Over the next few months, we will have a continuing series exploring the 25 types of human trafficking. We typically tend to focus on sexual exploitation, but there are 25 acknowledged industries in which human trafficking operates, according to Polaris Project and reports made to the National Human Trafficking Hotline and BeFree Textline.
1. Recreational Facilities: This is a form of labor trafficking, typically found at summer camps, golf courses, and amusement parks. Often, those being trafficked in this form are in the U.S. under J-1 Visas, “which offers cultural and educational exchange opportunities in the United States through a variety of programs overseen by the U.S. State Department.” There does not seem to be any discrimination of nationality in this line of trafficking, and makes up about one-third of trafficking cases reported in the U.S.
2. Health Care: This is seen mostly in nursing homes or in-home health aides. There are blurred lines between domestic work and health care. Women from the Philippines are most prevalent in hotline data, followed by West African immigrant women and U.S. citizens. Victims often possess specialty occupation visas like registered nursing. Male survivors are involved in 23% of labor trafficking within the healthcare industry.
3. Forestry and Logging: Trafficking in the forestry industry has included pine tree farm workers, reforestation planters, loggers, and workers maintaining woodland areas. Those trafficked in this line are almost exclusively men from Mexico and Guatemala on H-2B visas. The H-2B program allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs. According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, this particular visa has been suspended, but trafficking hasn’t lessened in this area.
4. Carnivals: A substantial number of trafficked victims working in carnivals have been reported to the National Hotline. These people may operate rides, run food stands, or help move and set up the carnival in each location. The majority of those trafficked are men and women from Mexico and South Africa. A small amount are U.S. citizens, but there are few statistics.
5. Remote Interactive Sexual Acts: Remote interactive sexual acts are live commercial sex acts simulated through remote contact between the buyer and victim through webcams, text-based chats, and phone sex lines. Because of the lack of physical contact between the victim and buyer, traffickers can frame this business as a “low-risk” endeavor—but it is still sex trafficking if the victims are compelled to participate under force, fraud, or coercion, or if the victim is under the age of 18.
In the limited number of reported cases, U.S. citizen females are the most frequent victims; minors are victimized in just under half of all cases. The same data has also revealed a surprising 12% of cases involve the LGBTQ community.
If you witness or suspect human trafficking, or you are personally being trafficked, call the toll-free, multilingual, 24-hour National Human Trafficking Resource Center & Hotline: 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP to 233733 (BEFREE). To get help for victims and survivors of human trafficking or to connect with local services 24/7.
The first step to abolishing human trafficking is education, awareness, and understanding. Greenlight Operation offers age appropriate education and trainings at schools, churches, clubs, events, or other community gatherings. If you would like to schedule a speaking engagement or training event please go to https://www.greenlightoperation.org/book-a-speaker.
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