Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery that involves the exploitation of vulnerable persons for commercial sex, forced labor or involuntary servitude, plus the inability to extricate oneself from that situation. The trafficker uses force, fraud, or coercion to control the victim. Human trafficking is the second
largest criminal enterprise in the world, just behind the illegal drug trade, netting billions of dollars worldwide annually.
There are over 20 million persons held in slavery in the world today, more than any other time in history. It is estimated between 500,000 and 2 million are trafficked annually worldwide with an estimated 15,000 to 18,000 being trafficked into the United States every year.
On a local scale, according to national human trafficking hotline tips and complaints, Florida ranks as third in the proliferation of human trafficking with the Tampa Bay area being second in the state.
Possible indications of human trafficking include:
- Constantly accompanied by a controlling person or boss, not speaking on their own behalf.
- Lack of control over personal schedule, money, identification or travel documents.
- Transported to and from work, lives and works in the same place.
- Debt owed to employer/crew leader, unable to leave job.
- Bruises, depression, fear, overly submissive.
If you think you have come into contact with a victim of human trafficking in Pasco, Pinellas, or Hillsborough County area, call the National Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline at (888)373-7888.
Additional information can be found on the Florida State Attorney General’s website here.
Polaris project at http://polarisproject.org/
Blue Campaign (http://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign)
Potential Partnership: National Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign ad all Blue Campaign materials here: www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/share-resources.