MILLENNIAL MATTERS: Social media helps with leads to human trafficking

Living Local

The 3 most common types of human trafficking are sex trafficking, forced labor, and debt bondage. Forced labor, also known as involuntary servitude, is the biggest sector of trafficking in the world, according to the U.S. Department of State. Debt bondage is another form of human trafficking in which an individual is forced to work in order to pay a debt.

Sex trafficking disproportionately affects women and children and involves forced participation in commercial sex acts. In the United States, any child under the age of 18 who has been involved in a commercial sex act is considered a trafficking victim. Women and girls make up 80% of the people trafficked transnationally. Yearly, traffickers exploit 1 million children in the commercial sex trade.

Perceptions of human trafficking often involve women forced into prostitution. This is just one aspect of human trafficking. Survivors of trafficking also include men and children, and these survivors are exploited by any number of means. Victims may be forced into any of the following types of labor, among others:

Signs of HumanTrafficking

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A person who has been trafficked may:

  • Show signs that their movement is controlled
  • Have false identity or travel documents
  • Not know their home or work address
  • Have no access to their earnings
  • Be unable to negotiate working conditions
  • Work excessively long hours over long periods
  • Have limited or no social interaction
  • Have limited contact with their families or with people outside of their immediate environment
  • Think that they are bonded by debt

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