What You May Not Know About Human Trafficking: The Many Faces of Forced Labor
Friday, June 15, 2018 8:45 AM

A new human trafficking report was issued last March by an organization by the name of Polaris.  This organization’s mission is to eradicate modern-day slavery by:

(1) responding to victims effectively and immediately (via Hotline),
(2) equip key stakeholders and communities to address and prevent human trafficking (credit unions are considered stakeholders), and
(3) disrupt the business of human trafficking through targeted campaigns. 

Generally, when we hear the term “human trafficking” many of us envision young women being forced into prostitution. While recognizing that the sex trade is a large segment of human trafficking, this new study provides information on many other types of human trafficking to help broaden our awareness.  As a result of this study we can expect that new red flags may emerge over the coming months.  In the meantime, understanding that human trafficking can come in many different forms may help you better determine whether an activity is, or is not, suspicious. 

Polaris has identified 25 types of human trafficking. Some of the listed business types in the report are likely not surprising to most of us, such as escort services, massage parlors, strip clubs, and pornography.  However, forced labor in many of the businesses we come in contact with daily is believed to be even more prevalent than sex trafficking.  Polaris believes that labor trafficking cases in the U.S. are chronically underreported due to a lack of awareness about the issue and a lack of recognition of the significant vulnerability of workers in the U.S. labor force.  Also, many exploited workers do not even know they are being exploited.

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Source:  CUNA Compliance Blog