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January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Human trafficking is a crime and public health concern that affects individuals, families, and communities across generations. Cases have been reported in all 50 states.

There are two types of trafficking in persons:

Labor Trafficking– individuals are compelled to work of provide services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion.

Sex Trafficking– Individuals are compelled to engage in commercial sex through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. When a person under 18 years old is induced to perform a sex act, it is a crime regardless of whether there is any force, fraud, or coercion.

Who is at risk? Individuals from any class, religious, cultural, or ethnic group can be targeted in human trafficking schemes. The following groups are especially vulnerable:

  • Children and youth involved in the foster care and juvenile justice systems
  • Individuals who have experienced childhood abuse or neglect
  • People experiencing homelessness
  • American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders
  • Survivors of violence
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) individuals
  • Migrant workers
  • Undocumented immigrants
  • Racial and ethnic minorities
  • People with disabilities
  • People with low incomes
  • People with a history of substance abuse
  • Communities exposed to intergenerational trauma

Trafficking can happen anywhere, from illicit markets to legal industries like hospitality, construction, agriculture, or domestic services.

Traffickers can be any gender or age — some are strangers, while others are peers, friends, romantic partners, or family members.

How to get help

People can be connected to help or report a tip of suspected human trafficking by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline

The National Human Trafficking Hotline is a 24/7, confidential, multilingual hotline for victims, survivors, and individuals with human trafficking concerns.

Call 1-888-373-7888

Text “BeFree” (233733)

Live chat humantraffickinghotline.org

Other ways to help: Learn 10 ways you can help end trafficking, including spreading the word that demand fuels exploitation and thinking about where you eat and how you shop.

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