On-Ramps, Intersections, and Exit Routes

This report builds upon Polaris’s 2017 report, The Typology of Modern Slavery, which analyzed data, gleaned from nearly 10 years of operating the National Human Trafficking Hotline, to show that human trafficking in the United States consists of 25 distinct business models. For each, the Typology report illuminated the basic operational plan – the demographics of both victims and traffickers, and how victims are recruited and controlled.

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A Roadmap for Systems and Industries to Prevent and Disrupt Human Trafficking

 

This report focuses on the private and public-private sector because fighting human trafficking will require participation by business and industry partners with resources at a comparable scale.

 

As with any enterprise, the business plan of a human trafficking venture is not built in a vacuum but rather exists within an ecosystem or matrix, depending on and intersecting with a range of legitimate industries and systems – cultural, governmental, environmental. Examples are abundant. Traffickers use banks to store their earnings and buses to move their victims around; hotel rooms are integral to the operations of some sex traffickers, social media is a vital recruitment trawling ground for others.

This report takes a magnifying glass to such private-sector intersections. The details matter. The more that is known about the business plans of human trafficking, the more possible it becomes to prevent and disrupt the crime and help survivors find freedom. The insights here are gleaned from those in a position to understand the nuances of each business intersection point – the survivors who lived the experience.

They are not definitive scientific conclusions but rather valuable baseline narratives that can spark further exploration and collaboration from other sectors. Each set of insights is followed by detailed recommendations for turning them into action, industry by industry. Like the insights and information that precede them, these recommendations are also not intended to be definitive. They are a beginning; an invitation. What we have learned is only as valuable as the partners who join us in making the recommendations a reality – and by offering more of their own.

This report builds upon Polaris’s 2017 report, The Typology of Modern Slavery, which analyzed data, gleaned from nearly 10 years of operating the National Human Trafficking Hotline, to show that human trafficking in the United States consists of 25 distinct business models. For each, the Typology report illuminated the basic operational plan – the demographics of both victims and traffickers, and how victims are recruited and controlled.

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