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THE PROBLEM

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Human Trafficking is both complex and dynamic. Here’s the no-fluff version: it’s modern-day slavery and it exists in every city around the world. From massage parlors to sporting events, the exploitation knows no bounds, often moving victims between cities, countries, and continents.

 

Here are some additional articles from leading organizations in the fight against human trafficking...

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Stats and info provided by polarisproject.org

MYTH

It’s always or usually a violent crime.

REALITY

The most pervasive myth about human trafficking is that it often involves kidnapping or physically forcing someone into a situation. In reality, most traffickers use psychological means such as, tricking, defrauding, manipulating or threatening victims into providing commercial sex or exploitative labor.

MYTH

All human trafficking involves sex.

REALITY

Human trafficking is the use of force, fraud or coercion to get another person to provide labor or commercial sex. Worldwide, experts believe there are more situations of labor trafficking than of sex trafficking, but there is much wider awareness of sex trafficking in the U.S. than of labor trafficking.

MYTH

Traffickers target victims they don’t know.

REALITY

Many survivors have been trafficked by romantic partners, including spouses, and by family members, including parents.

MYTH

Only undocumented foreign nationals get trafficked in the United States.

REALITY

There have been thousands of cases of trafficking involving foreign national survivors who are legally living and/or working in the United States. These include survivors of both sex and labor trafficking.

MYTH

Only women and girls can be victims and survivors of sex trafficking.

REALITY

Men and boys are also victimized by sex traffickers. LGBTQ boys and young men are seen as particularly vulnerable to trafficking.

MYTH

Human trafficking only happens in illegal or underground industries.

REALITY

Human trafficking cases have been reported and prosecuted in industries including restaurants, cleaning services, construction, factories and more.

MYTH

Human trafficking involves moving, traveling or transporting a person across state or national borders.

REALITY

Human trafficking is often confused with human smuggling, which involves illegal border crossings. In fact, the crime of human trafficking does not require any movement whatsoever. Survivors can be recruited and trafficked in their own home towns, even their own homes.

MYTH

If the trafficked person consented to be in their initial situation, then it cannot be human trafficking or against their will because they “knew better.”

REALITY

Initial consent to commercial sex or a labor setting prior to acts of force, fraud, or coercion (or if the victim is a minor in a sex trafficking situation) is not relevant to the crime, nor is payment.

MYTH

People being trafficked are physically unable to leave their situations/locked in/held against their will.

REALITY

That is sometimes the case. More often, however, people in trafficking situations stay for reasons that are more complicated. Some lack the basic necessities to physically get out – such as transportation or a safe place to live. Some are afraid for their safety. Some have been so effectively manipulated that they do not identify at that point as being under the control of another person.

MYTH

Labor trafficking is only or primarily a problem in developing countries.

REALITY

Labor trafficking occurs in the United States and in other developed countries but is reported at lower rates than sex trafficking.

MYTH

All commercial sex is human trafficking.

REALITY

All commercial sex involving a minor is legally considered human trafficking. Commercial sex involving an adult is human trafficking if the person providing commercial sex is doing so against his or her will as a result of force, fraud or coercion.

MYTH

People in active trafficking situations always want help getting out.

REALITY

Every trafficking situation is unique and self-identification as a trafficking victim or survivor happens along a continuum. Fear, isolation, guilt, shame, misplaced loyalty and expert manipulation are among the many factors that may keep a person from seeking help or identifying as a victim even if they are, in fact, being actively trafficked.

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