In 2019, there were 11,500 human trafficking situations identified. This does not account for unreported or unrecognized situations.
This number is increasing every year.
Common types of trafficking:
"Youth without safe shelter and social supports are at higher risk of trafficking and exploitation. Traffickers exploit their needs and vulnerabilities to compel them into sex or labor trafficking. LGBTQ+ youth may be trafficked by intimate partners, family members, friends, or strangers.
The coercion and control that traffickers hold over their victims, in combination with the stigma of commercial sex, may prevent youth from disclosing their situation. LGBTQ+ youth service providers may be in a unique position to recognize indicators of sex trafficking among the youth they serve and connect them with much needed services."
Source: The Polaris Project, Resources, Sex Trafficking and LGBTQ+ Youth
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
Zhao is from China and is looking to come to the United States on an employment visa. Zhao looks online to find employment, and sees an ad for a position at a massage parlor and a decent wage. Zhao contacts the employer and lets them know of his arrival date to the U.S. Zhao does not know the employer is a trafficker. Once Zhao arrives at the airport, the trafficker picks him up, Takes his passport and all of his identity, and puts him to work in a massage parlor without paying him a penny.
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
Alexa's parents are both drug abusers and Alexa, at 14 years old, ended up on the street. With no one else to turn to, a man approaches Alexa on the street and asks them if they're hungry. Alexa does not know this man is a trafficker. They accept food from this man because they haven't had a meal in days, and follows him to his car. The trafficker forces them into his child prostitution business, and tells them if they try to escape, he will kill them and their family.
Traffickers used to tattoo their victims to identify them. This is not as common as it used to be, but is still one way to identify a victim.
Human Trafficking in the Trucking Industry
"Trucking and human trafficking unfortunately have a close relationship. Due to truck stops being positioned all across the country and usually in remote areas, it makes them perfect targets for human trafficking. We can all be aware of the red flags to lookout for, which include: people who don't seem to be aware of where they are, people who don't speak for themselves or look for consent from others before speaking, unexpected flashing lights or other things that can be interpreted as messages, a vehicle that drops someone off at a truck and then comes back short time later, and more. If you ever see anything like this or are suspicious, be sure to report it to the Human Trafficking Hotline."
-The Lanier Law Firm