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January is National Slavery and Human Sex Trafficking Prevention Month

Date: January 7, 2014 Categories: Blog

“Slavery tears at our social fabric, fuels violence and organized crime, and debases our common humanity. During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we renew our commitment to ending this scourge in all its forms.” – Presidential Proclamation, National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, 2014

Human trafficking is modern day slavery. The image below is from A Conceptual Model to Understand the Federal Framework of the Crime, as Defined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000. The “AMP Model” was designed to clarify what trafficking consists of.

Act Means Purpose

The Polaris Project is a national human trafficking resource center that offers services to victims and works to provide training and technical assistance. They are “committed to combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery, and to strengthening the anti-trafficking movement through a comprehensive approach.”  Polaris Project describes human trafficking as…

“As defined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, the legal definition of “severe forms of trafficking in persons” is:

a) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or

b) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

Under the legal definition, trafficking victims in the US can be divided into three populations:

o Minors (under age 18) induced into commercial sex;

o Adults age 18 or over involved in commercial sex via force, fraud, or coercion;

o Children and adults forced to perform labor and/or services in conditions of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery, via force, fraud, or coercion.

Victims are trafficked for a wide variety of purposes, such as commercial sex, agricultural work, or housekeeping, yet they all share the loss of one of our world’s most cherished rights—freedom.

There is no one consistent face of a trafficking victim. Trafficked persons can be rich or poor, men or women, adults or children, and foreign nationals or US citizens.

There is no one consistent face of a trafficker. Traffickers include a wide range of criminal operators, including individual pimps, small families or businesses, loose-knit decentralized criminal networks, and international organized criminal syndicates.”

Human trafficking is a societal issue that affects communities globally. Unfortunately, awareness of this problem has not been spread widely due to misconceptions and confusion surrounding the definition. Many people do not understand what human trafficking is or why it is a problem on the global scale.

For the full proclamation, visit here.

For the AMP model, visit here.

For the Polaris Project, visit here.