Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Traffickers use force, fraud or coercion to exploit victims for commercial sex or labor purposes. More then 18,000 victims are trafficked into the U.S. annually and more then half of those victims are children. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world and it is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today. Victims of sex trafficking may be found in massage parlors, brothels, strip clubs and escort services. Victims of labor trafficking may be found in domestic situations as nannies or maids, sweatshop factories, construction sites, farm work or panhandling. Human trafficking is everywhere among us and is sometimes in plain sight.
The NM Attorney General, the U.S. Attorney and the New Mexico Sexual Assault Coalition, Inc. sponsored the 2006 New Mexico Human Trafficking Awareness Conference. Policy makers, law enforcement and victim assistance providers attended the two day conference in November, 2006. Following the conference a State task force was formed to address prevention of human trafficking, protection of victims and prosecution of offenders. The Border Violence Division is proposing legislation to make human trafficking a state felony offense.
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Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, widespread throughout the United States today. Trafficking of humans is the second largest criminal industry in the world after drug dealing, and is the fastest growing. Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by means of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of exploitation. A person does not need to be transported to be considered a victim of trafficking. A large number of victims are trafficked within their own countries. Most victims of trafficking are forced to work in the commercial sex industry, such as prostitution or sex entertainment, or exploited for labor, such as domestic servitude or restaurant work, sweatshop factory work or migrant agricultural work. Some victims are trafficked for the purpose of organ removal.
Victims of trafficking can be any age, gender, or race, though women and children make up the largest group of victims. Force, fraud, or coercion is not required in the case of a minor engaged in sexual exploitation.
New Mexico Human Trafficking Law
In 2008, human trafficking became a felony crime in the state of New Mexico. The NM Human Trafficking also includes benefits and services for trafficking victims as well as the creation of a task force to combat human trafficking that includes the Attorney General's Office.
Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000
The TVPA made human trafficking a Federal crime with severe penalties. It also authorized public education and awareness programs. The TVPA also provides victims of trafficking who are non-US citizens with benefits and services to the same extent as refugees.