Sunday, August 01, 2010
Human Trafficking In The U.S.: One Woman's Story : NPR
This year, for the first time ever, the U.S. included itself in the State Department's annual report on human trafficking. The report said the U.S. has a serious problem with human trafficking — a practice they call the equivalent of modern-day slavery, including commercial sex exploitation and forced labor — as a source country, and as a destination for victims.
"We think of trafficking as this huge network of organized crime, which it can be, but it can also just be a couple that wanted a nanny but didn't want to pay for it," says Kathleen Morris, who heads the Washington state Anti-Trafficking Response Network.
Human trafficking victims do more than just sex work. In fact, the majority work as forced laborers in all kinds of industries, from construction to agriculture or housekeeping.
Seven years ago, Washington became the first state in the nation to make
State Department's Trafficking In Persons Report
human trafficking a crime on the state level. Now 44 states have a similar law and — just in the past few years — there's been a flurry of legislative activity all across the country to address the issue. Dozens of new laws increase criminal penalties for traffickers and
require better help for victims of coercion and force.