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What is human trafficking?
What are Washington State's human trafficking codes?
What methods do traffickers use to force, fraud, or coerce victims?
How is sex trafficking different from pimping or promoting prostitution?
Where are victims of sex trafficking usually found?
There is a "massage parlor" in a strip mall in my town. How can I tell if it is a sex trafficking location?
Does Washington's law only apply when the victim is foreign born?
Where are labor trafficking victims usually found?
What will happen to the victims?
Doesn't this reward illegal behavior?
What is the difference between smuggling and trafficking?
What can I do to prevent trafficking?

What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is when someone recruits, harbors, transports, transfers, provides, obtains, or receives by any methods another person knowing that force, fraud, or coercion will be used to cause the person to engage in forced labor, involuntary servitude, or a commercial sex act (sex trafficking). For traffickers who victimize minors in commercial sex, no proof of force, fraud, or coercion is required for conviction.
What are Washington State's human trafficking codes?
There are two types of human trafficking recognized by Washington Law: human trafficking (RCW 9A.40.100) and commercial sexual abuse of minors (RCW 9.68A.100-104). Commercial sexual abuse of minors is commonly called child sex trafficking and prostituted youth are commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC).

What methods do traffickers use to force, fraud, or coerce victims?
The use of force like violence; making threats like withholding the victim's identification documents, making someone pay off a debt; fraud like promising a job that does not exist a conditions that are not true, or fraudulent romantic relationships (boyfriend).

How is sex trafficking different from pimping or promoting prostitution?
In reality, there is little difference. In most cases of promoting prostitution, the pimp/trafficker or supplier uses one or more of these methods in almost all cases.

Where are victims of sex trafficking usually found?
Sex trafficking victims are usually performing prostitution in locations that try to appear legitimate. Often times, locations are marketed as "massage parlors," "health spas," "acupressure centers" or similar names. Brothels, escort services and strip clubs also are often destinations of sex trafficking victims.

There is a "massage parlor" in a strip mall in my town. How can I tell if it is a sex trafficking location?
There are several indicators that are common to sex trafficking locations: darkened or obscured windows so you can't see into the location from the outside; locked doors that require you to be buzzed in; and an all-male clientele are indicators of trafficking. In trafficking locations, the victims often arrive and leave from the premises together or live at the location. Many times, the victims at the location will all be of the same nationality or ethnic group. Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-3737-888 or 1-888-3737-888 to report or inquire.

Does Washington's law only apply when the victim is foreign born?
No. Trafficking victims can be citizens or legal residents of the United States in addition to foreign-born. In fact, the estimated number of domestic minor sex trafficking victim is 100,000 to 300,000 and the average age of their entry into commercial sex act is 12-15.

Where are labor trafficking victims usually found?
Labor trafficking victims can be found in a wide range of otherwise legitimate jobs and services, including restaurants, hotels, construction, cleaning and maintenance, and domestic and agricultural employment.

What will happen to the victims?
Under Washington State's law, prostituted youth are eligible for social services. Federal law offers protection for human trafficking victims. However, such services are extremely limited in proportion to the number of trafficking victims identified.

Doesn't this reward illegal behavior?
No. It's important to remember that human trafficking victims are in that situation because they have been subjected to force, threats, coercive methods or fraud. They did not have a real opportunity to avoid their circumstances, or leave them.
Also, experience shows that human trafficking victims are reluctant to cooperate with law enforcement officials because of shame or from fear that they or their families will be harmed by the traffickers. The services provided are necessary to help the victims heal, make them safe and give them confidence to testify against their traffickers. Without cooperation from the victims, it is extremely difficult to obtain human trafficking convictions. Providing services to human trafficking victims is as much for the benefit of the police, prosecutors and general public as it is for the victims.

What is the difference between smuggling and trafficking?
Smuggling is a consensual situation. The person being moved and the person moving them are in agreement, and when the smuggled person arrives at the destination they are free of the other person. Smuggling always involves the crossing of an international border.
Trafficking doesn't require being transported over an international border. The victim is not free. The trafficking victim is not a criminal. On the contrary, the person being willfully smuggled has entered the country illegally.

What can I do to prevent trafficking?
Organize community action teams to pursue effective prevention methods. For examples, urge your police department, prosecutors and judges to receive human trafficking training and implement the law, pursue an end to demand by strictly enforcing Washington laws against those patronizing prostitutes (buyers/johns), work with educators to integrate prevention curriculums starting from the middle school level.

Washington Engage is actively working with various teams around Washington State to pursue preventive strategies to create systematic change in education, businesses, and the criminal justice community.

 
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