Polaris report on defining sex and labour trafficking in the United States March 2017

“From sex trafficking within escort services to labor trafficking of farmworkers, the ways humans are exploited differ greatly. Each type has unique strategies for recruiting and controlling victims, and concealing the crime.For years, we have been staring at an incomplete chess game, moving pieces without seeing hidden squares or fully understanding the power relationships between players. With The Typology of Modern Slavery, our blurry understanding of the scope of the crime is now coming into sharper focus.Polaris analyzed more than 32,000 cases of human trafficking documented between December 2007 and December 2016 through its operation of the National Human Trafficking Hotline and BeFree Textline—the largest data set on human trafficking in the United States ever compiled and publically analyzed. Polaris’s research team analyzed the data and developed a classification system that identifies 25 types of human trafficking in the United States. Each has its own business model, trafficker profiles, recruitment strategies, victim profiles, and methods of control that facilitate human trafficking.

This study provides a detailed account of labor and sexual exploitation experienced by homeless youth in Covenant House’s care in ten cities.

“Human trafficking — the exploitation of a person’s labor through force, fraud, or coercion — is a crime whose victims tend to be society’s most vulnerable. People who are homeless, lack a support system, or are desperate for work are susceptible to the promises of people who would exploit them for labor and for sex. Recently, homeless youth providers in the United States and Canada have become aware that their clients are particularly at risk of trafficking, and research has begun to uncover the extent and contours of the problem within that community.”