Human trafficking is forced servitude in which one person, or a group of persons uses a combination of deception, fraud, violence or even threats of death to force agricultural, domestic or sexual labor. Victims are recruited, abducted, transported or received for the express purpose of their continued exploitation. They are not free to leave, plan, or secure fair payment for their labor, and attempts to do so are often met with threats, violence and other physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
As the map above and the table below show, California is the top state for human trafficking in the U.S. In 2018, there were 1,656 reported cases of human trafficking in California. Texas was second, with 1,000 reported cases, followed by Florida with 767 reported cases.
As the data in the table above clearly shows, the number of reported human trafficking cases has increased in every state in America in the last 7 years, as reported to the Human Trafficking Hotline. The chart below shows the percentage increase or decrease for states in the U.S. from 2017 to 2018. The national average was an increase of 32.3% and 29 states had a rate increase higher than that. Only 5 states (Connecticut, Vermont, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota) had less reported cases in 2018 than the previous year. South Dakota had the highest percentage increase of 244% as their cases increased from 18 to 62.
As of 2017, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center-NHTRC documented 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally, including men, women, and children. The two major Human Trafficking categories are Labor Trafficking and Sex Trafficking. Key venues for Labor Trafficking include Domestic, Traveling, Agriculture, Restaurant, and Begging Rings. Key venues for Sex Trafficking include Illegal Massage/Spa, Hotel/Motel Based, Pornography, and Online Ads/Venue Unknown.
Experts who work with human trafficking survivors have documented the following scenarios common to many trafficking rings.
Signs commonly displayed by human trafficking victims include poor mental and physical health, and a noticeable lack of control over their personal lives, such as having few personal possessions, and not being able to interact on their own (a third party may insist on speaking for them, translating for them, or being present when they speak to others).
Other signs involve both working and living conditions, including working excessive hours, living and working in the same location, severely restricted movement, non-control of money earned or owing a large debt that can never be repaid, visible physical abuse, being paid solely on tips, being forced to meet a daily quota, and noticeable opaque or boarded windows on the living quarters/building or worksite.
If you, or someone close to you has experienced any of the above scenarios, immediately contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888. You can call the hotline anonymously 24 hours and seven days a week on behalf of someone you suspect is being trafficked.
We’re committed to representing human trafficking survivors with dedication and empathy for the potentially life-threatening experiences they’ve overcome. If you or a survivor you know is interested in bringing a civil lawsuit against those parties who participated and facilitated your trafficking, our human trafficking lawyers can help you restore what’s been stolen from you. Our goal is to ensure that you receive justice through the resolution of your case. The Dunken Law Approach is hyper client-focused: with our high-touch client concierge platform, you’ll receive regular litigation updates, customized content to explain the mass tort process, and proactive communication. Speak to one of our knowledgeable case management specialists and receive a free legal consultation from a human trafficking lawyer at The Dunken Law Firm. Use the form on this page to get started.