Fighting human trafficking would be simpler if it was easy to identify traffickers or if all traffickers worked together. Traffickers may be part of organized crime or may be working on their own. They could be United States citizens, foreign nationals, men or women. They could be your neighbor, or the owner of your favorite restaurant.
Traffickers are people who decide to exploit other people to make a profit. They use force, fraud, or coercion to control their victims. Traffickers selling minors in the commercial sex industry exploit the minor’s age, No force, fraud, or coercion is required.
Case Studies Spotlight on Human Trafficking in America
Antonio Rivera recruited undocumented immigrants in the United States to work as waitresses in his bars. He placed ads and disseminated flyers seeking waitresses in Spanish language newspapers and at local businesses frequented by Spanish-speaking migrants. Once he hired the women, he directed them to convince patrons at the bar to buy them drinks, which they were required to consume. Eventually, he forced the women to have sex with his patrons in exchange for money, which he kept. He used physical violence and threatened to deport the women to keep them from leaving or reporting the activities to the police. Riviera and his associates were convicted on sex trafficking and forced labor.