Yen Hughes Law PC Immigration

Yen Hughes Law PC

Human Trafficking

What is human trafficking?

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 defines human trafficking as 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” or the same for purposes of commercial or sexual exploitation of a person under 18 years old.

According to the United Nations, the total market value of human trafficking is in excess of $32 billion. Approximately 27 million men, women, and children are held as slaves today (Kevin Bales, Disposable People). Moreover, an estimated 17,500 are trafficked in the U.S. annually. Human trafficking spans over several different industries, from the food industry to manual labor to the commercial sex trade. The numbers are growing; thus, it is important to be informed and be able to identify the common signs of human trafficking in your community.

How can I tell if human trafficking is occurring in my community?

Because human trafficking is an underground industry that is often times hidden even from local law enforcement, it is sometimes difficult to detect. However, there are common red flags in look for:

Working and Living Conditions

Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior

Poor Physical Health

Lack of Control


See The Polaris Project for more.

Are there legal remedies for trafficked victims?

Yes. While human trafficking is an emerging global problem and sometimes difficult to detect, U.S. laws have remedies in place to restore victims of human trafficking. Criminal prosecution of traffickers remains a crucial available legal action for victims. Further, civil action is an option for victims who seek financial restitution against their traffickers. Two primary immigration remedies are the allowance of T visas and U visas.

If I suspect that human trafficking is occurring, what should I do?

Please call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline and report it immediately.