What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to control a person for commercial sex or labor services. Traffickers use violence, threats, blackmail, false promises, deception, and debt bondage to trap vulnerable persons for profit.
SEX TRAFFICKING OCCURS IN A WIDE VARIETY OF SETTINGS,
including residential brothels, online escort services, massage parlors, strip clubs, and street prostitution.
Labor trafficking occurs in diverse labor settings including domestic work, small business, large farms, and factories.
Why Human Trafficking exists
Two primary causes drive the spread of human trafficking - high profits and low risk. Like illegal drugs and arms, human trafficking is a market-driven criminal enterprise based on the principles of supply and demand.
Every year, human traffickers generate billions of dollars by victimizing people around the world.
Who are the victims?
HUMAN TRAFFICKING CAN AFFECT ANYBODY, ANYWHERE.
As defined under U.S. law, victims of human trafficking divide into three major population groups:
Children under age 18 induced into commercial sex.
Adults age 18 or over induced into commercial sex.
Children and adults induced to perform labor or services.
Who are the traffickers?
Traffickers lure people into forced labor and sex by manipulating and exploiting their vulnerabilities. Human traffickers prey on people who are hoping for a better life, lack employment, have an unstable home life, or have a history of sexual or physical abuse.
Runaway and homeless youth are at an added risk. Traffickers promise a high paying job, a loving relationship, or new opportunities. In other cases, they kidnap victims or use physical and psychological violence to control them. Traffickers can work alone or be part of criminal networks - with the common thread of exploiting people for profit.
The average age of a sex trafficking victim is
Girls and boys, from all socioeconomic backgrounds,
Traffickers often use the internet to target their victims.
often suffer beatings,
rapes, and isolation.
The convergence of interstate highways and our central location make St. Louis a top-twenty hub for human trafficking.