Attorney General Todd Rokita today asked Hoosiers to stay alert for signs of human trafficking in communities across Indiana and to report any suspicious activities to authorities.
Unfortunately, large events bringing throngs of spectators are known to create increased demand for trafficked individuals providing manual labor, sex for hire and other services. This month, Indianapolis hosts the Indy 500 and the National Gymnastics Association Midwest Region Championships.
“Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery,” Attorney General Rokita said. “We need the eyes and ears of people everywhere to help us root out this evil enterprise, rescue victims and put away perpetrators.”
People in certain job roles — such as medical professionals, restaurant workers, teachers and truck drivers — are particularly likely to come into contact with trafficking victims.
Human trafficking is a $150 billion criminal enterprise. It occurs anytime someone uses force, fraud or coercion to make another individual provide labor, services or commercial sex acts. If the person performing commercial sex acts is under 18, the crime of human trafficking still occurs even without the elements of force, fraud or coercion. (humantraffickinghotline.org)
According to the U.S. State Department, those signs that someone might be a victim of trafficking include observations that someone:
- lives with their employer.
- lives with multiple people in a cramped space.
- otherwise experiences poor living conditions.
- is prohibited from speaking alone to strangers.
- gives answers that appear to be scripted and rehearsed.
- has an employer holding their identity documents.
- shows signs of physical abuse.
- is submissive or fearful.
- is unpaid or paid very little.
- is under 18 and working in the commercial sex industry.
If you have suspicions that someone is being trafficked, you should immediately call local law enforcement. You may also call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
In America, the scourge of human trafficking is propagated in significant part by criminal cartels operating out of Mexico.
“Stopping human trafficking is one more reason we must secure the southern border,” Attorney General Rokita said.
In addition to waging lawsuits to force federal officials to crack down on border security and illegal immigration, Attorney General Rokita and his team are engaged in other efforts to combat human trafficking.
The Office of the Attorney General operates the Address Confidentiality Program, which helps protect victims of certain crimes — including those who have been trafficked — by concealing their residential address from the public and thereby their victimizers. Learn more about the program at the Attorney General’s website.