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Did You Know — HUMAN TRAFFICKING “THE MODERN SLAVERY”

Part 1 of 6

Most people in the heart of Cajun country would think we would never see a case on Human Trafficking or “modern slavery” but it is here all around us. Hopefully in this 6 part series, I will assist you in understanding what Human Trafficking is and how to spot it. Human Trafficking is the modern-day form of slavery and involves the control of people by means of force (violence), fraud (deception), or coercion for the purpose of forced labor, servitude, or slavery-like practices.

Human Trafficking involves the exploitation of persons who are used for commercial sex or forced labor. Today, Human Trafficking is the third largest criminal industry in the world, after arms trade and drug trafficking. It is also the fastest growing. Many of these victims are lured from their homes with false promises of well-paying jobs; instead, they are forced or coerced into prostitution, domestic servitude, or other types of forced labor. Victims are found in legitimate and illegitimate labor industries, including sweatshops, massage parlors, agricultural fields, restaurants, hotels, and domestic service.

Here is a recent breakdown of Human Trafficking victims in the Louisiana which has seen a small decrease in the past years. There were 992 cases of Human Trafficking identified in 2022. The top 5 in the state were Caddo Parish with 116, Orleans Parish came in 2nd with 92, East Baton Rouge Parish had 65, Calcasieu investigated 51 cases and Rapides Parish having 46 cases.

In the next part we will discuss the obstacles and police calls dealing with Human Trafficking.

The above information is intended for information purposes only and not for legal advice. For legal advice, consult an attorney. Questions can be submitted to bguidroz@slpsheriff.com


HUMAN TRAFFICKING “THE MODERN SLAVERY”

Part 2 of 6

Continuing with our series on Human Trafficking in Acadiana and around the world, low public funding priorities makes it difficult to fight trafficking. Public opinion also often stigmatizes prostitutes as criminals and reinforces an unsupported belief that it was their choice to enter the business of prostitution. 


Trafficking victims are further deterred from seeking assistance because of the fear that police officers or other governmental officials might abuse or send them to prison. Lack of accountability and an incoherent international plan on how to deal with trafficking also contributes greatly to the difficulty in rescuing victims of Human Trafficking and contemporary slavery.


Human Trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world today. Unlike drugs and weapons, people can be sold repeatedly after the initial point of sale. Human Trafficking is profitable because of the ability to “re-use” the person. Unlike arms or drug traffickers who have no control over their contraband after the initial point of sale, human traffickers can continue to exploit their victims. The ongoing control exercised by traffickers affords them the capability to reap profits from the re-sale of their victims.

In a recent Newsweek article it noted that the business of Human Trafficking makes more money than the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball combined.


Traffickers may operate as individuals, families, or more organized groups of criminals, and are facilitated by other indirect beneficiaries, such as advertising, distribution, or retail companies and consumers. Both women and men act as traffickers in labor and sex trafficking operations. Traffickers may be professional or non-professional criminals because of the low start-up cost of creating a trafficking business. Trafficking is appealing because it is so lucrative.


Law enforcement calls for service on Human Trafficking are not a significant portion of calls to law enforcement for help. Although there are very few calls for service directly related to Human Trafficking reports, law enforcement is often called to respond to calls that may include trafficking incidents veiled in other criminal behavior or complaints. Recent research about calls for service show that the most vulnerable populations call police as their first response in almost any situation. Individuals and families with more resources are likely to choose other options. While it may appear that law enforcement will respond to trafficking incidents on very few occasions, the patterns and climate of violence and control in trafficking cases can happen anywhere under many circumstances. 


I have instructed my training staff to teach our deputies to learn to read the clues for a potential trafficking situation. The deputies should look deeper into the complaint to see what other crimes might be present other than the initial call.

There is a misunderstanding between Human Trafficking and smuggling. In the next series we will look at the differences between the two.

The above information is intended for information purposes only and not for legal advice. For legal advice, consult an attorney. Questions can be submitted to bguidroz@slpsheriff.com