Understanding Human TraffickingSome people may have a misconception about human trafficking. They may think it only happens to certain people or in certain areas. However, all types of people are trafficked across the United States. Human trafficking happens when anyone forces another person through any means to do labor or sexual acts against their desires. Some people get trafficked by physical force and abuse, while others are manipulated, tricked, or defrauded into it. Either way, it is an act that takes advantage of a vulnerable person.
Signs of Someone Being TraffickedThere may be indications and signs that a person is being trafficked. These include:
- Their movements seem controlled or limited.
- They have a false identification or other documents.
- They don't readily know their home or work address.
- They can't access money which they've earned.
- They have no negotiating power in their work environment.
- They work excessively long hours and/or for long periods of time.
- Their social interaction is extremely limited.
Different Types of Human Trafficking and Their ImpactPeople may be involved with one or more of the three types of human trafficking. As a result, they will suffer in various ways. Let's take a look at the three types of human trafficking and their effects:
Forced LaborThere may be physical harm and injury from doing forced labor. Victims may not get enough sleep, further damaging their health.
Sexual TraffickingPeople who are forced into sexual trafficking will have emotional and mental scars from the activities. It's highly possible that they could get physical injuries as well.
Debt BondageThis type of trafficking usually occurs with people from other countries who have a debt. In a desperate attempt to pay it off, they fall into the trafficker's trap of “promises” for a good job in the U.S. These injuries could vary depending on what the trafficker makes the person do once they arrive in the states. It usually involves manual labor with late hours and no pay.
How Do Human Traffickers Work?Human traffickers will use different methods and tricks to convince or manipulate people to be trafficked. If they are trafficking someone from another country, they may use their lack of legal status to coerce them once they arrive here. Or they could use their language barrier to keep them in control. Some people are trafficked by promises of a bright future or a romantic relationship. In the case of minors, kidnapping is sometimes involved. When someone is in a trafficked situation, they don't feel they have any options to get away from the person abusing them. They don't have resources or access to help. The traffickers isolate them and restrict their movements, making it very difficult to break free.
Damages You Can Claim in a Trafficking SuitWhen you've been trafficked, you have the right to file a civil complaint for damages. Even if the person does go to jail, you may be able to sue a third party who facilitated the abuse. Your Savannah human trafficking lawyer will assist you in understanding your rights. There are three types of damages you can sue for:
Economic DamagesThese are compensatory damages, which consists of monetary losses incurred during the trafficking.
Non-Economic DamagesNon-economic damages involve the trauma, pain, and mental anguish that you've gone through. Some people may develop mental health problems as a result of the trafficking. A Savannah human trafficking lawyer will calculate the amount you can recover for these damages.
Punitive DamagesPunitive damages serve as a punishment and a deterrent to others. These damages are awarded when someone commits an act of malice or fraud on another person, and they are harmed. In the case of human trafficking, there are no limits on the amount your attorney can request.
Human Trafficking StatsHuman trafficking has a track record that is long and ugly. Some of the numbers are as follows:
- An estimated 24.9 million victims worldwide are trafficked at any given time.
- The U.S. Department of State estimates 14,500 to 17,500 people are trafficked from other countries into the United States every year. These numbers don't include the many thousands who are trafficked inside the borders.
- There are approximately 5,557 total victims of trafficking in Georgia.
- 5,000 girls are at risk of being sex trafficked in Georgia.
- On average, 100 juvenile girls are exploited each night in Georgia.