Tips for Identifying Suspected Victims of Human Trafficking
By John Meekins
The term “human trafficking” makes headlines every day, but those headlines often miss the point of a truly sordid story of women locked into lives for which there is no end—often because law enforcement and corrections officials do not recognize the true situation.
Many times officers assume that someone busted for prostitution is just another drug-addicted hooker, so they do not take the time to investigate. In reality, if officers were trained about what signs to look for and what questions to ask these women, they could help stop this tragic cycle of slavery.
Slavery is how I often refer to “human trafficking” because that is what it is: modern-day slavery. A ‘pimp’ or human trafficker controls every aspect of these women’s lives, even to the color of her hair. He controls her because she is valuable to him and his way of making a living. The average sex slave in the United States annually makes a clear profit of $67,382 for the trafficker. That is the value of just one woman.