Many of us see slavery as an evil of the past. Many people would be shocked to discover that The International Labor Organization estimates that today over 40.3 million people are victims of human trafficking globally. You may be even more shocked to know that hundreds of thousands of these victims are trafficked inside the United States. Human trafficking is the country’s largest and fastest growing criminal enterprises. The industry profits $32 billion a year in the U.S. alone. Victims within the country have been identified in all 50 states as well as originating from almost every region in the world. In 2018, there were 120 reported cases of human trafficking in Massachusetts alone.Who are the Victims?
There is a huge misconception when it comes to victims of human trafficking. Victims may be locked into brothels or warehouses, but they may also be in plain view of the community. Victims can be both male and female. Additionally, those targeted have diverse education, economic, and cultural backgrounds. Certainly, some individuals are disproportionately affected and targeted by traffickers.
Industries targeted by human traffickers include:
- Domestic work
- Drug distribution
- Massage parlors
- Traveling sales crews
People most Vulnerable to human trafficking include:
- Children in the welfare, foster care, or juvenile justice system
- Homeless youth
- Children without significant family ties
- American Indians and Alaska Natives
- Undocumented workers and temporary workers pursuing visas
- People with limited English proficiency
- People with disabilities
- Individuals who identify as LGBTQ+
- Victims of prior abuse
Traffickers use calculated methods to recruit their victims. A common scheme is to initiate a romantic relationship with a target. After they gain the victim’s affection and trust, they will manipulate them to elicit services from them. Many foreign nationals are lured into the industry by being indebted to those who provide them with travel and immigration fees.How are Businesses Profiting?
Many businesses are utilized by traffickers to find victims, and others are used by sex traffickers specifically to provide services to clients. The nature of these businesses provides easy access, and if the trafficker pays in cash the exchange may be untraceable. Hotels are encouraged to train their staff to recognize sex trafficking. Some indicators include an individual not having control over their own possessions or identification, or when someone reserves several rooms for peculiar periods of time. While many hotels have implemented this training, others likely consciously look the other way when it comes to trafficking because of the profit they are making from the industry.We can Help
A human trafficking suit requires an extremely sensitive and multifaceted approach. They first must address the immediate needs of the victim, and often must address immigration issues as well. Human trafficking is both a federal and state crime. Penalties are more severe if the perpetrator is convicted in federal court. Civil suits may also be brought alongside a criminal one. Victims can also sue companies that allowed them to be trafficked on company property, and sue individuals that knowingly profited off of human trafficking. If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of human trafficking, contact our attorneys today for a free case consultation. Businesses should not be able to profit off the backs of victims. While no amount of money can erase the trauma you have suffered, we recognize its ability help rebuild your life.
To schedule a Free Initial Consultation with one of our Human Trafficking attorneys, call us at 617.492.3000 or Contact Us Online. All consultations are completely confidential. You will be charged no fee unless we recover money on your behalf.
National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.