APD > Human Trafficking

Federal Law: The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000

Severe forms of human trafficking –

    • 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 an 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
  • Florida Statute Chapter 787.06(2)(d)
    • Transporting, soliciting, recruiting, harboring, providing, enticing, maintaining, or obtaining another person for the purpose of exploitation of that person

Florida is ranked number 3 in the Nation for potential Human Trafficking.

Important Facts:

  • People are trafficked into many industries.
  • Trafficking is visible; trafficking is accepted.
  • Supply and demand fuel trafficking.
  • “People smuggling” is not considered human trafficking.
  • As many as one in five trafficking survivors fell prey a second time.
  • Boys and men are trafficked too.
  • Disability is attractive to traffickers.
  • There is no one “profile” of a trafficker.

Victims of Human Trafficking:

  • Anyone can be a victim
  • Some populations are more vulnerable to victimization.
  • These may include: Undocumented immigrants, runaway and homeless youth, victims of trauma and abuse, individuals with intellectual disabilities, refugees and individuals fleeing conflict, and oppressed, marginalized, impoverished groups and individuals, and/or individuals with low self-esteem.
  • People with intellectual, cognitive, or developmental disabilities are 7 times higher of a risk of becoming victims.

Increased Vulnerability:

People with developmental disabilities are more likely to be victimized because of social stigma.

  • Unable to report the crime
  • Not considered credible reporters
  • Unable to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate touching
  • May be socially isolated
  • Dependence on others for long-term care
  • Lack of economic independence
  • Lack of participation in abuse awareness and personal safety programs
  • Less education about sexuality and healthy intimate relationships
  • Communication challenges
  • Physical barriers to accessing supports and services
  • Victims of sexual, physical, or mental abuse

Red Flags of Human Trafficking

Common Work and Living Conditions:

  • Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
  • Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp / manager
  • Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
  • Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
  • Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
  • Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
  • Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
  • High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)

Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior:

  • Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
  • Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
  • Avoids eye contact

Poor Physical Health:

  • Lacks health care
  • Appears malnourished
  • Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture

Lack of Control:

  •  Has few or no personal possessions
  •  Is not in control of his/her own money, no financial records, or bank account
  •  Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)
  •  Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)


  •  Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she isstaying/address
  •  Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
  •  Loss of sense of time
  •  Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story
  •  New commodities (Cell phone, clothes, etc.)
  •  Sudden Manicured nails, hair and jewelry

Hard to Recognize

  • Victim does not recognize abuse, neglect, or exploitation
  • Communication challenges
  • Some symptoms may be interpreted as behavioral problems or traits of their disability
  • Victims may be coerced and not appear to be a victim
  • Fear and training prevent disclosing

Reporting Suspected Human Trafficking

  • Call DCF Abuse Hotline


  • Call National Human Trafficking Hotline


  • Department of Homeland Security

1-866-347-2423 or at www.ice.gov/tips

  • Contact local law enforcement

Mandated Reporters

  • Everyone in Florida has a responsibility to report known or suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation
  • Failure to report known or suspected cases of abuse, neglect, or exploitation is a 3rd degree felony.

Professionally Mandated Reporters

  • Physician, osteopathic physician, medical examiner, chiropractic physician, nurse, or hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care, or treatment of persons;
  • Health or mental health professional ;
  • Practitioner who relies solely on spiritual means for healing;
  • School teacher or other school official or personnel;
  • Social Worker, day care center worker, or other professional child care, foster care, residential or institutional worker;
  • Law enforcement;
  • Judge.

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