Technology plays a role in almost every aspect of human trafficking. Polaris's Chief Technology Officer explored this issue before the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
The U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline saw a nearly 20 percent increase in victims and survivors directly reaching out for support. This indicates a significant development for both the Trafficking Hotline and the anti-trafficking field as a whole.
The pandemic is greatly impacting Latinos and Black people in the United States as the result of systemic inequities in our society. Those inequities are the same ones that create the vulnerabilities that traffickers often take advantage of.
The Wayfair theory, like other viral stories, can potentially result in overwhelming services meant for victims, as well as increasing online harassment and privacy intrusions of people mistakenly believed to be victims. These theories also detract from the knowledge we do have about how sex trafficking actually works, and how we can prevent it.
Georgia enacted a law that allows adult survivors to clear their criminal records of convictions that occurred because they were being trafficked. This is great news for countless human trafficking survivors, the vast majority of whom have some record of arrest or conviction as a direct result of their victimization.
Most people assume that slavery in the United States was abolished in any form but the reality is that the Thirteenth Amendment contained one important exception: Prison labor. Those who have been convicted of a crime can still be forced to work in this country.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided two cases that together increase protections for the LGBTQ+ community and undocumented immigrant youth. These decisions are positive steps in the work to end sex and labor trafficking, both directly and indirectly.
The 2020 Trafficking in Persons is primarily a tool of diplomacy, used to help engage foreign governments in efforts to make positive changes that protect vulnerable people and end exploitation. But it is also a good jumping off point for the United States to do some much needed self-examination.
During COVID-19, temporary changes in regulations to work visas, like H-2A and H-2B, benefit employers but put workers at greater risk of human trafficking and exploitation. Lack of oversight and lack of clear access to crucial information for workers increases the imbalance of power, favoring employers.