Speaking Up for Dignity

What is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is controlling people by force, threat, coercion, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or money – to exploit them and benefit from their lives. It is heart-wrenching and it could be happening in your neighborhood. In order to effectively understand and combat this, there are a number of myths and misconceptions that must be cleared up. Take the quiz to test your own knowledge. Feel free to use the resources on this page to help educate others.
Act Means Purpose

SOURCE: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html

What is Human Trafficking?

Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs

Elements of human trafficking

On the basis of the definition given in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, it is evident that trafficking in persons has three constituent elements;

The Act (What is done)

Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons

The Means (How it is done)

Threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim

The Purpose (Why it is done)

For the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs.

To ascertain whether a particular circumstance constitutes trafficking in persons, consider the definition of trafficking in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the constituent elements of the offense, as defined by relevant domestic legislation.

 

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Human Trafficking Quiz

 

1. Human trafficking requires moving foreigners across national borders, or at least involves some form of travel or transportation.

___ True ___ False

2. All victims of human trafficking will immediately identify themselves as such to potential rescuers and are desperate to escape.

___ True ___ False

3.  A woman who agrees to be prostituted can still be a victim of human trafficking.

___ True ___ False

4. A woman that goes to a hotel cannot be a victim of human trafficking because she’s obviously not being held against her will.

___ True ___ False

5. If a girl is 17 and she has willingly decided to work for a pimp that does not use force, fraud or coercion in any way, it is not human trafficking.

___ True ___ False

6. A trafficking victim might be free to go places, smile when she’s doing her job, and even advertise for more customers.

___ True ___ False

7. Human trafficking in the U.S. only happens to young foreign girls.

___ True ___ False

8. A person cannot be considered a trafficking victim unless there is evidence of physical violence or kidnapping.

___ True ___ False

9. A person who is paid for his or her work in the commercial sex industry cannot be considered a victim of human trafficking.

___ True ___ False

10. Pimp-controlled prostitution can be a form of human trafficking.

 ___ True ___ False

11. A person who agrees to submit to slave-like conditions as part of a religious belief or custom could never qualify for services as a survivor of trafficking.

___ True ___ False

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF of HUMAN TRAFFICKING QUIZ

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Human Trafficking Quiz: Answers & Explanations


1. Human trafficking requires moving foreigners across national borders, or at least involves some form of travel or transportation.

Answer: False

Under the federal trafficking statutes, the crime of human trafficking does not require transportation. It can take place in your city or in a home with no movement at all. Human trafficking is more accurately characterized as exploitation, a form of involuntary servitude, or “compelled service” where an individual’s will is overborne through force, fraud, or coercion.

2. All victims of human trafficking will immediately identify themselves as such to potential rescuers and are desperate to escape.

Answer: False

Often victims do not identify themselves as trafficking victims due to a lack of knowledge about it, lack of trust, self-blame, instilled fears of consequences, or specific instructions by the traffickers. Sometimes victims have a traumatic bond with their captors and want to stay. Sometimes it takes years of healing before victims understand that they have been manipulated, that they did not cause it, and that coercion is not the same as consent. Other times it can take years before they see a professional who identifies their past experience as human trafficking.

3. A woman who agrees to be prostituted can still be a victim of human trafficking.

 Answer: True

 Remember, it is impossible to consent to being trafficked. If fraud, coercion or force was used to compel service, evidence of consent is irrelevant and can not be used as a defense.

4. A woman that goes to a hotel cannot be a victim of human trafficking because she’s obviously not being held against her will.

Answer: False

Being kidnapped, locked up, or chained is not a required element. A person can be a victim of human trafficking even if there are no elements of physical restraint, physical force, or physical bondage. Psychological means of control are sufficient elements of the crime.

5. If a girl is 17 and she has willingly decided to work for a pimp that does not use force, fraud or coercion in any way, it is not human trafficking.

Answer: False

Anyone under 18 is a child. Any child that is being sexually exploited is automatically considered a victim of human trafficking automatically, even if there is no force, fraud or coercion.  Consent is irrelevant.

6.  A trafficking victim might be free to go places, smile when she’s doing her job, and even advertise for more customers.

Answer: True

Human trafficking is about exploitation.  Not movement.  Not restraint.  Human trafficking can be compelled by force, fraud, deception, abuse of power, or coercion – which includes psychological coercion.  Furthermore, prostituted women are required to appear happy.  Sometimes trafficked individuals are compelled to advertise because they are under pressure to bring in money. Sometimes they even advertise that they are independent and have no pimp when the opposite is true.

7. Human trafficking in the U.S. only happens to young foreign girls.

Answer: False

It can also happen to boys, men and women, and transgender individuals, young and old.  People can be victims of “labor trafficking” as well, where they are compelled to work for little or no money. People can be single or married, impoverished or wealthy, parents or grandparents, handicapped, and from any race. There is no one face of human trafficking.

8. A person cannot be considered a trafficking victim unless there is evidence of physical violence or kidnapping.

 Answer: False

As you know, many victims are controlled by traffickers through psychological means, such as threats of violence, manipulation, and lies. In many cases, traffickers use a combination of direct violence and mental abuse.  The federal definition of the crime, as defined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, was created to address the wider spectrum of methods of control used by traffickers beyond “bodily harm.”  This can even include manipulating a person’s religious beliefs or superstitions to compel service.

9. A person who is paid for his or her work in the commercial sex industry cannot be considered a victim of human trafficking.

Answer: False

Paying a victim does not invalidate the crime of human trafficking if there is evidence of exploitation, force, fraud, deception, abuse of power, or coercion.

10. Pimp-controlled prostitution can be a form of human trafficking.

Answer: True

Rarely is there a case where a pimp is nothing more than a kind facilitator. Any woman “controlled” by the pimp can be considered a victim of human trafficking – regardless of whether she received money. “It is often difficult to identify a pimp who is not using some form of deceit, lies, manipulation, threats, or violence towards the women or girls they are attempting to control.” – Polaris Project. When the pimp uses force, fraud or coercion, he becomes a trafficker.

11. A person who agrees to submit to slave-like conditions as part of a religious belief or custom could never qualify for services as a survivor of trafficking.

Answer: False

Religious coercion is a form of psychological and situational coercion. In fact, it is one of the most powerful ways to compel behavior that exists. Once force, fraud, or coercion can be established, consent is irrelevant. Furthermore, religion cannot be used as a defense against crimes.

To read a brilliant paper by human trafficking expert and law professor Kathleen Kim on how situational coercion can be used as a legal framework visit : http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1021819

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TRAFFICKING QUIZ ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS

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Myths and Misconceptions

SOURCE:  http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/overview/myths-and-misconceptions

To effectively combat human trafficking, each of us needs to have a clear “lens” that helps us understand what human trafficking is.  When this lens is clouded or biased by certain persistent misconceptions about the definition of trafficking, our ability to respond to the crime is reduced.  It is important to learn how to identify and break down commonly-held myths and misconceptions regarding human trafficking and the type of trafficking networks that exist in the United States.


Myth 1: Under the federal definition, trafficked persons can only be foreign nationals or are only immigrants from other countries.

Reality: The federal definition of human trafficking includes both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals- both are protected under the federal trafficking statutes and have been since the TVPA of 2000. Human trafficking encompasses both transnational trafficking that crosses borders and domestic or internal trafficking that occurs within a country.  Statistics on the scope of trafficking in the U.S. are most thorough and accurate if they include both transnational and internal trafficking of U.S. citizens as well as foreign nationals.

 

Myth 2: Human trafficking is essentially a crime that must involve some form of travel, transportation, or movement across state or national borders.

Reality: The legal definition of trafficking, as defined under the federal trafficking statutes, does not require transportation.  Although transportation may be involved as a control mechanism to keep victims in unfamiliar places, it is not a required element of the trafficking definition.  Human trafficking is not synonymous with forced migration or smuggling.  Instead, human trafficking is more accurately characterized as exploitation, a form of involuntary servitude, or “compelled service” where an individual’s will is overborne through force, fraud, or coercion.

 

Myth 3: Human trafficking is another term for human smuggling.

Reality: There are many fundamental differences between the crimes of human trafficking and human smuggling.  Both are entirely separate federal crimes in the United States.  Most notably, smuggling is a crime against a country’s borders, whereas human trafficking is a crime against a person.  Also, while smuggling requires illegal border crossing, human trafficking involves commercial sex acts or labor or services that are induced through force, fraud, or coercion, regardless of whether or not transportation occurs.

 

Myth 4: There must be elements of physical restraint, physical force, or physical bondage when identifying a human trafficking situation.

Reality: The legal definition of trafficking does not require physical restraint, bodily harm, or physical force.  Psychological means of control, such as threats, fraud, or abuse of the legal process, are sufficient elements of the crime.  Unlike the previous federal involuntary servitude statutes (U.S.C. 1584), the new federal crimes created by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 were intended to address “subtler” forms of coercion and to broaden previous standards that only considered bodily harm.  It is important for definitions of human trafficking in the U.S. and around the world to include a wide spectrum of forms of coercion in order for the definition to encompass all the ways that traffickers control victims.

 

Myth 5: Victims of human trafficking will immediately ask for help or assistance and will self-identify as a victim of a crime.

Reality: Victims of human trafficking often do not immediately seek help or self-identify as victims of a crimedue to a variety of factors, including lack of trust, self-blame, or specific instructions by the traffickers regarding how to behave when talking to law enforcement or social services.  It is important to avoid making a snap judgment about who is or who is not a trafficking victim based on first encounters.  Trust often takes time to develop.  Continued trust-building and patient interviewing is often required to get to the whole story and uncover the full experience of what a victim has gone through.

 

Myth 6: Human trafficking victims always come from situations of poverty or from small rural villages.

Reality: Although poverty can be a factor in human trafficking because it is often an indicator of vulnerability, poverty alone is not a single causal factor or universal indicator of a human trafficking victim. Trafficking victims can come from a range of income levels, and many may come from families with higher socioeconomic status.

 

Myth 7: Sex trafficking is the only form of human trafficking.

Reality: Elements of human trafficking can occur in the commercial sex industry as well as in situations of forced labor or services.  The federal definition of human trafficking encompasses both “sex trafficking” and “labor trafficking,” and the crime can affect men and women, and children and adults.

 

Myth 8: Human trafficking only occurs in illegal underground industries.

Reality: Elements of human trafficking can be identified whenever the means of force, fraud, or coercion induce a person to perform commercial sex acts, or labor or services.  Trafficking can occur in legal and legitimate business settings as well as underground markets.

 

Myth 9: If the trafficked person consented to be in their initial situation or was informed about what type of labor they would be doing or that commercial sex would be involved, then it cannot be human trafficking or against their will because they “knew better.”

Reality: A victim cannot consent to be in a situation of human trafficking. Initial consent to commercial sex or a labor setting prior to acts of force, fraud, or coercion (or if the victim is a minor in a sex trafficking situation) is not relevant to the crime, nor is payment.

 

Myth 10: Foreign national trafficking victims are always undocumented immigrants or here in this country illegally.

Reality: Foreign national trafficked persons can be in the United States through either legal or illegal means.  Although some foreign national victims are undocumented, a significant percentage may have legitimate visas for various purposes. Not all foreign national victims are undocumented.

This entry was posted onWednesday, August 6th, 2014 at 2:40 pm and is filed under Cults & Religious Abuse, Prostitution & Trafficking. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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