Human trafficking is among the vilest of crimes that may call for legal action.
Human trafficking involves one person or a group of people using tactics like fraud, deception, threats, and violence to force another person or group of people to engage in acts of domestic or sexual labor. Victims are often kidnapped and taken away from their home to be exploited. They are not permitted to leave, and they are not paid for their labor. They are made aware that any moves to leave will be punished with violence, abuse, or even death.
If you or someone you love has been a victim, reach out to our law firm to see if we can help. Babin Law, LLC specifically sues the Hotel Industry for knowingly benefitting and profiting from victims of human trafficking. Babin Law, LLC sues for civil remedies not criminal.
Scroll to bottom of page to view 4 PDFs of lawsuits that we have filed against hotels.
Is Human Trafficking a Federal or State Crime?
It is both a federal and state crime. The federal government sees it as a crime, and it is also a crime in the state where it took place. The United States will take jurisdiction on cases that occur on federal property, across state lines, or on tribal land.
How Bad Is It?
Human trafficking is a horrific crime, and it happens more often than we would like to believe. According to recent data, human trafficking has increased over the past seven years. Between 2017 and 2018, it increased by 32% based on the national average.
In 2017, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center documented 40.3 million cases of human trafficking on a global level. Men, women, and children have been cited as victims.
The main categories are labor trafficking and sex trafficking. The key venues for labor trafficking are domestic travel, agriculture, begging rings, and restaurants. Sex trafficking key venues include hotel/motels, pornography, online ads, and illegal massages and spas.
Why Does Human Trafficking Happen?
Money is a common motivation behind free labor trafficking and commercial sex. The crime tends to happen in areas where there is civil unrest, corruption, a lack of rights, poor economic situations, dysfunctional families, and weak government.
Despite the fact that human trafficking is a heinous crime, it continues to be a lucrative business. According to the International Labor Organization, it generates approximately $150 billion each year.
Who is at High Risk?
Common targets for human trafficking include the following:
- Runaways and homeless youth
- Children in foster care, welfare, and juvenile justice systems
- Undocumented workers and participants in visa programs for temporary workers
- People with addiction issues
- Low-income individuals
- Foreign nationals
- People with limited English skills and low literacy
- Unaccompanied children
- People with disabilities
- Members of the LGBTQ community
Signs of Human Trafficking
Human trafficking often involves the following scenarios:
- Owing a huge debt that you cannot repay
- Using acts of labor or sex to make up for unrepayable debts
- Having your passport, ID, or other official documents held to force you to participate in acts of unpaid labor or sex
- Being abused or forced to create pornographic content
- Having your earnings seized to pay an ongoing debt with an amount that changes frequently
- Being threatened with violence if you leave
- Being recruited for a job and finding that the work is excessive, exploitative, and/or unpaid
- Excessive monitoring of and restrictions on personal schedules and interactions
People that are victims of human trafficking often exhibit poor mental and physical health. They may have a lack of control over their personal lives and may have someone constantly looking over them and speaking on their behalf.
Victims may also have poor living and working conditions. They may live and work in the same location, they may work excessive hours and they may not have control of the money they are being paid, if they are being paid anything at all.
What are the Effects of Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking can produce severe mental and physical conditions for its victims. These include the following:
- STD’s and harm to the genitals
- Health complications from starvation
- Diseases during transportation
- Unplanned pregnancies
- Physical and emotional trauma due to forced abortions
- Psychological trauma
- Injuries due to sexual trauma
How are Traffickers Prosecuted?
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act was created in 2000 and it is the first comprehensive federal law to combat human trafficking. All 50 states have laws criminalizing sex trafficking.
Child sex trafficking is a federal offense and is punished in accordance with the age of the victim. Defendants may be looking at 15 years to life in prison for victimizing children under 14 years of age. If the victim was 14-17 years old, the defendant may get a sentence of 10 years to life in prison.
Labor trafficking comes with a sentence of 20 years in prison. However, if kidnapping, sexual assault, attempted murder, or homicide is involved, it may turn into a life sentence.
What Should I Do If Someone I Know is a Victim of Human Trafficking?
If you know or think that someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, contact the National Human Resource Center at 888-373-7888. You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you may remain anonymous.
If you or someone close to you is a victim, it is advisable to take legal action. The lawyers at Babin Law, LLC are here to help.
Babin Law, LLC is a group of Columbus, Ohio attorneys with extensive experience in human trafficking cases. We know how painful these matters can be for our clients, and we treat them with the care and respect they deserve. We have zero tolerance for guilty parties and see to it they are punished by the full extent of the law.
Human trafficking is an intolerable crime. Don’t let at fault parties get away with it. Call Babin Law for a free consultation. If we're able to take your case, we will see to it that justice is served.