Human Trafficking: What It Is And What To Do About It

The United States is ranked the third largest trafficking destination country in the world.[1] It is estimated between 14,500-17,500 persons are trafficked annually into this country.[2] Many victims are too fearful to report.

What is Human Trafficking?  In essence, it is a form of modern slavery. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000,  which makes Human Trafficking a federal crime, describes “severe” trafficking of a person as follows:

  1. Sex Trafficking is inducing a commercial sex act by force, fraud or coercion or in which a person induced to perform such an act is under 18.


  1. Recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud or coercion in order to subject that person to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.

In 2003, Texas became one of only a few states to enact specific laws against human trafficking. ( See H.B. 2096, Texas Penal Code Ch.20A.02).

If you believe someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, please contact your local law enforcement. There is help available to victims through the Health and Human Resources Trafficking Information and Referral  Hotline: 888-373-7888.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault or sexual abuse as a result of Human Trafficking, by all means  report this crime to local law enforcement immediately.

The Law Office of Tahira Khan Merritt stands ready to help you with your legal needs. We  have exclusively represented victims of sex crimes in civil cases against institutions that have  aided and abetted perpetrators such as, churches, schools, universities and colleges, daycare centers, youth camps, scouting organizations, military schools and the like since 1996.  You may confidentially contact our office at 214-503-7300 or through our website :






[1] The Polaris Project(2004). National trafficking Alert System Criminal Justice Briefing Materials (Version 6), Washington D.C: The Polaris Project.

[2]  U.S. Department of State(2004) Trafficking Person’s Report June 2004(Publication No.11150), Washington D.C: U.S Government Printing Office.

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