Education is a central piece to the identification of victims and in turn the ability of law enforcement to be able to rescue them. Traffickers target the most vulnerable because traffickers use their insecurities to control them. Funding: This website is supported by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. not in control of their personal identification (passport, driver’s license, ID). Physical and social factors make individuals with disabilities more vulnerable to human trafficking. MYTH: Those who are trafficked in the U.S. are not American citizens. Recognizing the warning signs a patient is a victim of trafficking is crucial in the ED and other healthcare settings. They begin to believe that their bodies are all their worth. 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). This is an effort by law enforcement to minimize re-traumatization as they move through the criminal justice system. Human trafficking takes place in every country, from the richest to the poorest. Let us know in the comments what questions you have about human trafficking. Almost every aspect of their life is controlled — where they live, what they eat, where they go, what they look like, and who they are allowed to talk to.”. 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. Outside the influence of a trafficker’s threats and lies, there’s also a lack of awareness of what human trafficking is. Foreign nationals may also be victims of sex trafficking. 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. 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. For more useful information go to TexasCourtHelp, a website of the Texas Office of Court Administration's website. Irregular migrants are some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Massage parlors, strip clubs, nail salons, and other businesses may pose as legitimate businesses, but actually, be run by human traffickers. ” TIP Report, 2016. There are several reasons why people are targeted for human trafficking. It feeds on the world’s most vulnerable women and children and is driven by the demand in affluent countries. They are more likely to face legal restrictions on work and travel related to their visas. The most vulnerable children. The most targeted populations for trafficking are homeless and runaway youths. If you suspect a trafficking situation call the National Human Trafficking Hotline now: 1-888-373-7888, Faces of Human Trafficking Discussion Guide. While unpacking these myths completely is difficult to do concisely, we’ll walk through them to help you gain an understanding of the truth sometimes captured within these myths. Human trafficking occurs all over the world, not just in specific regions based on socioeconomic development. 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). Severe retaliation or attacks on their families hold many in fear of disobeying their traffickers. There are many reasons why someone who is being trafficked might not be able to leave. Other times, family members may not have the financial resources to provide ongoing care to their loved ones with disabilities. Human trafficking is the end result of years – sometimes generations – of vulnerabilities that have been unaddressed, under-resourced, or unnoticed. Often, individuals are not able or not yet willing to seek treatment for their previous abuse. Victims are often taught to distrust others – particularly law enforcement, this is especially true if they are in a country illegally and could be deported if discovered. 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. The journey of a human trafficking victim doesn’t begin the moment he or she is rescued. This is why training for these individuals is so important. Human trafficking is a global issue, but certain countries are worse. MYTH: Most human trafficking involves females under the age of 18. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! A study in Chicago found that 56 percent of prostituted women were initially runaway youth and similar numbers have been identified for male populations. Runaway youth are often approached by traffickers at transportation hubs, shelters or other public spaces. TRUTH: Human trafficking victims are found in affluent cities as well as small towns. There are a number of factors which make people vulnerable to abuses of all kinds, particularly human trafficking. 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. TRUTH: Human trafficking victims are found across all age, gender, and racial demographics. 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. The urgency of their situation might lead them to make dangerous migration decisions. There are many examples in articles and books that you will find as you continue researching and learning about this topic. 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. When victims’ bodies are regularly used as objects, their self-worth is shattered. 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. Survivors of the illegal sex trade say the city’s culture and high rates of homelessness give traffickers the advantage. 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. People, especially children, and youth are less resilient after experiencing trauma and more likely to be persuaded or tricked by others who would take advantage of emotional instability, low self-esteem, physical injury, a missing support system, and an intensified need to be accepted by peers or stand-ins for family members. 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. © 2001–2021. or avoiding all eye contact. 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. “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. It happens all over the world, including the United States. According to the hotline, about 80% of trafficking cases nationally involve sex trafficking, and 90% of the victims are female. Specific risk factors for people with physical or cognitive disabilities include social marginalization, difficulty with communication, and diminished ability to protect oneself due to lack of instruction or resources. Human trafficking isn’t limited … They are not for sale. It certainly isn’t easy, especially because no two situations are going to look exactly alike. 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