What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is an underground criminal industry based on the principles of supply and demand. It happens when a trafficker uses force fraud or coercion in order to control a person to commit acts of labor or commercial sex acts. If there was no demand for laborers or sex slaves, there would be no need for a supply. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery.
As defined under U.S. law, victims of human trafficking can be divided into three populations:
- Children under age 18 induced into commercial sex.
- Adults aged 18 or over induced into commercial sex through force, fraud, or coercion.
- Children and adults induced to perform labor or services through force, fraud, or coercion.
Human trafficking is a complex underground criminal industry. It’s victims vary in age, socioeconomic class, education level, gender, and race. Across the world, human trafficking generates $150 billion annually. The commercial sex industry generates more than $99 billion per year. Experts tell us that there are more than 20 million slaves in the world today which means that modern day slavery is epidemic.
Florida is ranked 3rd in the nation among 50 states in reports of human trafficking. Locally, Jacksonville ranks highly among cities in the state with a human trafficking problem. HT is happening in cities, suburban neighborhoods, around shopping malls, online, in rural areas, and in vacation destinations, too. It is a widespread problem that affects many sectors of our society: healthcare system, business owners, hotel and tourist industry, our schools where girls/kids are recruited, our public transit system, the justice system, and so much more. It is a community problem that affects all of us.