Learn about Human Trafficking

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It is a rapidly growing criminal industry second only to drug dealing. Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. New Jersey is a hub of human trafficking because it’s easily accessible via Interstate 95, and is also susceptible because of having a major tourist destination of Atlantic City and being so close New York City and Philadelphia. 

Community awareness of how to identify potential trafficking situations can be the difference between slavery and freedom.

Report suspicious activity to the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-3737-888 or text to BE FREE (233733)

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The NJCAHT partnered with the Arc of New Jersey, which promotes and protects the human rights of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities for its event: HUMAN TRAFFICKING & DISABILITIES on November 15, 2018. The Arc of New Jersey has graciously allowed us to share their informative presentation, which can be viewed and downloaded by clicking below:

Human Trafficking FAQ's

+ What is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery. It is a rapidly growing criminal industry second only to drug dealing and equal in scope to arms dealing. Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, and/or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. New Jersey is a prime location for human trafficking because it is a major national and international transportation and shipping corridor.

+ Is Human Trafficking another word for smuggling?

No. Both are entirely separate federal crimes in the U.S. Smuggling is a crime against a country’s borders, whereas human trafficking is a crime against a person. Smuggling requires illegal border crossing, but human trafficking involves commercial sex acts or labor or services that are induced through force, fraud, or coercion.

+ Who Are The Victims

There is not one consistent face of a victim. Trafficked persons in the United States can be men or women, adults or children, foreign nationals or US citizens. Some are well-educated, while others have no formal education. Trafficking is a crime that cuts across race, nationality, gender, age, and socio-economic background. They fall in to three categories:

Sex trafficking – Victims of sex trafficking can be found working for massage parlors, brothels, strip clubs, escort services and on the street. They may be children, teenagers or adults lured by false promises and ultimately forced into prostitution.

Labor trafficking – Victims of labor trafficking can be found in many types of domestic and non-domestic situations. They work as nannies and maids, in sweatshops, janitorial jobs, restaurants, hair and nail salons, in street sales and on construction sites and farms. The victims are trapped in to a cycle of debt, forcing them into involuntary servitude, debt bondage and slavery.

Minors – More than 50% of victims are estimated to be under the age of 18. Under U.S. law, any person under 18 involved in the commercial sex industry is considered a human trafficking victim.

While anyone can become a victim of trafficking, certain populations are especially vulnerable, including: undocumented immigrants; runaway and homeless youth; and oppressed, marginalized, and/or impoverished groups and individuals. Traffickers specifically target individuals in these populations because they are vulnerable to recruitment tactics and methods of control.

+ Is Human Trafficking illegal?

Human trafficking is a crime under international, federal and state law. In the U.S., the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 is the first comprehensive federal law to address trafficking in persons. The law provides a three-pronged approach that includes prevention, protection, and prosecution. The federal definition of human trafficking includes both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals – both are protected under the federal trafficking law and have been since the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. Human trafficking encompasses both transnational trafficking that crosses borders and domestic or internal trafficking that occurs within a country.

+ Is Human Trafficking a crime that must involve some form of travel, transportation, or movement across state or national borders?

No. Although the word ‘trafficking’ sounds like movement, the federal definition of human trafficking in the U.S. does not require transportation. In other words, transportation may or may not be involved in the crime of human trafficking, and it is not a required component.

+ Does physical violence have to be involved in Human Trafficking cases?

No. Under federal law, an individual who uses physical or psychological violence to force someone into labor or services or into commercial sex acts is considered a human trafficker. Some victims experience beatings, rape, and other forms of physical violence, and many victims are controlled by traffickers through psychological means, such as threats of violence, manipulation, and lies. In many cases, traffickers use a combination of direct violence and mental abuse.

+ How many Human Trafficking victims are there in the United States?

Due to the covert nature of the crime and high levels of under-reporting, the total number of victims of human trafficking within the United States is still being researched by the government and academic researchers. Human trafficking is estimated to claim up to 20 million victims worldwide, 150,000 in the United States, yet only 179 cases of sex and labor trafficking has been reported in New Jersey.

+ Does Human Trafficking Affect Our Children?

Trafficking can involve school-age children—particularly those not living with their parents—who are vulnerable to coerced labor exploitation, domestic servitude, or commercial sexual exploitation (i.e., prostitution). Sex traffickers target children because of their vulnerability and gullibility, as well as the market demand for young victims. Those who recruit minors into prostitution violate federal anti-trafficking laws, even if there is no coercion or movement across state lines. The children at risk are not just high school students—studies demonstrate that pimps prey on victims as young as 12. Traffickers have been reported targeting their minor victims through telephone chat-lines, clubs, on the street, through friends, and at malls, as well as using girls to recruit other girls at schools and after-school programs.‪

+ Do victims of Human Trafficking self-identify as a victim of a crime and ask for help immediately?

Often no. Victims of human trafficking often do not seek help immediately, due to lack of trust, self-blame, or being directly trained by traffickers to distrust authorities. Many victims trafficked into the U.S. do not speak or understand English and are unable to ask for help.

+ Does Human Trafficking only occur in illegal underground industries?

While human trafficking does occur in illegal and underground markets, it can also occur in legal and legitimate settings. For example, common locations of human trafficking include private homes, hotels, nail and hair salons, restaurants, bars, strip clubs, and fake massage businesses.

+ Is pimping a form of sex trafficking?

If certain behaviors and elements of control are present, yes, it can be. In the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, a severe form of sex trafficking is a crime in which a 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. Pimps, who are motivated by the opportunity to make money, sell women and girls in the commercial sex industry by using numerous methods to gain control over their bodies and minds. Many of these behaviors directly meet the definitions of force, fraud, or coercion that are the central elements of the crime of human trafficking.

+ What can you do to stop Human Trafficking?

We can all play an important part in stopping human trafficking in our community, state, and around the world. We encourage you to:

Educate yourself, your family, your community, your synagogue, church or mosque about human trafficking. Bring in a speaker, host a book club or movie night.

Advocate for national and state policies and legislation directed toward abolishing trafficking.

Encourage your town to issue a proclamation in support of Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11. Give time and money to organizations that fight trafficking and provide services to survivors.

Ensure the National Human Trafficking Resource Center flyer is posted in strategic locations.

Community awareness of how to identify potential trafficking situations can be the difference between slavery and freedom.