Most Human Trafficking Related to Prostitution; Forced Labor Makes Up Remainder, Report Says
Byline: Chuck Neubauer, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
More than 80 percent of the 2,515 suspected incidents of human trafficking investigated by law enforcement agencies between January 2008 and June 2010 involved adult prostitution or the exploitation and forced prostitution of children, a Justice Department report released Thursday says.
The report, written by the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), says 48 percent of the investigated incidents involved adults, while 40 percent uncovered the exploitation or forced prostitution of children. The remainder, about 350 cases, involved allegations of labor trafficking, in which people were being forced against their will into performing labor - including forced begging and roadside sales, along with work at hair salons, hotels and bars.
Under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act, according to the report, human trafficking is defined as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person to perform labor or a commercial sex act through force, fraud or coercion.
Any commercial sex act performed by a person under age 18 is considered human trafficking, regardless of whether force, fraud or coercion is involved, the report said.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., announced the formation of a presidential task force on human trafficking involving a new collaboration by the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Labor. Calling human trafficking a modern-day slavery, he said it was an affront to human dignity, adding that men, women and children were being exploited for sex and labor in virtually every corner of our nation.
Justice, Homeland Security and Labor are part of a Human Trafficking Enhanced Enforcement Initiative, in which specialized Anti-Trafficking Coordination Teams, known as ACTeams, have been convened in a number of pilot districts nationwide. Under the leadership of the highest-ranking federal law enforcement officials in the districts, the teams bring together federal agents and prosecutors across agency lines to combat human trafficking threats, dismantle human-trafficking networks and bring traffickers to justice. …