ indicates that women constitute 51% of trafficked persons, men 21%, girls 20%, and boys 8%. Females are generally victims of sex trafficking
Here at home, there have been reported cases in all 50 states and human trafficking for sexual exploitation and/or forced labor has been described as the fastest growing crime by the Department of Defense and other organizations.
Modern Day Slavery
So, what motivates the traffickers? Mostly money. Human trafficking is a business that generates the profit of approximately $32 billion. Trafficking for sexual exploitation and forced labor are the most common forms of human trafficking, amounting to 92.5% of all cases.
In the U.S., there have been more than 49,000 total cases of human trafficking reported to the Human Trafficking Hotline in the last 10 years. As horrifying as that already is, the number of human trafficking cases that Polaris learns about in the U.S. increases every year.
As of now, the Human Trafficking Hotline receives an average of 150 calls per day.
Where Does the Exploitation Happen in America?
Common venues for acts of human trafficking are commercially operated truck stops and hotel/motels due to their remote locations and discretion. Although these locations do not participate in human trafficking, these companies knowingly participate in it by fostering complicit environments which encourage these types of crimes.
How Are the Hospitality industry and Commercial Truck Stops involved?
These venues are fully aware of what to look for thanks to the Blue Campaign, Truckers Against Trafficking, Polaris and many other organizations and awareness groups specifically focusing on human trafficking.
As businesses open to the public, commercially-operated truck stops and hotel/motels are obligated to invest financial resources to ensure a safe environment for its patrons and customers. An effort should be made to install video surveillance equipment, install proper lighting, hire security personnel and install postage/signage in areas on its property where acts of human trafficking is, or may be, occurring.
By failing to do so and failing to train its employees to identify acts of human trafficking, commercially-operated truck stops and hotel/motels financially benefit through increased sales and lower operating costs at its locations.
Additionally, such inactions create an atmosphere enticing to human traffickers and individuals who seek to exploit victims for sex and/or labor resulting in said increased sales and profits at their locations. Over time, as locations where acts of human trafficking occur become more well-known, the frequency of human trafficking and individuals who seek to exploit victims for sex and/or labor increases simultaneously increasing sales and profits at their locations.
How to Help Someone in Need
First and foremost, if you know someone who is currently a victim of Human Trafficking you should reach out to the Polaris Project by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888.
Next, check out this Department of Health and Human Services page which gives a lot of information on how to proceed next and many other resources to check out. You can also find local organizations near you that do a lot for victims of Human Trafficking. RestoreNYC is a great example of one of these organizations that do incredible things to help victims of Human Trafficking including counseling, housing, economic empowerment, and job placement.
Next, you should help them hire an attorney who specializes in helping victims of Human Trafficking fight back against those who stole the lives and futures from their victims.
Hiring A Human Sex Trafficking Attorney
Victims of Human Sex Trafficking have been exploited, abused and robbed of their lives for profits. This doesn't only apply to the human trafficking criminals but also to the hotel/motels, truck stops, etc. that have created an environment which encourages these types of crimes to be perpetrated on their premises. At Douglas & London, we want to stop sex trafficking and empower victims to fight back against these facilities that have turned a blind eye to what’s happening under their roofs.
If you or someone you know was a victim of sex trafficking, you may be entitled to compensation. Please, contact us today online or on the phone at (212) 566-7500 for a free and confidential discussion.
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