Human trafficking is considered by many to be a significant human rights challenge in this time of rapid globalization. While historically there have been inconsistencies and disagreement regarding the definition of human trafficking, the legal definition provided by the TVPA has become the accepted definition for law enforcement, service providers, and the like.
Critical to this definition is recognizing that while trafficking often involves the movement of people from their own communities and transporting them across borders or within a nation; a victim does not need to be physically transported in order for this crime to fall under the TVPA definition. Additionally, there is no requirement for force, fraud, or coercion when the commercial sex act involves a minor or someone under the age of 18. And finally, the TVPA recognizes both international, or foreign born persons, and U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, as potential victims of human trafficking.
But what do victims of human trafficking look like? It is important to understand who is vulnerable to this crime in order to know who to look for.