There are two primary forms of human trafficking: sex and labor.
The federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines “Severe Forms of Trafficking in Persons” as:
Sex Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person forced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years*.
* For example, in the state of California, a minor cannot consent to sex with an adult.
Labor Trafficking: 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.
Primarily, we see people trafficked for the purposes of:
Many factors put people at risk for trafficking, including but not limited to:
These factors can also contribute to other social and emotional issues, such as low self-esteem, dependency, and mistrust. The breadth of these factors show that, while some people have a higher risk of being trafficked, everyone is vulnerable.
H.E.A.T. Watch works closely with other organizations to ensure that people are properly trained in identifying the signs of a trafficked victim and ensure that victims of trafficking are given all the resources and support that they need. In short, we offer wrap-around services of emotional, physical and legal support for the victims of human trafficking. Read more about our approach.
If you want to get involved in the fight against human trafficking, remember that no action is too small.