Do you want to report suspicious activity? Are you at risk of human trafficking? Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline.

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Warning Signs That Someone Is Being Trafficked

Human trafficking is a problem in every state, and in every community.

If you believe that someone is being trafficked or exploited, call the The National Human Trafficking Resource Center to report your suspicions and seek help. All calls are treated anonymously:

1-888-3737-888

Here are some of the warning signs to look out for.

Common Work/Living Conditions

Lack of Control

Abnormal Behavior in Public

Poor Physical Health

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: ABDUCTING, FORCING, DECEIVING OR RECRUITING SOMEONE INTO WORKING AGAINST THEIR WILL. MOST COMMONLY FOR THE PURPOSES OF SEXUAL EXPLOITATION.

TRATA DE PERSONAS: RAPTAR O FORZAR, ENGAÑAR O RECRUTAR A PERSONAS PARA TRABAJAR EN CONTRA DE SU VOLUNTAD. COMUNMENTE CON EL PROPÓSITO DE USAR PARA EXPLOTACIÓN SEXUAL.

SEE FULL DEFINITION

"Trafficking in persons" shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs...

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83% OF CONFIRMED TRAFFICKING CASES IN THE UNITED STATES ARE AMERICAN BORN CITIZENS

It's hard to believe, but more humans are being used as slaves than ever before.

Between 700,000 and 4 million women and children will be trafficked this year, with the majority being forced to work in the sex trade. In America, there are an estimated 40,000 men, women and children enslaved at this very moment. If everyone who cares takes action, we can end slavery once and for all.

It's time.

MORE FACTS
CHILD SEX SLAVERY IN AMERICA
VICTIMS
NOT CRIMINALS
DISABLED CHILDREN TARGETED
is the international symbol for currency. We use it in our design to emphasize that no human being should be anyone else's property.

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Resources

These modern day abolitionists are fighting slavery across the globe. Here's how you can join them.

LONG-TERM SURVIVOR SUPPORT

The Coalition to Abolish Slavery & TraffickingThe Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) is a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual human rights organization providing comprehensive case management, services, and advocacy to survivors healing from the violence endured during slavery. CAST provides comprehensive long-term services through a three-pronged empowerment approach which includes Social Services, Legal Services, and Outreach and Training. The organization also operates the first shelter in the nation solely dedicated to serving victims of trafficking and established the first partnership of its kind with Saban Free Clinic – a family clinic in Los Angeles trained to address the health and mental health needs of trafficking victims.

FREEDOM THROUGH SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

Not For SaleNot For Sale uses the power of business and social enterprise to create viable alternatives to slavery. By empowering vulnerable communities, and engaging business, government and the grassroots, Not For Sale has created a modern day abolitionist movement in countries across the Globe. On November 1st and 2nd 2012, Not For Sale will be hosting Justice for the Bottom Billion - a Global Forum on stemming the tide of human trafficking.

PUSHING FOR LEGISLATIVE CHANGE

Polaris ProjectNamed after the North Star which guided slaves to freedom on the underground railroad, Polaris Project is one of the largest anti- trafficking organizations in the United States and Japan. The organization is active in lobbying for legislative change - including the current push for the CASE Act - and provides direct support to victims of trafficking. Polaris has been instrumental in providing training on human trafficking for law enforcement, social services and other public sector employees.

SUPPORTING SURVIVORS

GemsFounded by Rachel Lloyd, GEMS works with women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited. The organization helps young girls transition out of the sex industry and get back to their full potential. GEMS was also instrumental in lobbying for passage of the Safe Harbor Act for Sexually Exploited Youth, which provides that girls under the age of 16, who are arrested in New York for prostitution will be treated as victims, rather than criminals.

HOLDING CALIFORNIA ACCOUNTABLE

GemsCalifornia harbors three of FBI's 13 highest child sex trafficking areas in the nation (Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego), and it has received an F rating from leading anti-trafficking organizations. California Against Slavery is coordinating a push for THE CASE ACT - a groundbreaking ballot initiative that will increase penalties for human trafficking, ensure increased support for survivors, and mandate training for law enforcement and other officials.

EMPOWERING CONSUMERS

Slavery FootprintThe Slavery Footprint website shows consumers how their consumption habits are connected to modern-day slavery, showing them just how many slaves it takes to support their lifestyle. Through the "Free World" mobile app and online action center, Slavery Footprint provides consumers with an outlet to voice their demand for products made without slave labor.

RESCUING AND RESTORING VICTIMS

Shared HopeShared Hope International is a leading light in the worldwide effort to prevent and eradicate sex trafficking and slavery. The organization uses every means possible to alert the vulnerable to the dangers of trafficking, and partners with local organizations to offer victims of the sex trade safe shelter, therapy, spiritual and physical healing, education and vocational training. Shared Hope International also campaigns for fundamental cultural and legislative change to ensure the just treatment of victims and the prosecution of perpetrators alike.

24-HOUR ANTI-TRAFFICKING HOTLINE

Shared HopeThe National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. It exists to help people to report tips/suspicious activity; connect with anti-trafficking services in their area, or to request training, technical assistance or anti-trafficking resources. The NHTRC is a program of Polaris Project, a non-profit, non-governmental organization working exclusively on the issue of human trafficking. NHTRC is not a government entity, law enforcement or an immigration authority. It can be reached at 1-888-3737-888

THE GOVERNMENT ANTI-SLAVERY EFFORT

Justice DepartmentThe fight to end slavery must include a robust response from Government. Every year, the Department of Justice publishes an overview of government efforts to and the trafficking of people. Covering everything from law enforcement and prosecutions to training and grant funding, this is a vital resource for anti-trafficking activists.

PROVIDING SAFE REFUGE

Courtney's HouseTina Frundt was “freed” from sex trafficking as a teen, only to be forced into the juvenile detention system. She founded Courtney's House as an alternative – funding a group residential home for survivors where they could heal, recover and move beyond their experiences without criminalization. Their first group home was forced to close due to lack of funding, but they are actively working toward a new home. In the meantime, they are providing drop-in services, outreach and law enforcement training.

INTERNATIONAL EMPOWERMENT

FAIR GirlsFAIR Girls provides education, outreach and empowerment to girls who have been, or are at risk of being, sexually exploited. With programs in Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia, Russia, Uganda, and the United States, the organization creates opportunities for girls to become confident, happy, healthy young women. From emergency response through individual care to group empowerment workshops and prevention education, FAIR Girls works toward a world where all young women can live free from exploitation.

FIGHTING TRAFFICKERS IN JAPAN

Polaris Project JapanPolaris Project Japan is the only organization in Japan solely dedicated to combating all forms of human trafficking. They are a leading voice for victims of human trafficking and for calling attention to this human rights issue. Polaris runs case management services for survivors, a nationwide hotline for reporting trafficking, national education and awareness-raising efforts, policy advocacy, corporate outreach, and prevention programs.

SUPPORTING SURVIVORS IN SPAIN

Proyecto EsperanzaProyecto Esperanza (Project HOPE) is the response of the Congregation of the Sisters Adorers to the problem of trafficking in women in Spain. Since 1999, the group has offered a comprehensive support program for women who are victims of human trafficking for the purposes of exploitation. The Project has a multidisciplinary team who consider trafficking-in-persons to be a violation of human rights. The team consists of lawyers, educators, social workers, intercultural mediators, psychologists and other professionals.

COMBATING VIOLENCE AGAINST GIRLS

HUMAN RIGHTS FOR GIRLSGirls in the United States are subject to violence with horrifying frequency. One in four American girls will experience sexual violence by the age of 18. Girls aged 16 to 19 are four times more likely than others to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. And, nearly one in five women reports being subject to rape in her lifetime.

Violence against girls in the US is a human rights issue. Human Rights Project For Girls works to ensure it is viewed as such, and that ending this epidemic becomes a priority for our society.

KRISTI HOUSE

Kristi HouseKristi House's Project GOLD program assists commercially sexually exploited children by offering coordinated service to the victims and through training and awareness building in Miami Dade County. Kristi House, as the Miami Dade County CAC, strives to create local model programs that are easily replicated in other communities and continuously works to recognize this population of child sexual abuse victims as just that - victims - not criminals. Project GOLD is led by Trudy Novicki, Executive Director and author of the Florida Safe Harbor Act and by Sandy Skelaney, Program Manager.

FROM VICTIMS TO LEADERS

MISSSEYMotivating, Inspiring, Supporting, and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth (MISSSEY) advocates and facilitates the empowerment and inner transformation of sexually exploited youth by holistically addressing their specific needs. MISSSEY collaborates to bring about systemic and community change to prevent the sexual exploitation of children and youth through raising awareness, education and policy development. MISSSEY embodies a peer and survivor led model that recognizes the value of young people empowering other young people and the crucial voices of survivors in facilitating healing in victims of commercial sexual exploitation. MISSSEY seeks to partner with youth in their transition from victim to survivor to leader, encouraging their long-term stability and success in whatever path they choose.

PROTECTING THE VULNERABLE

International Justice MissionInternational Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to secure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to ensure that public justice systems - police, courts and laws - effectively protect the poor. IJM's justice professionals work in their communities in 15 field offices in Asia, Africa and Latin America to secure tangible and sustainable protection of national laws through local court systems.

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Minh Dang
COUNTRIES WITH LEGALIZED PROSTITUTIONSHOW HIGHER LEVELS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
We’ve already reported on attempts by Amsterdam to tighten the rules governing the city’s red light district, with a view to clamping down on trafficking.
Now new research from the London School of Economics and Political Science suggests that the experience of those countries which have currently legalized or decriminalized prostitution, a more tolerant approach can drive an increase in human trafficking cases, due to an expansion of the market.
Researchers caution, however, that there are other factors (for example safety of those working consensually) that should be considered when evaluating legal options. 
Photo: Olly Boyo/Creative Commons

COUNTRIES WITH LEGALIZED PROSTITUTION
SHOW HIGHER LEVELS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING

We’ve already reported on attempts by Amsterdam to tighten the rules governing the city’s red light district, with a view to clamping down on trafficking.

Now new research from the London School of Economics and Political Science suggests that the experience of those countries which have currently legalized or decriminalized prostitution, a more tolerant approach can drive an increase in human trafficking cases, due to an expansion of the market.

Researchers caution, however, that there are other factors (for example safety of those working consensually) that should be considered when evaluating legal options. 

Photo: Olly Boyo/Creative Commons

Minh Dang
NEW RULES FOR AMSTERDAM’S RED LIGHT DISTRICT
There is probably no topic more contentious in the anti-trafficking community than the abolition versus regulation debate when it comes to prostitution. Amsterdam is held up by some as a model, by other as a travesty. But new regulations are seeking to better protect potential victims, and also shift criminal responsibility to buyers found with trafficking victims. Our friends at Not For Sale are supportive of the changes, and have more details on how this might work: 
In Amsterdam, Not For Sale works to build relationships with those in the Red Light District who could potentially come from an exploitative situation via outreach efforts, providing nutritional services, as well as health checks when applicable. Not For Sale has counted over 35 nationalities during their work in the area, with the overwhelming majority coming from economically distressed countries, situations of poverty and abuse. 
To combat this, registration will be obligated for women who rent window brothels in the Red Light District. Prior to these stricter registration laws, city officials were unaware of how many different nationalities were present in the Red Light District. 
The city will also be raising the age for women entering prostitution in order to protect young girls who may be victims of loverboys from working in Amsterdam. The current age is 18 years old, but will be raised to 21 years old in the new year. Brothel owners will also be held to stricter regulations, and focus is starting to shift towards those who purchase sex. A new clause in the regulations will hold buyers of sex accountable if they are caught with a victim of human trafficking.
Photo: Cédric Puisney/Creative Commons

NEW RULES FOR AMSTERDAM’S RED LIGHT DISTRICT

There is probably no topic more contentious in the anti-trafficking community than the abolition versus regulation debate when it comes to prostitution. 

Amsterdam is held up by some as a model, by other as a travesty. But new regulations are seeking to better protect potential victims, and also shift criminal responsibility to buyers found with trafficking victims. Our friends at Not For Sale are supportive of the changes, and have more details on how this might work

In Amsterdam, Not For Sale works to build relationships with those in the Red Light District who could potentially come from an exploitative situation via outreach efforts, providing nutritional services, as well as health checks when applicable. Not For Sale has counted over 35 nationalities during their work in the area, with the overwhelming majority coming from economically distressed countries, situations of poverty and abuse. 

To combat this, registration will be obligated for women who rent window brothels in the Red Light District. Prior to these stricter registration laws, city officials were unaware of how many different nationalities were present in the Red Light District. 

The city will also be raising the age for women entering prostitution in order to protect young girls who may be victims of loverboys from working in Amsterdam. The current age is 18 years old, but will be raised to 21 years old in the new year. Brothel owners will also be held to stricter regulations, and focus is starting to shift towards those who purchase sex. A new clause in the regulations will hold buyers of sex accountable if they are caught with a victim of human trafficking.

Photo: Cédric Puisney/Creative Commons

Minh Dang

In far too many states, those who have been forced into commercial sex are the ones who are prosecuted when they get caught. And those who exploit these people, either by buying or selling them, are rarely prosecuted. This creates a situation where those who are coerced can barely tell the difference between their abuser and the state. From their perspective, at least their abuser offers love and support alongside the abuse. If we want to make a difference in the lives of those who are coerced into commercial sex, we need to make certain that they are supported, not punished. And we need to make sure that exploitation is one of the riskiest things that people can do.

-- What Anti-Trafficking Advocates Can Learn From Sex Workers: The Dynamics of Choice, Circumstance and Coercion
Minh Dang
THIS SOUP FIGHTS SLAVERY. MAKE MORE SOUP.
When Not For Sale Netherlands started working on outreach to women in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, they discovered that offers of shelter, support and encouragement could only go so far. 
What women needed to leave the business - and a large number of women DID want to leave the business - was an alternative livelihood. A combination of visa restrictions (prostitution is legal in the Netherlands), and debts incurred to traffickers or in their homelands, meant that women were trapped. 
They might come to a shelter, but unless they found a way to support themselves and their families, and to pay off their debts, they often ended up back in the windows.
Home Soup was conceived of as a social enterprise, creating delicious, gourmet soups and delivering them to shelters, the local police force, and to women working the windows.
After an initial pilot phase, Home Soup is expanding.  
Good intentions are not enough in the fight against trafficking. We need a plan that meets the needs of those we are aiming to help. 

THIS SOUP FIGHTS SLAVERY. MAKE MORE SOUP.

When Not For Sale Netherlands started working on outreach to women in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, they discovered that offers of shelter, support and encouragement could only go so far. 

What women needed to leave the business - and a large number of women DID want to leave the business - was an alternative livelihood. A combination of visa restrictions (prostitution is legal in the Netherlands), and debts incurred to traffickers or in their homelands, meant that women were trapped. 

They might come to a shelter, but unless they found a way to support themselves and their families, and to pay off their debts, they often ended up back in the windows.

Home Soup was conceived of as a social enterprise, creating delicious, gourmet soups and delivering them to shelters, the local police force, and to women working the windows.

After an initial pilot phase, Home Soup is expanding.  

Good intentions are not enough in the fight against trafficking. We need a plan that meets the needs of those we are aiming to help. 

Minh Dang

WILL SHUTTING DOWN BACKPAGE ADSHELP FREE SURVIVORS?


As activists pressure Backpage.com to drop sex adds which they say facilitate human trafficking of minors, a judge has heard arguments by Backpage.com that a Washington State law designed at combatting human trafficking is unconstitutional. 

The law, which requires classified advertising companies to verify the ages of people advertising sexual services, is intended to prevent pimps from advertising underage girls - often in multiple locations. 

One Seattle Police detective explained why he believed the law was necessary - citing the case of a fifteen-year-old-girl who was advertised through Backpage.com:


"The detective contacted Backpage to have the ad removed. Backpage complied, the detective said, but her ad was soon reposted — more than a half-dozen times."


Meanwhile Backpage.com argued that the law was in danger of driving sex ads underground - where law enforcement and advocacy groups would have a harder time monitoring ads for sexual services and identifying and reaching out to minors and/or victims of trafficking.

Your thoughts and opinions welcome - is it possible to help tackle trafficking by shutting down ads on sites like Backpage, or is there a danger such measures will do more harm than good? 

WILL SHUTTING DOWN BACKPAGE ADS
HELP FREE SURVIVORS?

As activists pressure Backpage.com to drop sex adds which they say facilitate human trafficking of minors, a judge has heard arguments by Backpage.com that a Washington State law designed at combatting human trafficking is unconstitutional. 
The law, which requires classified advertising companies to verify the ages of people advertising sexual services, is intended to prevent pimps from advertising underage girls - often in multiple locations. 
One Seattle Police detective explained why he believed the law was necessary - citing the case of a fifteen-year-old-girl who was advertised through Backpage.com:
"The detective contacted Backpage to have the ad removed. Backpage complied, the detective said, but her ad was soon reposted — more than a half-dozen times."
Meanwhile Backpage.com argued that the law was in danger of driving sex ads underground - where law enforcement and advocacy groups would have a harder time monitoring ads for sexual services and identifying and reaching out to minors and/or victims of trafficking.
Your thoughts and opinions welcome - is it possible to help tackle trafficking by shutting down ads on sites like Backpage, or is there a danger such measures will do more harm than good? 

Minh Dang
DOES THIS LOOK LIKE A VIABLE SOLUTION TO HUMAN SEX TRAFFICKING?
I just got off the phone with a respected anti-trafficking activist and survivor advocate in Portland, Oregon. She told me that while there’s money for law enforcement, there’s little funding for survivor support. 
In fact, faced with young people wanting to leave the sex industry, agencies are handing out tents so they won’t have to sleep on the street.
Tents.
Is this the best we can do?
Photo: Laurelville Mennonite Church Center/Creative Commons

DOES THIS LOOK LIKE A VIABLE SOLUTION
TO HUMAN SEX TRAFFICKING?

I just got off the phone with a respected anti-trafficking activist and survivor advocate in Portland, Oregon. She told me that while there’s money for law enforcement, there’s little funding for survivor support. 

In fact, faced with young people wanting to leave the sex industry, agencies are handing out tents so they won’t have to sleep on the street.

Tents.

Is this the best we can do?

Photo: Laurelville Mennonite Church Center/Creative Commons


THE AVERAGE VICTIM IS 12 YEARS OLD

At 17, Danielle was forced into prostitution - but she says the average age of girls being forced into sex slavery is just 12.

"It's like being raped over and over and over and over," says Danielle.

Rain is more typical of the average American victim, having entered prostitution at the age of 11.

When asked about the men whom she slept with, she is unequivocal about what they were: child abusers.

"I'm not going to label them Johns," she says.

Take action to support THE CASE ACT.


VICTIMS NOT CRIMINALS

Carissa was 12 years old when she was coerced into prostitution.

"I remember him vividly putting his arm around me and acting like he was my buddy. Within days, he was raping me violently."

With children as young as 11 or 12 being exploited for sex, there is a pressing need to differentiate between pimps and prostitutes. Nearly all prostitutes in the US are victims of child sex trafficking, and activists around the country are pushing for law enforcement to recognize them as victims - while focusing their efforts on the real criminals, the pimps and johns who make this industry possible.

The CASE Act will raise the penalties for human trafficking, forcing sex traffickers to register as sex offenders, and mandating training on human trafficking for law enforcement.

It will also funnel more funds for victim support.

Take action to support THE CASE ACT.


DISABLED CHILDREN TARGETED

When Vicki's 17-year-old daughter went missing, she feared she was dead. When she was found, Vicki discovered that she had been bought and sold for sex.

Vicki's daughter is developmentally disabled, with a mental age of just 11. Targeting of such vulnerable children is a growing trend within the trafficking industry.

Vicki is now helping to push the CASE Act (Californians Against Sexual Exploitation) - a ballot initiative that will raise penalties for trafficking and increase support for survivors.

Take action to support THE CASE ACT.

Don't Sell Bodies was conceived by Jada Pinkett Smith and Overbrook Entertainment. It was designed by The Change Creation and Goroboto.

It is dedicated to the victims and survivors of trafficking, and the heroes who are fighting to eradicate it.

Creative Team:
Jada Pinkett Smith
Chris "CJay" Jordan
Paress Salinas
Sami Grover
Jerry Stifelman
Chelsea Bay Dennis
Rebekah Miel
Tennessee Watson
Rob Biddiscombe