START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
Nov 2, 2009
Focus: Human Rights
Action Request: Various
Location: United States
A Local, State, National, and International Issue
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is a crime under US law.

According to the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, "severe forms of trafficking in persons" is defined as:

1] Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, coercion or in which the person induced to perform such an act is under 18.

2] The recruitment, transportation, harboring, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion, for the purpose of subjecting that person to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.

Victims of trafficking have rights.

No one can legally force a person to work against his or her will. Victims of trafficking in the US are entitled to protection and assistance, including:

  • Access to translation/interpretation
  • Information about their rights
  • Free or low-cost legal services
  • Federal and state benefits


Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network {WARN} is a coalition of Washington State organizations that provide assistance to pre-certified victims of trafficking with:

  • Immediate access to food and stable housing
  • Physical and mental health treatment
  • Immigration advocacy and legal assistance
  • Interpretation services
  • Education and job readiness training

SMUGGLING of migrants: VS TRAFFICKING of victims

Smuggling is the movement of consenting people across an international border for a fee. The migrant's relationship with the smuggler ends upon arrival at the migrant's destination.

Trafficking is ongoing exploitation. Travel is not always involved. In general, victims have either never consented to their conditions, or their initial consent is rendered meaningless by the victim's age or by coercive, deceptive or abusive actions on the part of the traffickers.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS to ask if you suspect that a person is a victim of trafficking:

  • How did the person migrate?
  • How did the person find out about the job?
  • What happened when they arrived in the destination country?
  • What was it like when they started to work?
  • Was the person paid? How much? How often?
  • Did the person try to leave the job? What happened?
  • Is the person afraid of his or her employer? Why?


To report a human trafficking situation to federal law enforcement, or to obtain information about services for trafficked persons, call one of these numbers:

The Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force: 1-888-428-7581

Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline: 1-888-373-7888

[Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network: 206-245-0782]


Department of Justice:

Department of Health and Human Services: Rescue and Restore Campaign:

Office of Refugee Resettlement:

United States Department of State: Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons:

Washington State Task Force Against Trafficking of Persons: Resources:


International Rescue Committee:


National Hotline: 1-800-3737-888

In Seattle: Monthly Vigils to Raise Awareness and Pray for an End to Human Trafficking.  1st Sunday of each month: 1:30 to 2:00 PM {note: 1/2 hour only}. Westlake Park, Seattle, 4th & Pine. All are welcome to join us!     Organized by: Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center; Adrian Dominican Sisters; Sisters of the Holy Names; Sisters of Providence; Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet; Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace

To Learn More:

[I promised the nuns I would post their flyers on the Internet!]


Children whose lives are stolen: How you can help

The following leaflet was handed out at the Monthly Vigil in Seattle, WA, held the First Sunday of each month, at Westlake Park, from 1:30 to 2 PM; it is intended mainly for those whose work brings them in contact with children; but it is useful for us all to be aware of what is going on around us.

LOOK BENEATH THE SURFACE. Can you recognize child victims of human trafficking among the people you help everyday? As a law enforcement officer, a health care professional or a social service provider, you can help rescue and restore the future for victims of human trafficking.

Human Trafficking is Modern-Day Slavery

Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Victims are young children, teenagers, men and women.

Approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims annually are trafficked across international borders worldwide according to U.S. government estimates. More than half of these victims worldwide are children, according to the U.S. Department of State.

Child victims of trafficking are often exploited for sexual purposes, including prostitution, pornography and sex tourism. They are also exploited for forced labor, including domestic servitude, sweatshop factory work and migrant farming.

Child victims of trafficking can be found in:

  • Commercial sex
  • Domestic servitude {servants}
  • Sweatshop factories
  • Construction
  • Farming or landscaping
  • Fisheries
  • Hotel or tourist industries
  • Panhandling
  • Janitorial services
  • Restaurant services

Identifying Child Victims of Human Trafficking

Children who are victims of human trafficking may be mistaken for prostitutes, runaway youth, migrant farm workers or domestic servants. By looking beneath the surface, picking up on the right clues and asking the right questions, you may uncover children who are being exploited.

  • Children exploited for labor are often hungry or malnourished to the extent they may never reach their full height or they may have poorly formed or rotting teeth.
  • Children exploited for sexual purposes may show evidence of untreated sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, urinary tract infections, and kidney problems.
  • Children who are victims of trafficking can also be identified by environmental factors, including whether the child is living at the workplace or with an employer, living with multiple people in a cramped space, or not in school, attends school sporadically or has a signficant gap of schooling in the U.S.
  • Forced labor may expose children to physical abuse or leave signs such as scars, headaches, hearing loss, cardiovascular/respiratory problems and limb amputation. They may also develop chronic back, visual and respiratory problems from working in agriculture, construction or manufacturing.
  • The psychological effects of exploitation include helplessness, shame and humiliation, shock, denial and disbelief, disorientation and confusion, and anxiety disorders including post traumatic stress disorder, phobias, panic attacks and depression.

Communicating with Child Victims of Human Trafficking

When communicating with childrenwho have been exploited, it is important to remember child victims have special needs and may assume what has happened to them is thier own fault. Often, child victims of trafficking may not establish trust easily due to their experiences. They may have been coached to answer your questions in a certain way. With the guidance and involvement of a child welfare expert, asking some of the following questions may help you determine if you are dealing with child victims of trafficking:

  • Why did you come to the U.S.? What did you expect when you came? Were you scared?
  • Do you have any papers? Who has them?
  • Are you in school? Are you working? Can you leave if you want?
  • Where do you live? Who else lives there? Are you scared to leave?
  • has anybody ever threatened you to keep you from running away?
  • Did anyone ever touch you or hurt you?

While these questions provide a beginning to a challenging dialogue, it is vital to remember that the child should be approached in a manner that reflects his or her age, development, culture, language and what is known about the nature of his or her experience.


End Human Trafficking in the U.S. - The Petition Site11700+ petition signatures: Pledge to help end human trafficking in the US by learning to identify victims and report incidents.

If you want to do more......

If you go to the "Browse Petitions" site, as I did, and you type in "Human Trafficking" in the space given, there will be other Petitions to sign, as well as Discussions, Groups, Shares, Photos, Causes, and other things on the subject, posted by Care2 members.

Also keep your eyes and mind open, you may not be aware until you open your eyes, that this is going on all around us every day! Modern-day SLAVERY is a DIRECT CONSEQUENCE of GLOBALIZATION. And of Failed Economies worldwide.

A Domestic Servant of some middle-class neighbors, who seems never to leave the house and grounds and to have no social contacts at all; an entire family of farm laborers who live in abominable conditions; a child excessively thin, timid and unkempt, not in school; they may be people from a third-world country who are not living as they live, voluntarily. Often, it is sad to say, {tho not always}, it is their "employers" or "owners" rather, who are themselves from third-world countries {speaking the same language as their laborers, but keeping THEM from knowing any English}. Such a situation with a family of "enslaved" farm laborers, from India I believe, happened close to our "progressive, cool" City of Seattle just a few years ago. Similar outrages are reported from time-to-time in other parts of the U.S. No telling how many REMAIN UN-REPORTED TILL NOW.

Often, as in the above instance of the enslaved laborers from India, it will be ALERT NEIGHBORS who spot "something funny going on; something not right" about a situation they observed.

End Human Trafficking in the U.S. - The Petition Site

11700+ petition signatures: Pledge to help end human trafficking in the US by learning to identify victims and report incidents.


Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.


BMutiny TCorporationsEvil
, 1, 1 child
Seattle, WA, USA
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