Human Trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world and called “modern slavery”. Within Human Trafficking, adults and/or children are forced and exploited into performing labor or sexual acts without the freedom to leave their situation. Their trafficker is making some form of financial gain in exchange for their labor or sexual acts. Human Trafficking is different that Human Smuggling, in that Trafficking occurs within American borders with victims who are American citizens or legal immigrants.
US Department of Justice has identified Kansas as an originating state for Human Trafficking. The I-70 and I-35 highways contribute to “hotspot” communities for labor and sex trafficking activities. In 2018, KBI received 48 reports of Human Trafficking in Kansas; however, the actual number is indeterminant due to the underground nature of the trafficking trades. In response to Human Trafficking activities in Kansas, the Kansas Attorney General Office has formed a state-wide Human Trafficking Advisory Board, in addition to joining the “Demand An End” campaign, which calls for accountability of buyers in Sex Trafficking, especially minor children.
Human Trafficking activities need a keen eye to detect, as the trafficking activity will not match outward appearances.
Here are some Red Flags for Sex Trafficking:
- A couple where one half appears older & controlling over the other half
- Inappropriate dress for age or weather
- Usage of multiple cell phones
- Submissive, fearful demeanor in the suspected victim
- Avoidance of eye contact in the suspected victim
- Stories of travel, absence from school/work which don’t logically connect
Red Flags for Labor Trafficking:
- Work excessive hours with no breaks
- Not free to take sick or vacation time
- Multiple people living in one space
- Lives with employers
- Does not have possession of photo ID or important personal documents
Human Trafficking is a felony crime in Kansas, with both the buyers and traffickers (sellers) being culpable for this crime, never the victim. For your safety, it is important not to confront a possible trafficking situation, please call RCPD at 785-537-2112 for officer assistance or 911 for emergency assistance.
These important resources can assist you with assistance in identifying or rescuing a victim of Human Trafficking, provide additional information, and emotional support:
- Victim Advocate Coordinator 785-473-2390
- The Homestead (Manhattan) 785-537-7173
- Kansas Attorney General Office 800-828-9745
- Human Trafficking Hotline 888-373-7888 -or- Text HELP to 233733