By debunking human trafficking myths, EMS providers can assist the victims they encounter in their own communities. Daniels, assistant fire chief ret. She simply vanished. One of the worst feelings to endure, he says, is not knowing.
We in EMS have a role to play in the battle against human trafficking. We can learn to notice possible victims, and thus potentially make a difference in tremendously troubled lives. Helping victims of human trafficking necessarily involves a multi-jurisdictional approach working with law enforcement, social workers and other healthcare providers.
Human trafficking is clouded by myths, prejudice and murky assumptions. Educational programs for EMS providers and others are an important and helpful start. The U. Department of Homeland Security defines human trafficking as modern-day slavery. Most human trafficking involves sex or labor trafficking, but other forms include people trafficked for the illegal organ trade and to recruit child soldiers in some parts of the world.
The first comprehensive U. Typical methods of control include physical and psychological violence, drug addiction, constant surveillance, shame and humiliation, threats against relatives or of deportation, confiscation of personal identification, debt bondage, even imprisonment. According to the U. Risk factors for trafficking include: prior history of abuse or sexual violence, generational trauma, poverty, unemployment and unstable living situations or homelessness. Human trafficking victims are found in many settings.
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Sex trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which individuals perform commercial sex through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Minors under the age of 18 engaging in commercial sex are considered to be victims of human trafficking, regardless of the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Sex traffickers frequently target victims and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage, or other forms of control and manipulation to keep victims involved in the sex industry for their own profit.
Sex trafficking exists within diverse and unique sets of venues and businesses including fake massage businesses, escort services, residential brothels, in public on city streets and in truck stops, strip clubs, hostess clubs, hotels and motels, and elsewhere.
Sex trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry that is based on the principles of supply and demand. Therefore, people who purchase commercial sex increase the demand for commercial sex and likewise provide a profit incentive for traffickers, who seek to maximize profits by exploiting trafficking victims.
Therefore, buyers of commercial sex need to recognize their involvement in driving demand. By not buying sex and not participating in the commercial sex industry, community members can reduce the demand for sex trafficking. The following information on sex trafficking cases is based solely on information learned through the substantive, US-based als -- phone calls, s, and online tip reports -- received by the National Human Trafficking Hotline as of December 31,