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What is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transporting, or procurement of a person for labor or services for the purpose of involuntary servitude, slavery, or forced commercial sex acts. It is a form of modern day slavery. Human Trafficking includes all aspects of forcing an individual to perform labor or other services. Traffickers use debt bondage, psychological manipulation, threats, and physical violence to control victims. This labor can include sexual services, domestic labor, agriculture or field labor, and factory work. U.S. Department of State estimates that 14,500 to 17,500 persons are brought into the United States each year for labor or sexual exploitation. Due to its economic stability, cultural diversity, major interstates and airports, large number of sexually oriented businesses, and international border, Texas has become a hub for human trafficking. Texas is not only home to major human trafficking corridors, but many individual trafficking victims are brought to the state and forced to work against their will.
The demand side of trafficking, which includes, for example, sweatshop or brothel owners, farmers, clients of sex workers, and people who hire domestic servants, is often neglected by trafficking prevention programs. Activities tend to focus only on the supply side with a view to curtailing it, protecting victims, and prosecuting the traffickers. While some of these individuals are fully aware of the mistreatment that occurs, many are ignorant to the severe abuse and exploitation involved in trafficking and is not aware that the majority of trafficking victims does not choose that lifestyle, but were forced or coerced into it. They are trapped in lives of misery—often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes or to take grueling jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with little or no pay. We’re working hard to stop human trafficking—not only because of the personal and psychological toll it takes on society, but also because it facilitates the illegal movement of immigrants across borders and provides a ready source of income for organized crime groups and even terrorists.
In 1999, a teenage girl was taken from a Haitian orphanage and smuggled—using phony documentation—into Miami, where she was forced to work as a domestic servant for up to 15 hours a day, seven days a week. She was never paid, not allowed to go to school, occasionally beaten, and subjected to other inhumane treatment. After suffering for nearly six years, she managed to escape in 2005. This March, justice was finally served when three of her captors were convicted in the case.
The majority of victims in FBI human trafficking cases are women and young girls from Central American and Asian countries. They are primarily forced into the commercial sex industry and, like the young teen from Haiti, domestic servitude. Men and boys are typically victimized in the migrant farming, restaurant, and other service-related industries. However, there are an increasing number of young males being forced into the commercial sex industry as well.
But not all of the victims of human trafficking in the U.S. are foreign nationals; some are American citizens or residents. For example, an Anchorage man was found guilty in February of recruiting young women—mostly runaways from other parts of the country—to work for him as prostitutes. He controlled them by getting them addicted to crack cocaine, confining them to a small closet for days at a time, and beating them.
Because human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries, the U.S. government and academic researchers are currently working on an up-to-date estimate of the total number of trafficked persons in the United States annually. With 100,000 children estimated to be in the sex trade in the United States each year, it is clear that the total number of human trafficking victims in the U.S. reaches into the hundreds of thousands; this clearly represents an injustice of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights list several articles that clearly states that human trafficking is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. These articles of list as follow
Article 4.
•No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.
•No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 6.
• Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
On September 26, 2011the President of the General Assembly called for redoubled efforts to tackle human trafficking, which the United Nations anti-crime agency says is a multi-billion dollar industry and one that enslaves some 2.4 million people at any given time, many of whom are children.
“Although human trafficking takes place in the dark margins of our societies, we must not ignore its presence,” Nassir Abdul-Aziz Al-Nasser said in remarks to the second ministerial meeting of the Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking. He told the gathering, which took place on the margins of the high-level debate of the Assembly’s 66th session, that nations must work together to end this global scourge, which ranks as the world’s third most profitable crime after illicit drug and arms trafficking.
“We must prosecute and punish the criminals involved and protect and reintegrate the victims into their communities. We must spur governments and all members of society into action to reduce the vulnerability of victims, and increase the consequences for traffickers,” he said.
The President noted that despite the proclamation in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that all humans are born free and that no one shall be held in slavery or servitude, millions of people today, the majority of them children and women, are victims of human trafficking.
He called for redoubling efforts to ensure that the rights and freedoms of every person are upheld. “No country is unaffected. We must do better,” said the President. He noted that a global partnership aimed at fostering good governance, debt relief and official development assistance can contribute to reducing poverty and corruption, limiting the supply and demand for trafficking.
Cross-border and international cooperation are necessary to monitor and stop child trafficking, he added. Last year the Group of Friends turned the concerns of Member States into concrete action by negotiating and passing by consensus a comprehensive UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. In addition, the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking was launched to provide humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of human trafficking. Administered by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), it has already begun to establish a small grants facility to start distributing funds to victims.
As the only United Nations entity focusing on the criminal justice element of these crimes, the work that UNODC does to combat human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling.

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