Human Trafficking



According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center:

Sex trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years. Enactment of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 (TVPRA) makes sex trafficking a serious violation of federal law.

The term “commercial sex act” means any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.

The TVPRA recognizes that traffickers use psychological as well as physical coercion and bondage and it defines coercion to include ..physical restraint against any person or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform an act would result in serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; or the abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process.

Victims of sex trafficking can be women or men, girls or boys, but the majority are women and girls. There are a number of common patterns for luring victims into situations of sex trafficking including:

  • A false marriage proposal turned into a bondage situation
  • Being sold into the sex trade by parents, husbands, boyfriends
  • Being kidnaped by traffickers

Sex traffickers frequently subject their victims to debt-bondage . They tell the victim that they owe money for living expenses and transport into the country.

Sex traffickers use a variety of methods to “condition” their victims including physical abuse, rape, threats to victims’ families.

Victims face numerous health risks. Physical risks include burns, sexually transmitted diseases, and miscarriages.

Psychological harms include mind/body separation and disassociated ego states. Victims are at risk for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder-acute anxiety, depression, insomnia..and self-loathing that is long-lasting and resistance to change.

Victims may also suffer from traumatic bonding-a form of coercive control in which the perpetrator instills in the victim fear as well as gratitude for being allowed to live.

  • Forced prostitution or minors involved in sexual exploitation or prostitution
  • Domestic Servitude Worker
  • Arranged Marriage
  • Strip club work
  • Restaurant work
  • Agricultural labor
  • Pornography including filming, distribution, and site performance
  • Construction, maintenance, landscape labor
  • Food processing plants
  • Use in criminal activity, such as in sale of drugs
  • Forced begging
  • Sweatshops, such as manufacture, sewing and distribution of clothing
  • Magazine selling in groups within different places
  • Sale of babies
  • Sale of human organs, which includes removal
  • Debt bondage
  • Child soldiers, including 16 countries in the world
  • Internet based exploitation
  • Massage parlors
  • Nail salons
  • Casino presence

Trafficking victims have multiple needs upon escaping their trafficking situation. It is important to first establish the victim’s safety, then determine other immediate needs. Language access needs should be assessed immediately, and adequately provided. An Emergency Response Plan may assist in determining how to best evaluate a victim’s needs and how to best meet those needs.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 provides for prevention, protection, and prosecution in trafficking cases. The protections provided to victims of human trafficking include, but are not limited to, the following:

      • For foreign national victims: Applying for a T Visa, to provide temporary legal immigration status for up to three years, with the possibility of applying for permanent residency.
      • For foreign national victims: Ability to receive certification from the Dept. of Health and Human Services upon receipt of T Visa, thereby allowing the victim to qualify for public benefits, such as those received by refugees.

Some rights given to Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking victims include:

      1. They are not culpable for crimes committed as a direct result of their victimization
      2. They should not be detained in facilities inappropriate to their status as crime victims
      3. They must receive necessary medical care and other assistance
      4. They will be provided protection if their safety is at risk or if there is danger of recapture by the trafficker
  • Providing or obtaining labor or services through:
    • Threats of serious harm or physical restraint (physical coercion) -OR-
    • Scheme, plan or pattern intended to instill fear of serious harm or physical restraint (psychological coercion) -OR-
    • Abuse, or threatened abuse of the legal system (legal coercion).
  • Whoever knowingly recruits, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains by any means any person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud or coercion
  • This applies to the recruiter in their home country, a driver, bouncer, cook, anyone!
  • Whoever knowingly … in or affecting interstate commerce … recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains by any means a person … for commercial sex acts through force, fraud or coercion (FFC) … -OR – providing or obtaining minors for commercial sex acts.
  • Notice, sex trafficking in the federal law must affect interstate commerce.
  • This applies to commercial sex acts only, i.e., prostitution, pornography, etc. This would not apply to a personal sex slave.
  • With minors, there is no need to show FFC
  • Sex Trafficking Liability: engages in vs. benefits from
    • Engages in sex trafficking act. i.e., recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains a person for commercial sex act
    • Benefits financially or by receiving thing of value from knowingly participating in a venture which has engaged in such acts
  • Holding actual or purported identity documents in the course of committing or with intent to commit ANY trafficking crime.
  • Lower offense level, 5 year maximum
  • Note that can be a purported id doc, i.e., it doesn’t even have to be real.
  • Beware of the safeguarding defense by trafficker

In June 2013, Kentucky passed new state level human trafficking laws, known as the Human Trafficking Victims Rights Act.

The London Police Department has joined efforts with the Southeast Kentucky Human Trafficking Task Force (SEKYHTT) to help end modern-day slavery.  The Department's Public Information Officer, Magen Zawko, is the co-chair for the task force. The task force is a collaborative community effort by law enforcement agencies and community-based organizations to battle human trafficking by identifying, rescuing and empowering survivors.

The group aims to provide resources and services to the victims of human trafficking through collaboration and cooperation of community partners.

To get involved with the task force email Or visit the group's Facebook Page.


In 2016

A message from a survivor

If you or someone you know needs help please call 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733). The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls and texts from anywhere in the country, 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, every day of the year.