National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month

How do we talk about Human trafficking in 440 words? We admit the topic cannot be fully covered in this limited space AND we encourage you to conduct further research and participate in trainings to further your knowledge and understanding of the topic.

Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery, which includes both sex and labor trafficking, where traffickers profit from the control and exploitation of people. Human trafficking exists throughout the US and around the globe. The use of force, fraud, or coercion is utilized to control people and thereby cause the person(s) to engage in commercial sex or provide labor services against their will. Sex trafficking occurs online, on the street and in places of business. Labor trafficking occurs in private residences, agriculture, sales crews, restaurants, etc.

Human trafficking is motivated by two crucial factors: high profits and low risk to traffickers. Human trafficking is based on the principles of supply and demand. It generates billions of dollars in profits for traffickers while victimizing children, youth and adults. Under U.S. law, victims of human trafficking are identified as: children less than 18 years of age induced into commercial sex; adults age 18 or more induced into commercial sex through force, fraud, or coercion; and, children and adults induced to perform labor or services through force, fraud, or coercion.

Human trafficking crosses all demographic boundaries; however, there are characteristics that increase the risk of being trafficked including, but not limited to, being: a runaway or homeless youth; a victim of domestic violence; being an undocumented immigrant; or, identifying as LGBTQ. Given the diversity of victim-survivors of human trafficking it is imperative to understand that there is no “cookie-cutter” approach to providing services.

Services for victim-survivors must be person-centered, trauma-informed and culturally sensitive. In order to provide effective services you and your team members need to be trained on the complex array of challenges victim-survivors of human trafficking face and techniques to assist the person address their needs and move toward recovery. National Safe Place Network created the Human Trafficking: Recognize, Respect and Respond (HTR3) project and has made it available through NSPS’s operation of the Family and Youth Services Bureau’s Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center.  We can provide training and resources to assist you RECOGNIZE, RESPECT and RESPOND to victim-survivors of Human Trafficking. For more information please visit: or Please connect with us on Social Media at:, or to keep abreast of all the resources and services National Safe Place Network and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center!

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