Human Trafficking is modern-day slavery that involves force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Human trafficking is a hidden problem in our communities. Victims seldom come forward to seek assistance due to fear of traffickers, fear of law enforcement, language barriers, cultural barriers, and immigration status, or simply because they cannot identify their experience as trafficking. (Homeland Security-2018)
Traffickers do not discriminate on their targets. However, certain groups are more vulnerable and are consequently at a higher risk for this type of exploitation; those groups include: women, children, marginalized communities, immigrants, refugees, individuals with histories of trauma, individuals from low socioeconomic backgrounds, individuals in foster care, homeless, runaways, individuals subjected to natural disasters, etc. (humantrraffickingserach.net, 2017).
Trafficking happens within all identity communities in Iowa, including in the Latinx (Latinx is used to be more inclusive to those whose gender identity is in the spectrum and/or fluid). In order to raise awareness, RVAP's Latinx staff developed a social media campaign.
La Trata de Personas
La trata o transa de personas es una forma de esclavitud moderna. La trata involucra el uso de fuerza, coacciÃ³n, fraude, engaÃ±o para fines de explotaciÃ³n laboral o de sexo comercial. Incluyendo trabajos forzados, servidumbre, esclavitud, explotaciÃ³n en actividades delictivas, prostituciÃ³n y explotaciÃ³n sexual. La trata de personas no es evidente en nuestras comunidades, permanece oculto. Las vÃctimas de la trata de personas no se dan a conocer por diferentes motivos, entre ellos incluye el temor a los traficantes, temor a las autoridades, barreras del lenguaje, barreras culturales, estatus migratorio, o simplemente porque no se identifican como uno/a. (Homeland Security-2018)
Latinxs in the United States, by being one of the largest minority groups (US Census, 2015), are one of the largest vulnerable groups for traffickers in the United States. According to the 2011 Department of Justice (DOJ) report, 60% of all victims of labor trafficking were Latina women. In the same report, it also found that 42% of all male labor traffic were Latino men. In most of the report individuals of Afro-Latinx decent, or mixed heritage were not counted as Latinx or Hispanic. Instead, they were either counted as other, White, Native, or African-American. Including these individuals only increases the aforementioned percentages. Polaris also published a report in 2016 showing labor and sex trafficking in cantinas across 20 states. In the report they found 1,200 Latina females working in the cantinas who were trafficked for sex, for labor, or for both.