Sex and human trafficking is the illegal exploitation of a human being, usually involving a person being bought or sold for the purpose of free or cheap labor or sex. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) considers human trafficking to be the most common form of modern-day slavery and the third-largest criminal activity in the world.
Traffickers do not discriminate based on religion, nationality, race, gender, or age. There is a market for every type of human you can imagine, and the sex and human trafficking industry is well established and networked with criminals who are expertly trained in luring victims into their dark world.
Often, traffickers train recruiters as “Romeos,” who are educated in certain psychological and socioeconomic profiles of people who represent viable victims. They will infiltrate schools, posing as fellow students, or they will frequent malls and playgrounds where they will scope the social scene until they find the ideal candidate for “courting.”
Sometimes, this courting does not even happen in person. The Romeo lurks about in chat rooms, online forums, and social media, looking for their next victim. They establish a sympathetic relationship with the victim and then begin to groom them to be trafficked. This process involves a deliberate sequence that includes alienating the victim from family and friends, shocking them with a shared experience to deepen a feeling of bonding, then luring them away with the promise of a better life.
Targets need not be children. They can also be adult women who are experiencing difficult relationships or who are struggling financially. A promise of an appreciative relationship with a “Romeo” or work as a model or actress is sometimes all the incentive required when someone is caught at their most vulnerable.
These tactics work for millions of women, children, and sometimes men who are trafficked every day, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Sex and human trafficking can take many forms, resulting in a person being bought and/or sold for many possible purposes. We encounter these victims every day, without even knowing they are being victimized. Generally speaking, the types of human trafficking are as follows:
These victims are often lured away from their homes with the promise of a good job and a better life. When they arrive at their destination, they are stripped of any form of identification, passports, and travel documents. They are then forced to work as nannies, maids, or other types of domestic help, often in the homes of wealthy individuals and families. They are treated poorly, and they receive very little pay—if any at all.
Another form of trafficking involves hiding victims in plain sight—working in factories, on farms, or at construction sites—again for little or no pay. These workers were either taken against their will or enticed to come with the trafficker to work a good job with good pay. Often, they go so they can provide for their families.
But the reality is that these workers who provide much of the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the products we use are forced to work long hours in deplorable conditions. They are cut off from family and are not permitted to return home. This is slavery, pure and simple.
A child or adult can be plucked off the street or tricked into a car and within hours be locked in a motel room where they begin their lives as workers in the commercial sex industry.
Frighteningly, many traffickers lure their victims using nothing more than the internet and a sympathetic ear for the troubled or the promise of a relationship for the lonely or disenfranchised. Before they know it, these victims are being transported from one location to the next—usually ending up in hotels, motels, nightclubs, or truck stops where they are forced to perform sex for money.
Sex and human trafficking have taken over the world of organized crime—trumping long-time money-making favorites like drugs and guns as the criminal endeavor to make money. Traffickers can sell a human being over and over again, enabling the “investor” to reap returns on their investments countless times before their “product” is used up. With this kind of profit margin, there is little question as to why so many criminal ventures turn to human trafficking as a business.
The attorneys at Newsome Melton are representing victims of sex and human trafficking who have broken free from their traffickers and want to recover damages for the deep injuries they have been forced to endure. Call us today to get help holding the businesses who enable this industry liable: (888) 808-5977.