Human trafficking can happen anywhere and to anyone. Sometimes it takes place at the hands of someone the victim knows.
In Pennsylvania, state agencies and organizations are working together to put an end to human trafficking within the state and nationally.
Human Trafficking is the most rapidly growing organized crime in the world. In 2016, 40 million people were victims of human trafficking. The National Human Trafficking Hotline reported 10,949 cases called in in 2018.In Pennsylvania, The Hotline receive 630 contacts regarding human trafficking in 2018, with 275 cases reported. These numbers are not indicative of the full scope of victims, since not all cases are identified or reported.
What is Human Trafficking?
Adults and children can be trafficked or enslaved and forced to sell their bodies for sex. People are also trafficked or enslaved for labor exploitation, for example to work on a farm or factory or in a house as a servant, maid, or nanny and receive little to no money for their work 10-16 hours every day of the week. The crime of human trafficking must involve the use of force, fraud, or coercion.
PennDOT is one of the first transportation agencies in the country to train employees to recognize the signs of a potential trafficking situation and how to report it to the authorities. To date, PennDOT has trained 564 driver license and welcome center employees, as well as almost 15,000 transit agency employees in human trafficking awareness. In 2018, PennDOT took the USDOT pledge to “Put the Brakes on Human Trafficking” and became a member of the National Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking initiative.
Visit PennDOT’s human trafficking landing page for more information on the initiative and helpful links.
Get the Facts & Spot the Signs
Polaris provides resources for human trafficking prevention and tracks data that can be used for targeted systems-level strategies to disrupt and prevent human trafficking. They provide myths, facts, and statistics to help better explain what human trafficking is and dispel common misconceptions.
Keep Kids Safe provides additional information on human trafficking in Pennsylvania, as well as how to spot the signs of human trafficking for sexual exploitation.
If you witness or are a victim of human trafficking, get in touch with the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline.
Call 888-373-7888, or text “BeFree” to 233733.
The Pennsylvania Office of Victim Services provides help for victims of human trafficking who need to find local service programs, financial assistance, or visa assistance.