Episode 1: Human Trafficking Explained

Human trafficking is an often discussed but frequently misunderstood topic mired in myths and complexity. What trafficking looks like, who its victims are how they are exploited can vary, and the truth of it may not be what you expect. Put simply, human trafficking is the commercial exploitation of individuals for labor or sex. This exploitation can take many forms, and its victims come from all backgrounds and walks of life. What they share, however, are vulnerabilities – wants or needs, be it physical, financial, emotional or otherwise, which traffickers exploit through force, fraud or coercion.

Episode 2: Illicit Message Business

A commonly misunderstood form of trafficking is the illicit massage business. Frequently, this exploitation is confused with prostitution as victims are often of age and seemingly complicit in offering commercial sex acts. However, the truth is far more complicated.

Episode 3: Labor Trafficking

The commercial exploitation of victims for the purpose of work constitutes labor trafficking, a form which takes many shapes. As in the illicit massage industry, victims of labor trafficking are often forced to endure extreme and unsafe living conditions with little food and resources while constantly accruing additional debt to their trafficker, creating a cycle of vulnerability which keeps them in a system of bondage.

Episode 4: Child Exploitation

Human trafficking thrives on the vulnerabilities of victims, it stands to reason that children and young adults – often the most vulnerable members of society – are frequent targets for this kind of exploitation. Factors like age, inexperience and development can leave children open to manipulation and extortion for labor or commercial sex, the latter of which has special protections under the law. Due to their status as minors, any person under the age of 18, solicited to perform sex acts for money is considered a victim of human trafficking, regardless of circumstance.

Episode 5: Human Trafficking Resources

If you believe you are being trafficked, or if you’d like to report possible trafficking activity, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline, provided by POLARIS – 1-888-373-7888 – or text HELP to BeFree (233733). Experts are available 24/7 in multiple languages and stand ready to provide information and discreet assistance.

Donate