Webinar | November 2013
Human Trafficking: State Responses to Modern-Day Slavery
Human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery whereby children or adults are exploited through force or coercion for sex acts or labor purposes, is purported to be a multi-billion worldwide industry, and one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises today. The U.S. Department of State estimates that there are approximately 40,000 men, women and children who become victims of human trafficking in the United States every year. While the flow of victims trafficked into the country is being reduced every year, this is far from an immigration issue. As many as 300,000 American children—mostly runaways—are at risk of becoming victims of sex trafficking every year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. States have taken action, setting up task forces to assess the extent of this insidious practice, experiment with policies that encourage victims to come forward, educate law enforcement personnel, and penalize individuals involved in these crimes. Such legislation has resulted in several Southern states, including Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky, receiving high marks from the Polaris Project, an organization that tracks and assesses the effectiveness of federal and state human trafficking laws. This webinar offered an overview of the topic, and gave examples of how states are working to combat this heinous crime.