Florida Human Sex Trafficking Lawyers
It might be hard reaching out for help when you or someone you know feels trapped or endangered. But we want to help.
Although we can’t get rid of what happened, we can try to seek compensation from third parties that turned a blind-eye and try to prevent it from happening to others.
What Is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking involves fraud, kidnapping, coercing, transporting, harboring, or otherwise soliciting and recruiting persons to be used for forced labor, domestic servitude, or sexual exploitation.
How Common Is Human Trafficking?
It can happen to anyone – children or adults – and the industry is huge. The International Labor Organization estimates more than 40 million victims of human trafficking worldwide, with 1 in 4 victims being children. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ranks human trafficking as the third largest crime industry, with an approximate profit of $32 billion per year. The US Department of Labor estimates 152 million children are involved in child labor worldwide, with approximately 48% being under the age of 12.
Human Trafficking in the United States
This isn’t something that just happens overseas. The United States has its own battles with human trafficking. According to the US Department of Justice, a child is trafficked for sex every 2 minutes within our own borders. The Polaris Project estimates 1 in 6 runaway children become victims of human trafficking, and it happens quickly – even within the first 48 hours of leaving home.
Human Trafficking in Florida and Local Cities
Florida has the third-highest frequency of human trafficking in the United States, ranked behind Washington, DC, and Atlanta. Legislation continues to grow, but it’s having trouble keeping up with the issue on a national and global scale. In Florida, one of the steps taken in 2019 was to make a human trafficking course mandatory license renewal for healthcare workers.
Signs of Human Trafficking
It can be hard to spot human trafficking if you don’t know what you’re looking for, and it is believed that healthcare workers are in a unique position to identify human trafficking victims.
Hope for Justice offers information on six important human trafficking categories. To summarize:
- Look for any signs of deception by an organization.
- Look for restriction of movement. Is the person limited to where they can go and when in ways that don’t make much sense?
- Watch out for abuse of vulnerability. Is the person particularly vulnerable, perhaps as a child, an elderly adult, or disabled in some way?
- Is the person potentially being manipulated by withholding of pay?
- Is there excessive amounts of overtime work being required of the person?
- Do the work and/or living conditions appear abusive?
- Is the person’s legal or ID documentation being withheld in some way?
- Are there signs of physical or sexual violence?
- Is the person being manipulated by someone they owe a debt to?
- Is there intimidation or threatening behavior being used?
- Does the person exhibit a lot of fear or anxiety?
- Does the person have limited family or social interaction?
Sex Trafficking and Women
Sex trafficking specifically involves the fraud, coercion, or force of a human into sex or other related acts for the financial benefit of someone else. While this can happen to anyone, approximately 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry are women and girls (in comparison to the 58% of women and girls in other human trafficking sectors).
This type of slavery frequently takes place around casinos, hotels, truck stops, resorts, nightclubs, or similar establishments. These places often turn a “blind eye” to the criminal activity, or even profit from it, so it is important to hold all parties accountable in their role of perpetuating criminal activity such as sex trafficking.
Sex Trafficking in Florida
As of 2019, Jacksonville police reported rescuing 47 sex trafficking victims in the previous 2 years alone. Another two arrests were made in July 2019 for sex trafficking, after a sting conducted by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and FBI in June 2019 at a local Holiday Inn Express.
Luckily, we also have local organizations working to help victims of sex trafficking take steps to rebuild their lives in the aftermath. In 2012, Kristin Keen founded Rethreaded with the help of the City Rescue Mission to uniquely employ women who were victims of sex trafficking. Through this supportive organization, women are able to create new relationships and build skills in a variety of fields, including accounting and production. Rethreaded produces women’s’ accessories, as well as pet toys, gourmet, food, and coffee to sustain its efforts in aiding victims of sex trafficking.
Farah & Farah is joining the fight against sex trafficking by taking legal action against businesses where sex trafficking is occurring, volunteering with local projects, and purchasing employee gifts from Rethreaded.
Victims of sex trafficking are encouraged to speak up and reach out to Farah & Farah for help from our specially-trained team of Florida personal injury attorneys and attorney advocates. They may be able to receive compensation, and there are local organizations Farah & Farah collaborates with to help victims of sex trafficking work through this tough time and get back on their feet.