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Human Trafficking

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Human trafficking is the use of coercion for the purpose of labor, services or commercial sex. Human trafficking occurs as either labor trafficking or sex trafficking. Commercial sex can include acts of prostitution, sexual performances, such as stripping, or the production of pornography. Except in the case of minor sex trafficking, Human trafficking requires the use of coercion. It is important to understand that coercion, as defined by our Florida State Statute, not only includes threats and violence, but also fraud, deceit, and the use of drugs to manipulate victims. These are common tactics utilized by traffickers to maintain control over their victims. It is rare for a trafficking victim to be physically confined. It is much more common for there to be “invisible chains” that the trafficker uses to maintain control, so the victim is more likely to appear to be free to come or go as they please.

Due to the methods used by traffickers, it can be difficult to identify a human trafficking situation. We have provided some indicators of human trafficking. These indicators do not, necessarily, mean human trafficking is occurring and any possible cases need to be investigated by trained Detectives. A person should not take a single indicator and interpret it to mean that there is sex trafficking. People should use their reasonable judgment. If you have questions please call CCSO or refer to the resources listed below.

GENERAL INDICATORS
• Victim resistant to talk to LEO unless given permission
• Live on or near work premises
• Restricted or controlled communication or transportation
• Frequently moved
• Large numbers of occupants for living space
• Lack of private space or personal possessions
• Limited knowledge of how to get around in a community

PHYSICAL INDICATORS
• Injuries from beatings or weapons
• Signs of torture
• Brands or scarring indicating ownership
• Signs of malnourishment

FINANCIAL - LEGAL INDICATORS
• Someone else has possession of legal or travel documents
• Lack of financial records
• Existing debt issues
• One attorney claiming to represent multiple illegal aliens detained at different locations
• Third party who insists on interpreting

LABOR CAMP SWEATSHOP INDICATORS
• Security intended to keep victims confined
• Barbed wire or bars on windows
• Self-contained camps
• Bouncers, guards or guard dogs

BROTHEL INDICATORS
• Large amounts of cash
• Customer logbook or receipt book
• Sparse rooms
• Men come and go frequently

COMMERCIAL SEX INVOLVING MINORS INDICATORS
• Minors in unexplained possession of cash or extra cell phones
• Use of terminology such as "a night job", "do a date", "the life" or "for daddy", especially when a minor is involved
• Drugs provided by a third party seemingly for free or in exchange for sexual activity
• Suspicious ads online or social media for escorts, stripping parties, other sexual activity
• Use of code words that may indicate prostitution activity
• Girls attempting to recruit other girls to become involved in suspicious activity with a third party male
• Job opportunity involving modeling or the sex industry
• An unreasonable promise of money or fame from a third party

There are many resources available to report human trafficking or to help victims of human trafficking:

Collier County Sheriff's Office Human Trafficking Unit  for information, resources, prevention education, or enforcement regarding human trafficking contact 239-252-0060 or email  Marisol.Schloendorn@colliersheriff.org. 

To report human trafficking after hours contact CCSO at 239-252-9300 and if a crime is in progress or you have an emergency call 911.

If you wish to make an anonymous tip regarding human trafficking call Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers
at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). You may be eligible for a reward.

To learn more or make an anonymous tip on line regarding child victims of human trafficking contact the
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 

Additional resources:
National Human Trafficking Resource Center / Polaris Project
1 (888) 373-7888 or SMS: 233733 (Text "BeFree")
24 hours, 7 days a week in English, Spanish and 200 more languages

Shelter for Abused Women and Children

Leading the community to Prevent, Protect and Prevail over domestic violence through advocacy, empowerment and social change. 239-775-3862.

Project HELP is a non-profit organization staffed by professional counselors and advocates committed to providing hope, empowerment, and healing to those affected by sexual violence, sudden death, and other crimes. Along with free counseling and advocacy services, Project HELP provides our community with a 24-Hour Crisis & Referral
Hotline: (239) 262-7227.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers - 239-657-8311

 

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