What is Human Trafficking?

  • Trafficking means recruiting, abducting, facilitating, transferring, harboring, or transporting a person, by threat or use of force, coercion, fraud or deception or by the purchase, sale, trade, transfer, or receipt of a person, for the purpose of subjecting that person to involuntary servitude, peonage, slavery, slave-like practices, sex trafficking, or forced or bonded labor services; or where the person induced to perform a commercial sex act is under 18 years old. (Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act (TVPA) of 2000, reauthorized in 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2013).

Some Human Trafficking Statistics

  • Estimated 21 million people trafficked worldwide (International Labor Organization, 2012 Report)
    • 55% women and girls | 45% men and boys
    • 78% adults (18 +) | 26% children (under 18)
    • 22% forced sexual exploitation | 68% forced labor exploitation
  • $150 Billion global industry (International Labor Organization, 2012 Report)
  • Bay Area is a major port of entry for human trafficking.

People are trafficked for:

  • Domestic Service
  • Sex Work (commercial & non-commercial)
  • Marriage
  • Factories
  • Agriculture
  • Restaurant Work
  • Construction
  • Hotel/motel housekeeping
  • Drug trafficking
  • Begging/peddling
  • In-Home Care/Nursing
  • Other informal labor sectors
  • Other criminal activity

What are some of the services trafficking victims’ needs?

  • Housing, food, clothing
  • Medical & dental care
  • Interpretation
  • Health education
  • Mental health care
  • Financial literacy
  • ESL classes/job training
  • Counseling and therapy
  • Victim compensation

What are some of the options for relief and recovery for trafficking victims?

  • Criminal prosecution of traffickers – victim as a witness to aid prosecutors to punish traffickers and restitution
  • Immigration relief for victims – victim as self-petitioner for T-visa, U-visa, continued presence, work authorization, also VAWA (Violence Against Women Act), asylum, Special Juvenile Immigrant Status (SIJS)
  • Civil litigation – victim as plaintiff bringing suit against traffickers for monetary damages
  • Repatriation – helping victim return to home country if they want to return
  • Family law – protective orders against trafficker (intimate partner or family member)
  • Public benefits – state benefits under SB1569, and federal benefits under TVPA

What is a T-visa?

  • Must be a victim of a severe form of trafficking; present in U.S. on account of trafficking; complied with reasonable requests for assistance in investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking (if over 18 years old); and would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if removed.
  • Enables certain victims of human trafficking to live and work in the U.S. for four years.
  • Can apply for adjustment of status and lawful permanent residence after three years or the end of a criminal case.
  • Petition for victim’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 (or parents and siblings under 18 if victim is under 21).
  • Does not require law enforcement Supplement B certification.

What is a U-visa?

  • Must be a victim of an enumerated crime who has suffered physical and/or mental trauma; who has information concering the crime; and who has helped, is helping, or is likely to be helpful for a federal, state, or local investigation or prosecution.
  • Enables certain undocumented victims of crime to live and work in U.S. for up to four years.
  • Can apply for adjustment of status and lawful permanent residence after three years.
  • Petition for victim’s spouses and unmarried children under 21 (or parents and siblings under 18, if victim is under 21)
  • Requires a law enforcement Supplement B certification.

Question to assist you in identifying whether someone may be a victim of trafficking:2

  • How did you get the U.S.? Did someone help you?
  • Did someone at home promise you a “good job” in America?
  • When you got to America, did you find that they had lied about the “good job”?
  • What did you think you were going to be doing?
  • Did you owe money for your trip?
  • Did someone tell you that you have to pay off a big debt by working?
  • Could you come and go as you pleased?
  • Were there usually people around, watching you?
  • Did you have your documents? Did someone else keep your documents?
  • What kind of work did you do?
  • How many hours a day did you work?
  • Were you paid? Regularly? How much?
  • Did you owe money to your boss or anyone else?
  • Did you get medical care/dental care?
  • Were you free to contact your family?
  • Were you allowed to make friends?
  • Could you leave if you wanted to?
  • Did your boss or anyone else threaten to report you to the authorities?
  • Did you feel scared?
  • Did you see anyone else get hurt?
  • Did your boss or anyone else threaten to hurt you or your family?
  • Did your boss or anyone else hurt you?
  • Do you go to school?
  • Where did you sleep at night? Were you allowed to eat?
  • Did someone arrange jobs for you?
  • Were your paychecks taken from you? Did you have to give your paychecks to someone?

Who do I contact if I think I have encountered a trafficking victim?

  • Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach and ATCBA: 415-567-6255
  • National Human Trafficking Resource Center: 888-373-7888
  • Local law enforcement: 911

The Anti-Trafficking Collaborative of the Bay Area’s (ATCBA) partner agencies are Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, Asian Women’s Shelter, and Banteay Srei. The ATCBA has served hundreds of survivors of human trafficking discovered in the United States from over 22 countries from regions such as Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Eastern Europe. ATCBA’s partner agencies work as a team to provide seamless and comprehensive legal and non-legal services to men, women, and children who have been victimized by modern day slavery. These services include case management, immigration and civil legal representation, advocacy in criminal justice proceedings, shelter, provision of basic necessities, safety planning, and other services. ATCBA’s program is founded on the principle of survivor empowerment, and all services are provided in the survivor’s language of choice by advocates who are typically bicultural and/or who have received extensive training on the cultural aspects of serving immigrant survivors of crime.


ATCBA engages in awareness-raising and capacity-building efforts, such as training and presentations upon request, technical assistance for law enforcement, government and nongovernmental organizations and individuals, and community outreach and education. Our curriculum and materials are tailored to fit the needs



Human Trafficking Fact Sheet

ATCBA Human Trafficking Fact Sheet

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