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Combat Human Trafficking
& Exploitation

Human Trafficking and Exploitation happens all around us. Whether it be sex trafficking, forced labor, or domestic servitude, it can happen to anyone, and happens more often than you think.

Human trafficking does harm to our communities.

It's not always just in big cities, immigrants, or kidnappings. Exploitation can and does happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality - even if you've never left your home town.

Find out more about what human trafficking is and the types of trafficking that exists in our communities.

About Human Trafficking

Find out what warning signs exist that you can look for and who may be at a greater risk of being a victim of exploitation.

Warning Signs & Risk Factors

Learn ways to keep yourself safe from exploitation and other resources to combat human trafficking.

Safety Tips & Resources

About Human Trafficking

Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some form of labor or commercial sex act.

 

The crime of human trafficking is based in the exploitation of another person. People often mistake trafficking as being transported from one place to another, however, human trafficking does not require transportation to be considered a crime. It can be against any individual who has never left their home town.

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What is Trafficking & Exploitation?
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There are many myths and misconceptions of human trafficking, most often is confusing with smuggling - the transport of someone from one place to another. Trafficking and exploitation do not need to involve kidnapping or smuggling an immigrant in from another country. It happens all around us, even if you've never left your home town.

 

One of the most common ways we see traffickers gain access to and manipulate youth locally is through online, such as social media and gaming platforms. It's important for parents and youth to know about online safety and how to protect yourself online.

The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings. It's important to recognize the key indicators and signs of human trafficking as a first step to identifying victims.

Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide -- including right here in Columbia & Greene Counties. It can happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. It involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.

Hollywood drama paints a picture of kidnappings and immigrants held in captivity. As long as I stay clear of that creepy van I'll be fine, right?

The reality is traffickers more often build relationships and trust with their victims to manipulate and coerce them into trafficking situations. Traffickers might use the following methods to lure victims:

  • Violence

  • Manipulation

  • False promises of well-paying jobs

  • Romantic relationships

Language barriers, fear of their traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement frequently keep victims from seeking help, making human trafficking a hidden crime. In many instances, the manipulation and false romantic desire can blind victims into not recognizing they're getting into a trafficking situation until it has already happened.

Who are these traffickers?

Perpetrators of human trafficking span all racial, ethnic, and gender demographics, and are as diverse as survivors. Some may use their privilege, wealth, and power as a means of control, while others experience the same socio-economic oppression as their victims.

They include individuals, business owners, members of a gang or network, parents or family members of victims, intimate partners, owners of farms or restaurants, and powerful corporate executives and government representatives. Studies have shown that there is no stereotypical person to be wary of.

Types of Human Trafficking

When people think of human trafficking, most often people equate it with sex trafficking. In reality, sex trafficking is only one form of human trafficking.

 

There are three different types of human trafficking and in each form, victims are exploited to the benefit of someone else. 

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Sex Trafficking

Victims are manipulated or forced against their will to engage in sex acts, typically for financial gain.

Anyone under the age of 18 involved in a commercial sex act is considered trafficking.

It happens every day, everywhere, all around us. It doesn't have to be a "working girl" down on the corner.

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Victims are made to work for little or no pay. Very often, they are forced to manufacture or grow products that we use and consume every day.

Traffickers often use immigration status as part of the force, fraud, or coercion to exploit individuals into forced labor.

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Forced Labor
Domestic Servitude

Victims are hidden in plain sight, forced to work in homes across the United States as nannies, maids, or domestic help. Human trafficking is modern day slavery.

Domestic workers are not free to leave their employment, and are abused and underpaid, if paid at all. Their ability to move freely is often limited, and the employment in private homes increases their isolation and vulnerability.

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Learn more about human trafficking and exploitation.

It's not always just in big cities, immigrants, or kidnappings. Exploitation can and does happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality - even if you've never left your home town.

Find out more about what human trafficking is and the types of trafficking that exists in our communities.

About Human Trafficking

Find out what warning signs exist that you can look for and who may be at a greater risk of being a victim of exploitation.

Warning Signs & Risk Factors

Learn ways to keep yourself safe from exploitation and other resources to combat human trafficking.

Safety Tips & Resources

How to report a tip or get help
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REACH Center
24hr Support Helpline

Call our REACH Center helpline anytime, 24 hours a day at 518.943.4482. Trained staff provide crisis counseling and support services.

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Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line

The HSI Tip Line is available 24/7 to submit anonymous tips for suspected human trafficking.

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National Human Trafficking Hotline

Call 1.888.373.7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733) to report suspected human trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

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