News: Human Trafficking 101
Human Trafficking is compelling someone to engage in a commercial sex act, labor or services through the use of force, fraud or coercion. You can find an overview of both Federal and State laws here. But it is easier to understand using the A-M-P model in the diagram. At least one element from each column must be present to be human trafficking.But it is easier to understand using the A-M-P model in the diagram. At least one element from each column must be present to be human trafficking.
There are many instances of exploitation that fall short of this or represent other criminal activity that don’t meet this definition. Specific vulnerabilities that make one more susceptible to being trafficked include poverty, history of abuse or neglect, mental health concerns, drug use, involvement in the child welfare system, runaways, as well as others. Signs of trafficking often include being in the presence of someone that does all the talking for them, signs of abuse, withdrawn/depressed, inability to clarify where they are staying, fearful/anxious, tense, among others.
Many times victims don’t seek help because of shame or feeling like they brought this on themselves. Other times they don’t know or understand they are being exploited due to the complex psychological relationship with the trafficker. I often hear survivors say that if asked if they were trafficking victims they would say no, but if asked if they traded sex for something of value (like rent or drugs) and someone else benefited from that exchange as well the answer was different. We need to learn to spot the signs and ask the questions in a way that brings a better understanding of the situation and the ways we can help. For more see https://www.state.gov/identify-and-assist-a-trafficking-victim/ and https://polarisproject.org/recognizing-human-trafficking/ . If your organization would like a Human Trafficking 101 briefing or connection to state or other resources, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .