What is Human Trafficking?
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.
Traffickers employ differing tactics to compel victims to work or commit commercial sex acts against their will. Traffickers may use beatings, torture, restraints or threats against the victim’s families to accomplish their means of control over victims. In doing so, traffickers profit financially from the labor or commercial sex acts of the victims.
Human trafficking is not to be confused with Smuggling. Slavery investigations have included not only foreign born victims but also U.S. citizens have been victims of human trafficking. A person does not have to cross any borders to be a victim of human trafficking.