Collaborations: The Key to Combating Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. As many as 20,000 persons are trafficked into the United States annually to be forced to work in slave-like conditions or to be sexually exploited, according to the State Department’s 2003 report on trafficking in persons. These numbers are only estimates, since human trafficking is a hidden injustice that often occurs behind the closed doors of private homes or under the facade of legitimate businesses. Crime rings are savvy in the methods of smuggling persons across borders and hiding victims of trafficking as they move them between cities. People seeking a better life in the United States quickly believe the lies of the traffickers, only to find later that they have been lied to, forced to comply, or tricked about the reality of the situation in which they would find themselves. Victims of human trafficking need assistance and benefits, and their traffickers must be brought to justice. No one agency can combat human trafficking; collaborations are the key.