January 12, 2017
January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month
Carson City, NV – Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt, along with the Nevada Broadcasters Association, unveiled a series of television and radio Non-Commercial Sustaining Announcements (NCSAs) aimed at promoting awareness about human trafficking and the funds available for victims of this crime in Nevada. The announcements will appear in both English and Spanish.
In 2013, Assembly Bill (AB) 311 was passed authorizing the Department of Health and Human Services to create a contingency account to allocate money to nonprofit corporations and agencies benefiting victims of human trafficking. The account is entirely donation based, and helps Nevada’s victims in emergency situations such as temporary housing or transportation costs. Since taking office, AG Laxalt has co-hosted two benefit dinners supporting victims of human trafficking that have raised more than $76,000 in funds for the contingency account.
“Nevada has made important strides to combat human trafficking, but the fight is far from over,” said Laxalt. “This statewide campaign during National Human Trafficking Awareness Month is made in an effort to continue to educate our communities about the realities of this crime and to reassure victims that help is available. This month should serve as a reminder to all Nevadans that each one of us can play a part in combating human trafficking, whether by educating our communities or offering our time and financial support to organizations that provide services to victims.”
What is Human Trafficking:
According to United States federal law, human trafficking is defined as (A) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or (B) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.
Recognizing the Signs:
Human trafficking is often hidden to those who are not aware of its warning signs. Recognizing potential indicators is key to identifying victims and assisting in the recovery process. Common indicators that signal suspicious activity and possible human trafficking include:
- Exhibits poor physical or dental health
- Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse
- Avoids eye contact and social interaction, and is hesitant to talk to strangers
- Is fearful of authority figures, especially law enforcement officers
- Has few personal possessions, and regularly wears the same clothes
- Lacks identifying documentation
- Works excessively long hours
- Lives at the place of employment
- Checks into hotels or motels with older males and refers to those males as boyfriend or “daddy,” often slang for pimp
Resources for Victims:
To report instances of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center is a national, toll-free hotline available to answer calls from anywhere in the country 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Individuals may also call the U.S. Department of Justice Hotline at 1- 888-428-7581 or call the local authorities.
More Information Related to Human Trafficking:
Polaris Project is a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Named after the North Star “Polaris” that guided slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project is transforming the way individuals and communities respond to human trafficking, in the U.S. and worldwide. By successfully pushing for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, conducting trainings and providing vital services to victims of trafficking, Polaris Project creates long-term solutions that move our society closer to a world without slavery. Learn more at www.PolarisProject.org.
Innocents at Risk is a nonprofit founded to fight human trafficking and child exploitation. Since its inception in 2004, Innocents at Risk has been working to raise awareness about the horrors of child trafficking around the world. The organization conducts educational outreach programs, and recently began training airline personnel on ways to protect children who are trafficked on flights. To learn more about Innocents at risk, visit their website at www.innocentsatrisk.org.
The Blue Campaign is a campaign launched by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to combat human trafficking. Through awareness and education as well as victim-centered investigations, the Blue Campaign strives to protect the basic right of freedom and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice. For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/bluecampaign.
For more information on the human trafficking contingency account or how to make a taxdeductible donation, visit the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services website here or call 775-684-400 or 702-486-4631. For information on AB 311, click here.