How Human Trafficking Happens

Our amazing partners at StoryGive created a short video titled Every Two Minutes. This film gives a look into three of the different ways that trafficking happens.

The first story is a look into the promise of love, security, and a sense of home. Victims are frequently lured by false promises of a loving, secure relationship. The second story looks at the evils of labor trafficking, where individuals are sold and forced to perform labor or services. And the final story dives into what it means to be sold by a family member who is supposed to protect you.

What all of these stories have in common is that traffickers manipulate and exploit their victims and their vulnerabilities.

Human traffickers recruit, transport, harbor, obtain, and exploit victims – often using force, threats, lies, or other psychological coercion. Traffickers promise a high-paying job, a loving relationship, or new and exciting opportunities. In other cases, they may kidnap victims or use physical violence or substance abuse to control them.

Traffickers employ a variety of control tactics, including physical and emotional abuse, sexual assault, confiscation of identification and money, isolation from friends and family, and even renaming victims. Often, traffickers identify and leverage their victims’ vulnerabilities in order to create dependency. They make promises aimed at addressing the needs of their target in order to impose control. As a result, victims become trapped and fear leaving for myriad reasons, including psychological trauma, shame, emotional attachment, or physical threats to themselves or their children’s safety.

-Polaris Project