During the month of January, advocates, organizations, and individuals unite to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking. Federal law categorizes severe forms of trafficking in persons into either labor trafficking or sex trafficking.
According to the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, sex trafficking involves all children under the age of 18 who are induced to engage in commercial sex. Labor trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion in order to subject that person to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Children in foster care are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking. A 2013 report cited that 50 to more than 90 percent of children who were victims of child sex trafficking had been involved with child welfare services (HHS, ACF, 2013). Traffickers often exploit the fact that children in foster care—or those who have run away from care—may not have their familial, emotional, or basic needs met. The traffickers promise to meet those needs, often using psychological manipulation and financial incentives to attract them.
Human Trafficking Resources
Human Trafficking Hotline
Social Services Indicator Card
(to help identify possible child victims of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation)
The Center’s Human Trafficking Resources
(including policy and procedures on how to report)