Human Trafficking is the abuse of children, women, and men for their bodies and labor.
It's modern-day slavery.
- A21 Campaign
From December 2007 through December 31, 2020, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received 328,255 contacts by way of incoming phone calls, texts, online chats, emails, and online tip reports. From these contacts, 73,946 cases or distinct situations
of human trafficking were reported.
In 2020 alone, 10,583 cases were reported.
In Missouri, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received 4,609 contacts from December 2007 through December 31, 2020.
From these contacts, 1,281 cases were reported. In 2020, there were 750 contacts and 267 cases reported.
Unfortunately, many cases of human trafficking go unreported.
You are the eyes and ears who will identify possible victims.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking or
if you suspect someone is being trafficked, call or text
the National Human Trafficking Hotline at:
Text: 233733 or BEFREE
If someone is in immediate danger, call 911.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is a crime involving the exploitation of someone for the purposes of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Human trafficking affects every community in the United States across age, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic backgrounds.
Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age (22 USC § 7102).
Child sex trafficking is to knowingly recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, or maintain a minor (defined as someone under 18 years of age) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the victim is a minor and would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act. “Commercial sex act” is defined very broadly to include “any sex act, on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.” In other words, it is illegal both to offer and to obtain a child, and cause that child to engage in any kind of sexual activity in exchange for anything of value, whether it be money, goods, personal benefit, in-kind favors, or some other kind of benefit (18 USC § 1591)
--U.S. Department of Justice
Labor trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery
(22 USC § 7102).
Who is Vulnerable?
Human trafficking can happen to anyone but some people are more vulnerable than others. Significant risk factors include recent migration or relocation, substance use, mental health concerns, involvement with the children welfare system, and being a runaway or homeless youth. Often, traffickers identify and leverage their victims’ vulnerabilities in order to create dependency.
Who are the Traffickers?
Perpetrators of human trafficking span all racial, ethnic, and gender demographics and are as diverse as survivors. Some use their privilege, wealth, and power as a means of control while others experience the same socio-economic oppression as their victims. They include individuals, business owners, members of a gang or network, parents or family members of victims, intimate partners, owners of farms or restaurants, and powerful corporate executives and government representatives.
How Do Traffickers Control Victims?
Traffickers employ a variety of control tactics, the most common include physical and emotional abuse and threats, isolation from friends and family, and economic abuse. They make promises aimed at addressing the needs of their target in order to impose control. As a result, victims become trapped and fear leaving for myriad reasons, including psychological trauma, shame, emotional attachment, or physical threats to themselves or their family.
Who are the Survivors?
Victims and survivors of human trafficking represent every race and ethnicity but some forms of trafficking are more likely to affect specific ethnic groups.
Human trafficking is often a hidden crime. Victims may be afraid to come forward and get help; they may be forced or coerced through threats or violence; they may fear retribution from traffickers, including danger to their families; and they may not be in possession of or have control of their identification documents.
-- DHS Blue Campaign (Myths and Misconceptions)
Why Does Trafficking Exist?
Human trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry that is based on the principles of supply and demand, like drugs or arms trafficking. Many factors make children and adults vulnerable to human trafficking. However, human trafficking does not exist solely because many people are vulnerable to exploitation. Instead, human trafficking is fueled by a demand for cheap labor, services, and for commercial sex. Human traffickers are those who employ force, fraud, or coercion to victimize others in their desire to profit from the existing demand. To ultimately solve the problem of human trafficking, it is essential to address these demand-driven factors, as well as to alter the overall market incentives of high-profit and low-risk that traffickers currently exploit.
**Unless otherwise noted, all information obtained from the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH).