General Human Trafficking Facts
Human trafficking differs from human smuggling, which is when a person requests to be
smuggled in or out of a country. In this situation, the smuggled person is free or works for
the smuggler until the debt is repaid (similar to indentured servitude). The major difference
is that a smuggled person is free and goes of their own free will, while one who is trafficked
is sometimes kidnapped or taken by force into slavery
Human trafficking is modern day slavery. A person is tricked, manipulated, lured, or
physically forced into bondage.
Human trafficking can generally be divided into 3 categories: sex slavery/prostitution,
manual labor, or domestic servitude.
Victims usually originate from poorer regions of the world, Thailand, Southeast Asia, South
America, Mexico, etc, and are usually vulnerable, both financially and in terms of the
situation in the country. Many people are trafficked from the flash points discussed in class,
Iraq, Syria, etc.
People who are looking for entry into another country are especially at risk. It is also not
uncommon for people to be kidnapped through “slave raids” where a town is actually raided
by traffickers, who then kidnap whoever they choose, and often times parents may choose to
sell their own children into slavery.
Women are especially at risk. Many are deceived by promises of love, marriage, jobs, or
financial security. Generally, women are trafficked for sex slavery, men, for hard labor, and
children for sex, labor, and for military purposes.
Thousands of children per year are kidnapped, and many of these are orphaned or sold by
their parents. Particular areas of which include Asia, Africa, and South America.
Developing nations are often targeted as well, because the crimes are easy to get away with.
According to the State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 men, women, and children are
trafficked across international borders, with approximately 80% female and 50% minors.
Approximately 14,000 are trafficked into the US each year, but because trafficking is illegal,
accurate statistics are not known.
Some causes of trafficking, according to Wikipedia, are “profitability, growing deprivation
and marginalization of the poor, discrimination in employment against women, anti-child
labor laws eliminating employment for people under 18, anti-marriage laws for people under
18, resulting in single motherhood and a desperate need for income, restrictive immigration
laws that motivate people to take greater risks, and insufficient penalties against traffickers.
Advances in technology, especially communication, also contributes to trafficking, as well
as new markets in Asia, the profitable market (people can be sold many times, drugs
cannot), and weak border protection.
In 2000, the United Nations convened and held the Convention against Transnational
Organized Crime and produced tow laws; the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish
Trafficking in Person, especially Women and Children, and the Protocol against the
Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea, and Air. These contain the basis of current
international law on trafficking.
The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings
convened in 2005. Of the 46 members of the Council, 30 have signed it and 1 has ratified it
The United States prosecutes the Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section of the United
States Department of Justice. In 2000, new laws were passed under the Victims of
Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 that provided for harsher sentences and
better aid for victims.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have pushed the US to improve their laws
to reduce trafficking.
ANNE MILGRAM INTERVIEW
Anne Milgram is the First Assistant Attorney General of the State of New Jersey, and served
as the Acting Attorney General of New Jersey after Attorney General Farber’s resignation.
She is the second in command of the Department of the Law and Public Safety, which
includes the Divisions of Criminal Justice, Law, State Police, Consumer Affairs, Elections,
and Civil Rights, and helps to direct policies, operations, and investigations within the
Department, which is home to 9600 people.
Anne began her career in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor, and
worked as the assistant district attorney, prosecuting domestic violence, sexual assaults, and
child abuse cases within the trial division as member of the Domestic Violence Unit. She
worked under Robert Morgenthau, District Attorney.
She then went on to work in the criminal section of the Civil Rights Division within the
DOJ, and prosecuted hate crimes, official misconduct, and human trafficking cases.
She was on the special litigation counsel for human trafficking and prosecuted sex
trafficking, forced labor, and domestic servitude cases. This role also included overseeing
attorneys and advising local, state, and federal prosecutors as well as law enforcement
Anne was awarded the Department of Justice Special Commendation for Outstanding
Service in December of 2004, and was the lead federal prosecutor in the nation for human
Anne prosecuted two of the largest international sex trafficking cases in the world, one of
which under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.
Her most famous case, United States v. Jimenz Calderon, in Plainfield, New Jersey, will be
the case study later on.
UNITED STATES CONCENTRATION
Human trafficking is a huge issue in the United States but is not easy to detect. It is more
common and more well known in places such as Russia, Thailand, South America, and Asia.
Awareness has grown in the US through TV shows (Human Trafficking special on Lifetime,
specifically) but is generally low except in the areas in which it has happened.
US Action: cooperation with other countries, United Nations involvement, federal agents
abroad, etc, unfortunately ignorance and politics hinders progress.
A separate union with in the DOJ is devoted to human trafficking and aid for victims
Non profit organizations and Catholic charities aid victims as well as laws, law enforcement,
and victim enforcement.
Human trafficking is an international issue; victims coming into the US are often foreign
and very young. There is usually an outcry from the victims’ families although the victim is
usually hesitant to talk, making most of these crimes go undetected and are hard to
The US has more control over the situations in other nations than one might think, and uses
certain means to enforce laws in other countries
UNITED STATES v. JIMENEZ-CALDERON
US v. Jimenez-Calderon was a landmark case in the prosecution and awareness of human
trafficking. It set a legal precedent for all human trafficking cases to follow, and raised
awareness across America.
The case dealt with two sisters, the Jimenez-Calderons, who were running a brothel in
Plainfield, New Jersey. When a police raid exposed the operation, it was discovered that
four of the eleven prostitutes were underage Mexican girls with no identification or
information. Eventually the girls came to trust Anne and prepared to testify against the
sisters, nicknamed “the Witches.”
The girls were from poor families in Mexico, and were targeted by the brothers of the
Witches. The brothers would hang around the taco stands where the girls worked and get to
know them, bringing them money and gifts, until finally asking the girls to marry and come
to America with them. The girls agreed, thinking that it was the path to a better life.
Once smuggled across the border, the girls were brought to Plainfield, where the Witches
told them that they had to work as prostitutes and that if the police found out, they would be
thrown in jail and raped. The girls were forced to do many men a day, and all money went to
the Witches. If they even talked to one another, they were beaten, and were verbally abused
The Witches pleaded guilty to the charges just days before the trial, and the girls were
disappointed not to be able to testify. However, when given an opportunity in court to speak
to the victims, the sisters showed no remorse, and the girls were allowed to vent their pain
and sadness. The Witches got the maximum sentence of 17 ½ years in prison and had to pay
retribution over 135, 000 dollars to be split among the four girls.
Although the girls suffered many hardships and may never fully overcome their experiences,
they were able to rebuild somewhat and live the life in America that they had been
Please see attached article for more information of Anne Milgram and her cases.
I think that human trafficking is one the most important issues in our society today, but
ironically, it’s one of the most little known of all contemporary issues. I think it is disgusting that
people can just be taken and thrown into slavery, and it is hard to comprehend that parents can sell
their children into bondage. I find it even more alarming that the governments of these countries are
not taking an active role in ending trafficking, and I think that the United States is making headway
in the issue. Human trafficking should not be tolerated, and I think that if people were more aware
of the horror of trafficking, there would be more ways to aid victims and prevent future crimes.
I think that Anne Milgram has done an awesome job in prosecuting these cases, and she’s et
the precedent for how these cases will be handled in the future. I really enjoyed talking with her and
getting her perspective on the situation. It is comforting to know that the US is taking an active role
in seeking out traffickers and aiding the victims. I feel so sorry for these young girls who are
smuggled here and abused, thinking that they were going to the land of opportunity and that they
ended up in hell. I hope something can be done to stop this, and I hope to work in human trafficking
or victims counseling in the future.
*Listed alphabetically in the order of articles, websites, and persons interviewed
Fried, Stephen Glamour Magazine “One Woman’s War on Sexual Slavery” January 2005
United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division Anti-Trafficking News Bulletin October
2004 Volume 1, Number 10
Center for Woman Policy Studies
Accessed 7 November 2006
State of New Jersey Attorney General | First Assistant Attorney General
Accessed 22 October 2006
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia trafficking in Human Beings
Accessed 30 October 2006
Milgram, Anne Telephone Interview 30 October 2006