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Human Trafficking

Did you know?

Did you know Florida has the highest number of Human Trafficking victims in the United States?

Did you know Florida is one of the top 3 states as a destination state for Human Trafficking in the United States?

Approximately 20,000 people are trafficked into the United States each year. 80% of the Human Trafficking victims are women and children and 70% of the Human Trafficking victims are pornography, sex slaves, and commercial sex. Human Trafficking is a $32 billion dollar industry, second only to drug trafficking and by 2020, will be the number one crime worldwide.

Some people confuse Human Trafficking with Smuggling. Smuggling is a crime against the sovereignty of the United States or against our borders. Human Trafficking is a crime against a person. While it is possible for some individuals to get smuggled into our country and then forced to do some type of labor to pay off their debt, Smuggling and Human Trafficking are two separate crimes. Currently, Smuggling is only a Federal offense whereas Human Trafficking can be prosecuted both at the State and Federal levels.

Victims of Human Trafficking could be doing a variety of jobs in our community. Maids, housekeepers, cooks, construction workers, nail salons, agricultural workers, landscapers, and prostitutes. The child you see in your neighbor's house that was fraudulently adopted and brought back into the U.S. could possibly be a victim.

How do I identify someone who is a Human Trafficking victim?

Don't ask them if they are a Human Trafficking victim. Instead ask:

  • Did you come to the U.S. for a specific job?
  • Once you got here, did you have to do a different work than you expected?
  • Were you kidnapped or sold?
  • Do you have your personal documents such as passports, birth certificates, etc., or is someone else controlling those?
  • Does your employer provide you with housing, food, clothes or uniforms?
  • Did you sign a contract? What did it say?
  • Do you owe any money to your employer?
  • Can you freely leave the employment/situation?
  • What are the conditions of employment (including pay and hours of work)?
  • Does your employer hold your wages (or charge for room, board, food, or transportation)?
  • Are there guards where you work, or video cameras there to monitor and make sure no one leaves?
  • Have you or your family been threatened with harm if you try to leave?
  • Can you come and go as you please?
  • Can you freely contact (phone, writing) your friends, or family?
  • Can you bring friends or visitors to your residence?

A Human Trafficking victim may be an adult or child, man or woman, a US citizen or a citizen from another country. Typically, Human Trafficking victims don't self report. Our community has to be the ones to be on the lookout for this crime. We have to learn to look beneath the surface.

For more information contact the Alachua County Sheriff's Office Public Information Office, (352) 367-4050 or send us an email.

Under Florida law, email addresses are public records. If you do not want your email address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.

This information is made available to the public and law enforcement in the interest of public safety.