Slavery Still Exists in Human Trafficking

Did you know that Florida is ranked third in the nation for number of calls to the Human Trafficking hotline? Florida Law, Chapter 787.06 F.S., defines human trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery. Human trafficking does not mean the physical act of moving a person from one location to another; instead, the Florida Legislature defines victims of human trafficking as being subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Criminals exploit children, teenagers, and adults of all genders, race, and socioeconomic status for their own personal gain. According to the International Labor Organization and Polaris Project, there are an estimated 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally, and it is an estimated $150 billion industry worldwide. The U.S. Department of Justice study of human trafficking cases identified 83 percent of sex trafficking victims were U.S. citizens, and many of those victims are trafficked around and into Florida. The most common types of human trafficking are sex trafficking, labor trafficking, and domestic servitude.

Traffickers prey on individuals with any potential weakness. Individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability are seven times more likely to become victims of human trafficking. Traffickers do not have a single profile. They can be family members, business leaders, service providers, or even romantic partners. Recognizing the red flags of human trafficking is the first step to identifying a potential victim and could save the lives right here in Florida. To find a list of potential red flags, visit the Polaris Project at or visit the U.S. Department of State at If you suspect you have met a potential victim of human trafficking, please be cautious when asking questions to ensure the victim’s safety and leave the investigative work to the appropriate professionals.

You can make a difference and save lives in your community! Join the fight to end human trafficking by raising awareness and getting involved in your local human trafficking task force. To find your local task force, visit If you suspect human trafficking may be occurring, contact your local law enforcement agency, the Florida Department of Children and Families Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873), the National Human Trafficking hotline at 1-888-373-7888, or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733).

Additional Resources:
Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities
Florida Office of the Attorney General
Florida Department for Children and Families
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign