Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery National Human Trafficking Resource Center
Named after the North Star that guided slaves towards freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project’s vision is for a world without slavery. Polaris Project has been providing a comprehensive and community-based approach to combating human trafficking since 2002. Creative Commons: Dace Schmidt
Polaris Project Programs • National Human Trafficking Resource Center • U.S. Policy • Direct Client Services (DC and NJ) • Public Outreach and Communications • Fellowship • International Programs Polaris Project
Agenda/Goals • What is human trafficking? • Is this really a problem in the modern day? • What is the legal definition? • Who is involved in human trafficking? • How can I identify and understand victims? • What can I do to take action?
Human Trafficking “It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric…I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name- modern slavery.” -President Obama United States Department of State
Trafficking Victims Protection Act 22 USC § 7102
Sex Trafficking of Minors Force, Fraud, and Coercion are not required for minors induced into commercial sex acts.
Action Microsoft Free Images
Means - Force • Kidnapping • Confinement • Physical Assault • Sexual Assault, Rape • Violence Polaris Project
Means - Fraud • Fraudulent employment offers or contracts • False promises about work and living conditions • False promises of education • Withholding wages Microsoft Free Images
Means - Coercion • Threats of deportation or arrest • Blackmail • Threats to life, person safety, family members or other victims • Debt bondage • Withholding legal documents • Psychological manipulation Microsoft Free Images
Purpose Top: PolarisProject Department of Health and Human Services
True or False Trafficking victims must be foreign nationals. Trafficking requires state or international border crossing. Trafficking victims must be kidnapped and/or restrained physically. If a victim consented prior to abuse or was paid, it can still be trafficking.
True or False Myths & Misconceptions Trafficking victims must be foreign nationals. False: Trafficking victims in a country can be either citizens of that country or foreign nationals.
True or False Myths & Misconceptions Trafficking requires a state or international border-crossing. False: Although transportation may be involved and although the word connotes movement, the legal definition of trafficking does not require transportation.
Scope of Human Trafficking Worldwide, nearly 21 million people are victims of forced labor [human trafficking] (ILO, 2012)
Child Sex Trafficking • U.S. and Global Estimates • 100,000 children in the sex trade in the U.S. • Up to 2 million children experiencing commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) globally
What are Safe Harbor Laws? • Prevent Prosecution of victims • Ensure that “coercion” is not required to prosecute sex trafficking of children • Protect child victims byproviding specialized services
Human Trafficking Cases on National Hotline Cases Reported to the NHTRC, 2007-2012
International Cases on the NHTRC Hotline Cases Reported to the NHTRC, 2007-2013
Who Is Vulnerable? Victims of Past Violence/Abuse Financially Vulnerable Runaway and Homeless Youth Temporary Visa Holders/ Undocumented Foreign Nationals
Selected Examples from Recent Cases • Foreign National men with legal status and work visas • Homeless men, U.S. citizen and foreign nationals • Citizens and Foreign Nationals with disabilities • Runaway: 12-year old US citizen girl • Young women and girls from impoverished areas of Mexico United States Department of State
Recruitment “Girls who ran away from home or were put out by their parents. Ladies who were pretty but were on welfare, drop outs, you know you can smell desperation. If she is hungry, she will go.” -Former Pimp United States Department of State
Who are the Traffickers? • Any demographic • Individuals and groups • Street gangs and organized crime • Businesses or contractors • Different levels of organization and centralization Traffickers are people who exploit others for profit Microsoft Free Images
Economics 101: Demand Where there is a demand, there will be a supply… • Multiple types of “demand” • Sex – Pimps, brothel owners, strip club owners, escort services “demand” • Sex – Customers demand commercial sex • Labor – Businesses “demand” workers • Labor – Consumers “demand” cheap products
“Johns” - Who buys Sex? 1 out of every 5 to 6 adult men in the U.S. admit to having purchased commercial sex. What rates are present in other countries? United States Department of State
Where Does Sex Trafficking Occur? • Street Prostitution • Commercial Front &Residential Brothels • Pornography & Stripping • Escort Services • Internet “Web-cam” • Online • Where Else??
Where does Labor Trafficking Occur? • Agriculture • Construction • Domestic Work • Peddling/Begging • Traveling Sales Crews • Drug Trafficking • Bonded Labor • Where Else? United States Department of State
Labor Trafficking vs. Exploitation Unfair Wages & Poor living and working conditions
Vulnerability “I had one small child and a wife, and we wanted a better life for our family. I knew that if I worked in America, I could make more money than if I stayed in Thailand.” -SathapornPornsrisirisak Creative Commons: Wakx
Recruitment: Sathaporn’s Story “When we arrived in America, we were not offered the welding job as stated on the contract We were forced to work in a restaurant in (L.A.) instead.” -SathapornPornsrisirisak Microsoft Free Images
Sathaporn’s StoryLiving and Working Conditions “There was no electricity or gas. We were not able to go anywhere because our passports were taken away.” -SathapornPornsrisirisak Microsoft Free Images
Sathaporn’s StoryEscape “Because of these terrible conditions, fifteen of us decided to escape... others were too scared to leave.” -SathapornPornsrisirisak Microsoft Free Images
Victim Identification Isolation Debt Fear Guarded/ Monitored Language Barriers Confinement Threats to Loved Ones Shame, Self Blame No ID/ Documents Debt Bondage Hopelessness Misinformation Resignation
National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) 24/7 Toll-Free National Hotline 1-888-373-7888