Human Trafficking Facts Vs Myth
Myth : Victims of Trafficking Are Female
One study estimates that as many as half of sex trafficking victims and survivors are male. Advocates believe that percentage may be even higher but that male victims are far less likely to be identified. LGBTQ boys and young men are seen as particularly vulnerable to trafficking.
Worldwide, experts believe there are more situations of labor trafficking than of sex trafficking, but there is much wider awareness of sex trafficking in the U.S. than of labor trafficking.
Myth : Human Trafficking Always Involves Sex
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
Labor trafficking occurs in the United States and in other developed countries but is reported at lower rates than sex trafficking.
Myth : Labor trafficking is only or primarily a problem in developing countries
Myth : If the trafficked person consented initially, then it cannot be HT because they “knew better”
Myth : Its always a violent crime
By far the most pervasive myth about human trafficking is that it always - or often - involves kidnapping or otherwise physically forcing someone into a situation. In reality, most human traffickers use psychological means such as tricking, defrauding, manipulating or threatening victims into providing commercial sex or exploitative labo
Many survivors have been trafficked by romantic partners, including spouses, and by family members, including parents.
Myth : Traffickers target victims they don’t know
Recognizing Human Trafficking
As the U.S. anti-trafficking movement has grown in our understanding of this diverse and complex crime, we are learning more about how specific people, can help identify and report possible trafficking.
Who is Most Vulnerable?
Just as anyone can be a victim of crime, anyone can experience trafficking. Human traffickers do not discriminate but they do seek those who are most vulnerable such as runaways, people of color, and the LGBTQ population. Traffickers recognize and take advantage of people who are vulnerable.
People may be vulnerable to trafficking if they:
Have an unstable living situation
Have previously experienced other forms of violence such as sexual abuse or domestic violence
Have run away or are involved in the juvenile justice or child welfare system
Are undocumented immigrants
Are facing poverty or economic need
Have a caregiver or family member who has a substance use issue
Are addicted to drugs or alcohol
Recognizing Labor Trafficking
Labor trafficking includes situations where persons are forced to work because of debt, immigration status, threats, and violence. Keeping victims isolated — physically or emotionally — is a key method of control in most labor trafficking situations
Recognizing Sex Trafficking
Sex trafficking occurs when individuals are made to perform commercial sex through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Any child under 18 who is involved in commercial sex is legally a victim of trafficking, regardless of whether there is a third party involved.
Someone may be experiencing sex trafficking if they:
Want to stop participating in commercial sex but feel scared or unable to leave the situation.
Disclose that they were reluctant to engage in commercial sex but that someone pressured them into it.
Live where they work or are transported by guards between home and workplace.
Are children who live with or are dependent on a family member with a substance use problem or who is abusive.
Have a “pimp” or “manager” in the commercial sex industry.
Work in an industry where it may be common to be pressured into performing sex acts for money, such as a strip club, illicit cantina, go-go bar, or illicit massage business.
Have a controlling parent, guardian, romantic partner, or “sponsor” who will not allow them to meet or speak with anyone alone or who monitors their movements, spending, or communications.
How Traffickers Lure People In
Stories become weapons in the hands of human traffickers — tales of romantic love everlasting or about good jobs and fair wages just over the horizon. Sometimes, the stories themselves raise red flags. A family member, friend, co-worker, or student is developing a relationship that seems too close with someone they know solely on social media.
Who Are the Traffickers
There is no evidence that traffickers are more likely to be of a particular race, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation. They may be family members, romantic partners, acquaintances, or strangers.
“People who are having sex with children are not pimps or johns. They are child rapist and pedophiles , so we should call them what they are.”.
- Jada Pickett Smith