Human trafficking in florida
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Human Trafficking in Florida. Robin H. Thompson, JD, MA Robin H. Thompson & Associates February 7, 2013. What is Human Trafficking?. Modern day slavery

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Human Trafficking in Florida

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Human trafficking in florida

Human Trafficking in Florida

Robin H. Thompson, JD, MA

Robin H. Thompson & Associates

February 7, 2013

What is human trafficking

What is Human Trafficking?

  • Modern day slavery

  • Trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining, by any means, any person for labor or services involving forced labor, slavery or servitude in any industry, such as forced or coerced participation in agriculture, prostitution, manufacturing, or other industries or in domestic service or marriage.

    Freedom Network, based on the federal criminal law definitions of trafficking.

Three elements of trafficking

Three Elements of Trafficking*














a person,







For the purposes of

Involuntary Servitude


Debt Bondage




Sex Trade

*Freedom Network Training Institute

Human trafficking

Human Trafficking

  • Important to be being victim-centered

  • Victim is impacted by many systems

  • Victim is reluctant to discuss

  • Victims have multiple victimizations

  • Confidentiality is paramount

  • Crisis oriented

  • Safety and Safety Planning very important

Human trafficking prevalence

Human Trafficking: Prevalence

  • In the U.S. 14,500-17,500 annually, 80% women and children

  • Globally, accounts range from 600,000 to 4 million people trafficked worldwide each year (United Nations)

  • Twenty seven million people in slavery around the world

  • $9.5 billion business

  • Florida is third in the nation

    Center for the Advancement of Human Rights, Florida Responds to Human Trafficking

Who is trafficked

Who is trafficked?

  • Vulnerable people

  • U.S. and foreign nationals

  • All ages, education

  • Men, women, children

    Futures Without Violence, Turning Pain Into Power

Who are the traffickers

Who Are the Traffickers?

  • Organized criminal syndicates

  • Families (“mom & pop” operations)

  • Labor subcontractors

  • Pimps

  • Diplomats

  • Business people/professionals

  • Individuals with non-commercial sexual motives

  • May also be neighbors, friends, relatives of the victim

Human trafficking identification

Human Trafficking Identification

  • Clues:

    • Evidence of being controlled

    • Evidence of an inability to move or leave job

    • Bruises or other signs of battering

    • Fear or depression

    • Non-English speaking

    • Recently brought to this country

    • Lacks passport, immigration or identification documentation

      U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Mindset of a Human Trafficking Victim

Who could be a victim of human trafficking

Who could be a victim of human trafficking?


  • Vulnerability is key

  • Economic shackles

Traffickers brutally control their victims

Traffickers Brutally Control Their Victims

  • Beatings, burnings, rapes, & starvation

  • Isolation

  • Psychological abuses

  • Threats of deportation

  • Threats against the victim’s family members in the home country

  • Drug/alcohol dependency

  • Withholding of documents

  • Debt bondage

People are trafficked in

People are trafficked in:

  • Prostitution

  • Exotic Dancing

  • Agricultural Work

  • Domestic Work & Childcare

  • Factory Work

  • Begging

  • Restaurant Work

  • Construction Work

  • Hotel Housekeeping

  • Mail Order Brides

  • Criminal Activities

  • Informal Labor Sector

  • Other?

Domestic minor sex trafficking

Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking

  • Runaways and “throwaways” at great risk

  • Exploited through sex trade

  • Florida is a magnet for runaways; 96 children under DCF care in 2010 id’d

  • 271 calls to DCF Abuse Hotline

Domestic minor sex trafficking1

Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking

  • Multiple prosecutions to date (e.g., Osley-Greer case)

  • Any child (<18) induced to perform a sex act is a trafficking victim

  • Traffickers target group homes, foster care

Practical applications of cultural competence

Practical Applications of Cultural Competence

  • Listen to the student with an open mind:

    -Without using culturally-based assumptions

    -Let the student narrate story in a style that is familiar.

  • Use a trusted and reliable interpreter.

  • Make sure interpreter is not linked to the trafficking situation.

Cultural competence continued

Cultural Competence continued

  • Gather information about the student’s understanding of his/her culture and community.

  • Please consider:

    -What is like to talk about this problem?

    -is there safety and support?

    -Are there barriers to safety?

    -Adapted from Dr. Sujata Warrier

Screening human trafficking

Screening: Human Trafficking

  • How to ask – human trafficking:

    • Can you leave your job or situation if you want?

    • Can you come and go as you please?

    • Have you been threatened if you try to leave?

    • Have you been physically harmed in any way?

    • What are your working or living conditions like?

    • Where do you sleep and eat?

Screening continued

Screening - continued

  • Have you ever been deprived of food, water, sleep or medical care?

  • Do you have to ask permission to eat, sleep or go to the bathroom?

  • Are there locks on your doors and windows so you cannot get out?

  • Has anyone threatened your family?

  • Has your identification or documentation been taken from you?

  • Is anyone forcing you to do anything that you do not want to do?

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Mindset of a Human Trafficking Victim

Mandatory reporting dcf

Mandatory Reporting – DCF

  • Must call Abuse Hotline:

    • Knows or reasonable cause to suspect

    • Abuse, neglect or exploitation

    • Of child or

    • Vulnerable adult

  • Anonymous

  • 800-96-ABUSE (800-962-2873)

Florida laws

Florida laws

  • Generally, align with federal law

  • Define human trafficking, forced labor

  • Criminal penalties

  • Civil remedies

  • Safe Harbor law for minors

  • Florida Children’s Cabinet

  • Other state activity

Federal laws

Federal Laws

  • Immigration relief (IPV and trafficking)

  • Eligible for refugee-type benefits: welfare, child care, county health services, housing, transportation, job training, and language instruction – trafficking

  • International action - trafficking

Quick and easy next steps

Quick and Easy Next Steps

  • Post multi-lingual materials (brochures, posters, cards) (in hall ways, bathrooms, classrooms, etc.)

  • Share materials w/all staff now - professional and administrative staff

  • Know your local resources + interpreters you can trust

  • Keep key numbers handy

Human trafficking resources in florida

Human Trafficking: Resources in Florida

  • Center for the Advancement of Human Rights (CAHR), Florida State University 850-644-4550;

  • VIDA Legal Assistance – 786-525-9178

  • Florida Department of Children and Families,

    Office of Refugee Services, 850-488-3791

  • Robin Thompson, Senior Project Director, FSU - CAHR or 850-907-0693

Human trafficking national resources

Human Trafficking: National Resources

Health and Human Services: FREE STUFF

  • Referral to aid organization in the victim's area. Toll-free number (888-3737-888) (

    Department of Justice:

  • Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint Line

    1-888-428-7581 (voice and TTY).

Thank you

Thank you!

  • Questions?

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