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What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is the exploitation of vulnerable people (through force, fraud, or coercion) for forced labor, domestic servitude, or commercial sex operations. There is no one profile of a trafficking victim - victims of human trafficking can be anyone. There is also no one profile of a perpetrator. Traffickers can be family members, partners, acquaintances, and even strangers. Traffickers can be pimps, gang members, business owners, labor brokers, and company owners (including owners of farms and factories). Any person under the age of 18 who is engaged in commercial sex acts, regardless of the use of force, fraud, or coercion, is a victim of human trafficking - even if they appear to consent to commercial sex acts.
People may be vulnerable to trafficking if they:
1. Have an unstable living situation
2. Have previously experienced other forms of violence (such as sexual abuse or domestic violence)
3. Have run away from home or are involved in the juvenile justice or child welfare system
4. Are undocumented immigrants
5. Are experiencing poverty or unmet economic needs
6. Are addicted to drugs or alcohol, or have a caregiver/family member who has a substance abuse issue
What is the difference between human smuggling and human trafficking?
Human smuggling is movement of a person (typically across an international border) where there is an agreement between the smuggler and the person being smuggled. When the person reaches their destination, the person being smuggled is free.
Human trafficking is the non-consensual exploitation of vulnerable people (through force, fraud, or coercion) for forced labor, domestic servitude, or commercial sex operations.
What should I do if I suspect someone is the victim of human trafficking?
Never put yourself in harm's way by trying to investigate a crime; however, if you are speaking to someone who you suspect is the victim of human trafficking, you may ask:
1. Why type of work do you do?
2. Are you being paid?
3. Can you leave your job if you want to?
4. Have you or your family been threatened?
5. Where do you sleep?
6. Are there locks on your doors or windows so you cannot leave?
7. Has your documentation (visa, passport, identification) been taken from you?
Who should I call if I suspect someone is the victim of human trafficking?
If you think someone's life or safety is in immediate danger, call 911. If you suspect someone is the victim of human trafficking, then please contact the OBN Human Trafficking Hotline at (855) 617-2288.
Q: When is human trafficking awareness month?
A: January is human trafficking awareness month.
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