“Trafficking in persons” or “human trafficking” are terms for the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for compelled labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Trafficking is:
a human rights violation
forced sexual exploitation of adults
commercial sexual exploitation of children
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and its subsequent reauthorizations define human trafficking as:
a) Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
b) The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. (22 U.S.C. § 7102(9)).
According to a September 2017 report from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Walk Free Foundation: An estimated 24.9 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery worldwide. Of these, 16 million (64%) were exploited for labor, 4.8 million (19%) were sexually exploited, and 4.1 million (17%) were exploited in state-imposed forced labor. https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/human-trafficking-numbers
El Paso/Teller County
The National Human Trafficking Hotline reported 588 contacts and 176 cases in Colorado in 2019. https://humantraffickinghotline.org/state/colorado
Denver and the Front Range are prime areas for exploitation. Detective Elli Reid of the Colorado Springs Police Department told a group at UCHealth in December 2016 “We’re staying busy in Colorado Springs and El Paso County.” She added that UCH sits in an area ripe for human trafficking. “You have I-25 running north-south and I-70 running east-west right through lovely Denver.”
"The potential victims are also here: young runaways, the physically abused, the homeless and the forsaken, all targets for those who prey on the vulnerable by offering a rough security in exchange for servitude. The trade bustles in the motels, massage parlors, brothels and strip clubs that dot any urban area." But Reid said that human trafficking often hides in plain sight and is present on the streets and in schools and neighborhoods. https://www.uchealth.org/today/exposing-the-toll-of-human-trafficking/
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
Human Trafficking Hotline Colorado 1-833 455 5075.
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