Stay Aware of Human Trafficking in Our Community

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. As the Bilingual Human Trafficking Case Manager at JFS, I would like to share information about recognizing human trafficking as well as local organizations helping survivors.

by Maryury Castaneda, Bilingual Human Trafficking Case Manager

The Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force (GNOHTTF) focuses on providing client-centered and trauma-informed services. Through collaboration with other local organizations, GNOHTTF offers multidisciplinary services for survivors of human trafficking. Services primarily included helping survivors access resources available to them, such as counseling, shelter, legal assistance, medical care, and much more.

Survivors of trafficking can experience sex or labor trafficking. Sex trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which individuals perform commercial sex through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Minors under the age of 18 engaging in commercial sex are considered to be victims of human trafficking, regardless of the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Labor trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which individuals perform labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Labor trafficking includes situations of debt bondage, forced labor, and involuntary child labor. Most survivors are befriended by a peer who may be offering a job or a lifestyle that sounds lucrative to someone who is desperate for income or a better life. 

There is no perfect vulnerability for human trafficking; therefore it is important for the general public to be aware of some indicators of trafficking. 1)  A job offer is also offering housing on-site and under the table pay. The job description is different from the tasks that are now being asked of the employee. 2) The employer is not providing the pay that was promised or less pay than what was promised. 3) The employer is isolating the employee from family and friends. The employer may not allow the employee to speak to coworkers or patrons and does not allow the employee to get on the internet or own a cell phone. This is not an exhaustive list of indicators but this can help identify potential victims or situations that can lead to trafficking.

 Learn more about human trafficking and what is being done in our community to combat it at the links below.
http://www.nolatrafficking.org/about
https://humantraffickinghotline.org/what-human-trafficking

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