· Law enforcement
officers should keep in mind that the following scenarios may involve some form of human trafficking, or may be situations
in which victims and/or traffickers could be found:
o Prostitution rings
o Operations of massage parlors, strip clubs, etc.
o Domestic abuse
o "False" or poorly examined 911 calls
o Vice raid where foreign nationals are encountered
o Encounters with migrant workers where a foreman
or supervisor attempts to keep the group away from the law enforcement officers or attempts to control all communication between
the officer and the group
o Brawls between people in which money is owed
o Crimes involving immigrant children in situations
such as prostitution or forced labor
· Law enforcement
officers may encounter the perpetrators or traffickers themselves who will offer alleged explanations of the situation. In
these cases it is important for the first responding officer to note the following about others at the scene of the crime
who may be victims of human trafficking:
o What are their living conditions?
o What are their working conditions?
o Are there indications of restriction of movement
(e.g., are they allowed to leave the premises)?
o Are they forced to make frequent moves?
o Are there any behavioral indicators of severe
dependency (e.g., submissive behavior, fearful behavior in the presence of others)?
o Who is in physical possession of their legal documents
o Who insists on providing information to law enforcement?
o Are they in the country legally?
· Traffickers use
various techniques to keep victims enslaved. Some traffickers keep their victims under lock and key, however, the more frequent
practice is to use less obvious techniques including:
o Debt bondage – financial obligations, honor-bound
to satisfy debt
o Isolation from the public – limiting contact
with outsiders and making sure that any contact is monitored or superficial in nature
o Isolation from family members and members of their
ethnic and religious community
o Confiscation of passports, visas and/or identification
o Use or threat of violence toward victims and/or
families of victims
o The threat of shaming victims by exposing circumstances
o Telling victims they will be imprisoned or deported
for immigration violations if they contact authorities
o Control of the victims’ money, e.g., holding
their money for “safe-keeping”
The result of such techniques is to instill fear in victims. The victims’
isolation is further exacerbated because many do not speak English and are from countries where law enforcement is corrupt
· Traffickers may
also violate multiple state and local laws including:
Crimes associated with human trafficking
Sexual assault and battery
Prostitution, pandering or
If you think you have come in contact with a victim of human trafficking,
call the Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline at 1.888.3737.888.
This hotline will help you determine if you have encountered victims of human trafficking, will identify local resources available
in your community to help victims, and will help you coordinate with local social service organizations to help protect and
serve victims so they can begin the process of restoring their lives. For more information on human trafficking visit www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking.
About Human Trafficking
Overview of Human
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Victims of human trafficking are young
children, teenagers, men and women. Approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims annually are trafficked across international
borders world wide, and between 14,500 and 17,500 of those victims are trafficked into the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of State. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force,
fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor.
Many victims of human trafficking are forced to work in prostitution or the sex entertainment industry.
But trafficking also occurs in forms of labor exploitation, such as domestic servitude, restaurant work, janitorial work,
sweatshop factory work and migrant agricultural work.
Traffickers use various techniques to instill fear in victims and to keep them enslaved. Some traffickers
keep their victims under lock and key. However, the more frequent practice is to use less obvious techniques including:
- Debt bondage - financial obligations, honor-bound to satisfy debt
- Isolation from the public - limiting contact with outsiders and making sure that any contact is monitored or superficial
- Isolation from family members and members of their ethnic and religious community
- Confiscation of passports, visas and/or identification documents
- Use or threat of violence toward victims and/or families of victims
- The threat of shaming victims by exposing circumstances to family
- Telling victims they will be imprisoned or deported for immigration violations if they contact authorities
- Control of the victims' money, e.g., holding their money for "safe-keeping"
In October 2000, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) made human trafficking
a Federal crime. It was enacted to prevent human trafficking overseas, to protect victims and help them rebuild their lives
in the U.S., and to prosecute traffickers of humans under Federal
penalties. Prior to 2000, no comprehensive Federal law existed to protect victims of trafficking or to prosecute their traffickers.
the Trafficking in Persons office:
Trafficking in Persons/Office of Refugee Resettlement
Administration for Children and
U.S. Department of Health and Human
D Street, SW.
Washington, DC 20447
National Human Trafficking Resource Center: 888-3737-888