Human trafficking is the most common form of modern-day slavery. Estimates place the number of its domestic and international victims in the millions, mostly females and children enslaved in the commercial sex industry for little or no money. The term human trafficking usually conjures up images of young girls beaten and abused in faraway places, like Eastern Europe, Asia, or Africa. Actually, human trafficking happens locally in cities and towns, both large and small, throughout the United States, right in citizens' backyards.
Below are definitions that explain the difference between human trafficking and human smuggling.
- Human Trafficking is defined 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. It includes any act in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.
- Human Smuggling is defined as the importation of people into the United States involving deliberate evasion of immigration laws. This offense includes bringing illegal aliens into the United States as well as the unlawful transportation and harboring of aliens already in the United States.
- Human Trafficking and Human Smuggling are not interchangeable terms. Smuggling is transportation-based. Trafficking is exploitation-based.
The following questions or indicators can help assess if you or someone else may be a victim of human trafficking:
- Is the victim a person under 18 years of age who engages in commercial sex acts, such as prostitution?
- Can the victim come and go as they want to?
- Is the victim being forced to perform sex acts?
- Does the Victim possess their identification, such as passports and identification cards, or are they being held by someone else?
- Has the victim, their family or a loved one been threatened with harm or death if the victim does not work or tries to leave?
- Has the victim been threatened with being turned in to the police or to immigration if they don’t work or try to leave?
- Has the victim been told what to say if they are stopped or detained by a government official?
- Has the victim been denied food, water, medical care or some other need?
- Did the victim think they were being hired for one job, but instead are being forced to work another job?
- Can the victim talk to whomever they want to, such as friends or family?
- Is the victim’s salary being garnished to pay off a smuggling fee?
- Is the victim allowed to go places by themselves or with friends, such as church or a movie?
HOW TO REPORT HUMAN TRAFFICKING
If you suspect that you or someone else is a victim of human trafficking, please contact Sex Crimes by email: PDSexCrimes.Unit@sanantonio.gov or call the Sex Crimes Unit at 210-207-2313, Monday – Friday, between 7:45 am and 4:30 pm. The after-hours contact number for the Night Detectives is 210-207-7389. If a criminal offense is in progress, please call 911 for a life threatening emergency, or the non-emergency line for a non-life threatening event at 210-207-SAPD or 210-207-7273.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
San Antonio Police Department You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3-Sd7y6-2eKzSLfS3e-Xdw
Immigrations and Customs: http://www.ice.gov/human-trafficking/
Page Last Updated: Jul 23, 2017 (12:00:39)