About

Human

Trafficking

About

Human

Trafficking

What is Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery and is the second largest criminal industry in the world following drug dealing. It involves controlling a person through force, fraud, or coercion to exploit the victim for forced labor, sexual exploitation, or both. Most of this trafficking is done for the sole purpose of sexual exploitation. Globally, the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 4.5 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation. Victims of human trafficking are often beaten, starved, gang raped, and threatened to be killed or their families are threatened.

While human trafficking is mistakenly thought of as something that does not occur in “my community”; it is happening here locally. In the U.S., Texas ranks second in reported cases of human trafficking. Even closer, the The Urban Institute reported that the commercial sex industry in the Dallas/Fort Worth market, annually generates $98.8 million dollars; which trafficked victims are a key role.

Texas ranks 2nd in reported cases of human trafficking.
  • California
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • New York
  • Ohio

The Impact of Human Trafficking on Minors

Domestic minor sex trafficking occurs when children, under the age of 18, are commercially sexually exploited. Children can be commercially sexually exploited through prostitution, pornography, and/or erotic entertainment. The FBI estimates that child prostitutes enter their perilous trade, on average, at the age of twelve. This is happening to children within a home; as well as, those who have left or lost their home. For example, the 2016 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons reports cases of adults who have broken the trust and care of a non-adult family member to profit from their exploitation. The Department of Justice reports that nearly 25% of children they encountered were forced into prostitution after being trafficked by a parent or family member.

Sexual abuse often is a factor in the human trafficking path. For example, Sergeant Byron Fassett of the Dallas Police Department’s High Risk Victims Unit estimates that nearly 70% of the child prostitutes he encountered were runaways who were physically or sexually abused before they left home. While children can be vulnerable inside their own home, there is no guaranteed safety if they leave, since on average, children are likely to be approached by traffickers within 48 hours of leaving or losing their homes.

The Impact of Human Trafficking on Minors

Domestic minor sex trafficking occurs when children, under the age of 18, are commercially sexually exploited. Children can be commercially sexually exploited through prostitution, pornography, and/or erotic entertainment. The FBI estimates that child prostitutes enter their perilous trade, on average, at the age of twelve. This is happening to children within a home; as well as, those who have left or lost their home. For example, the 2016 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons reports cases of adults who have broken the trust and care of a non-adult family member to profit from their exploitation. The Department of Justice reports that nearly 25% of children they encountered were forced into prostitution after being trafficked by a parent or family member.

Sexual abuse often is a factor in the human trafficking path. For example, Sergeant Byron Fassett of the Dallas Police Department’s High Risk Victims Unit estimates that nearly 70% of the child prostitutes he encountered were runaways who were physically or sexually abused before they left home. While children can be vulnerable inside their own home, there is no guaranteed safety if they leave, since on average, children are likely to be approached by traffickers within 48 hours of leaving or losing their homes.

How to Recognize a Victim

Victims of human trafficking come from different socio-economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. There is no stereotypical victim; however, many do share one or more of the following RED FLAGS:
  • Burns/scars
  • Malnourished or hungry
  • Varied stages of bruising
  • Branding or tattoos, such as a $, a barcode, or “Daddy”
  • Signs of alcohol/drug addiction
  • Withdrawn, depressed, and fearful
  • Inappropriately dressed for the season
  • Inconsistent stories
  • Frequent or unexplained absences
  • Frequent travel to other cities
  • Always accompanied by older, controlling boyfriend or woman; or has a boyfriend 10+ years older
  • Talks about sexual situations beyond what is normal for their age

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