Peter Uliano
5 min readJul 23, 2020



From Wikipedia:
Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labor, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others. This may encompass providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage, or the extraction of organs or tissues, including for surrogacy and ova removal.

The Laws regarding Human

Trafficking are as follows:

18 U.S. Code § 1581. Peonage; obstructing enforcement

(a) Whoever holds or returns any person to a condition of peonage, or arrests any person with the intent of placing him in or returning him to a condition of peonage, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If death results from the violation of this section, or if the violation includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or the attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, the defendant shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or life, or both. (b) Whoever obstructs, or attempts to obstruct, or in any way interferes with or prevents the enforcement of this section, shall be liable to the penalties prescribed in subsection (a).

18 U.S. Code § 1589. Forced labor

(a) Whoever knowingly provides or obtains the labor or services of a person by any one of, or by any combination of, the following means— (1) by means of force, threats of force, physical restraint, or threats of physical restraint to that person or another person; (2) by means of serious harm or threats of serious harm to that person or another person; (3) by means of the abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process; or (4) by means of any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause the person to believe that, if that person did not perform such labor or services, that person or another person would suffer serious harm or physical restraint, shall be punished as provided under subsection (d).
(b) Whoever knowingly benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in a venture which has engaged in the providing or obtaining of labor or services by any of the means described in subsection (a), knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the venture has engaged in the providing or obtaining of labor or services by any of such means, shall be punished as provided in subsection (d).

18 U.S. Code § 1591. Sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud, or coercion

(a) Whoever knowingly— (1) in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, obtains, advertises, maintains, patronizes, or solicits by any means a person; or (2) benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in a venture which has engaged in an act described in violation of paragraph (1), knowing, or, except where the act constituting the violation of paragraph (1) is advertising, in reckless disregard of the fact, that means of force, threats of force, fraud, coercion described in subsection (e)(2), or any combination of such means will be used to cause the person to engage in a commercial sex act, or that the person has not attained the age of 18 years and will be caused to engage in a commercial sex act, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).

Definition from DHS (Dept. Of Homeland Security)

Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide – including right here in the United States. It can happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers might use violence, manipulation, or false promises of well-paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure victims into trafficking situations.

Quick Facts:

The State Department releases an annual report on human trafficking with breakdowns per country, it is largely focused on government actions addressing trafficking and does not estimate the total number of victims. However, in its 2019 report, the State Department named the top three nations of origin for human trafficking victims were the United States, Mexico and the Philippines. It does not break that figure down for sex trafficking alone and includes all human trafficking cases including forced labor.

California is the number one state for trafficking within the Untied States with the most cases annually.

There are more than 4 million victims of sex trafficking globally according to a United Nations report.

99% are women and girls.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 1 in 7 of the more than 23,500 runaways reported to the nonprofit organization were likely victims of child sex trafficking.

Profits from forced sexual labor are estimated at $99 billion worldwide. According to The International Labor Organization in 2014.

Profits are highest per sex trafficking victim in developed economies such as The USA.

There are an estimated 9,000 illicit massage parlors across the U.S.
According to Polaris.

Estimates suggest that, internationally, only about .04% survivors of human trafficking cases are identified, meaning that the vast majority of cases of human trafficking go undetected.

In 2018, over half (51.6%) of the criminal human trafficking cases active in the US were sex trafficking cases involving only children.
“2018 Federal Human Trafficking Report.” The Human Trafficking Institute. Accessed July 31, 2019

The average age a teen enters the sex trade in the US is 12 to 14 years old. Many victims are runaway girls who were sexually abused as children.

What to look for: Trafficking Indicators

Is the victim in possession of identification and travel documents; if not who has control of their documents?

Does the victim seem coached on what to say to Nurses, Doctors, or others in interactions?

Does the victim have freedom of movements?

Do they live with an employer?

Are they submissive or fearful?

Do they have poor living conditions or signs of physical abuse or bruising?

Are they under 18 years old and involved in prostitution?

Does the person have signs of malnurishment?

Are they a runaway?

Is the Patient or Person dressed inadequately for the situation or work they do?

Questions you can ask the victim if you suspect human trafficking

Can you leave your job if you wanted to?

Can you come and go as you please?

Have you been hurt or threatened if you leave or try to leave?

Has your family been hurt or threatened?

Where do you sleep and eat?

Are you in debt to your employer?

Do you have your ID and if not who has it?

Who to call if you suspect Human Trafficking

If immediate action is required always call 911

If you suspect something is off call the local Police and also report to Dept. of Homeland Security 1-866-DHS-2-ICE (1-866-347-2423) Always call both so there is a record of the report and also a back up in case one option fails.

National Human Trafficking Hotline:
Text: 233733
Dept. Of Homeland Security BLUE CAMPAIGN:
Polaris Project:
National Human Trafficking Hotline

I can not help with suspected Trafficking please contact the appropriate entities that I have provided in this article. I am also not an attorney or a lawyer and I am providing this article for informational purposes and not legal advice. This is for awareness level training and education.

Copyright 2020 Peter Uliano All Rights Reserved.
Peter G. Uliano
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