Human Trafficking - Talking Points
Human Trafficking is modern-slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation.
Trafficked persons are usually poor, unemployed or underemployed, and desperate to escape their conditions. They can be found in countries throughout the globe including the US; they can be women, men and children.
There is a US law aimed at prevention of human trafficking, protection of the victims, and prosecution of the traffickers. Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA). Has been reauthorized once and is in the process of being reauthorized again.( 2008) The House version has passed and is stronger than the one currently being considered by the Senate.
This law (TVPA) covers severe forms of trafficking: forced labor and sexual exploitation for commercial purposes.
Non-Governmental Organizations often help law enforcement officers carry out rescues. They can offer psycho-social counseling skills that help identify trafficking victims, usually after they are removed from trafficking situations. NGOs and media representatives can also play a valuable role in holding law enforcement authorities to legal standards of crime prevention and victim care by bearing witness to, and demanding, accountability.
The Catholic Church has condemned human trafficking, and has developed social service programs to serve and protect its survivors.
If you believe you have encountered a possible victim of trafficking, call the Trafficking Information Hotline: 1-888-373-7888. Remember many people receive unjustly low wages but victims of trafficking have their freedom restricted as well. They may not be allowed to leave the premises. Traffickers threaten them with deportation if they try to escape.
Human trafficking is a global concern because it deprives people of their rights and freedoms, exposes them to global health and safety risks and fuels the growth of organized crime.
Consumerism, greed, patriarchy, globalization and the demand for services are the elements that keep the trafficking industry alive and prosperous.