Federal Human Trafficking Report 2018.
Currier, Alyssa.;Feehs, Kyleigh.;Hutson, Betsy.;Roberson, Lindsey.
Holding human traffickers accountable through criminal investigations and prosecutions, as well as civil lawsuits, is a crucial element of an effective, victim-centered approach to combating human trafficking. Human traffickers are economically motivated, compelling people to work or to engage in commercial sex for the trafficker’s own profit. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 criminalizes this form of exploitation at the federal level and has provided increasingly more protection for victims over time. The TVPA provides, inter alia, mandatory victim restitution and the option for victims to sue their traffickers civilly. In 2017, the Human Trafficking Institute (“Institute”) published the first Federal Human Trafficking Report, an exhaustive review of federal efforts to hold traffickers accountable for their exploitative conduct. The 2018 Federal Human Trafficking Report (“Report”) is a continuation of the Institute’s efforts to provide comprehensive data about every criminal and civil human trafficking case that federal courts handle each year. The Report’s findings are not a prevalence estimate of human trafficking within the United States, but instead, serve as an objective summary of how the federal court system is used to combat human trafficking. In 2018, there were a total of 771 active human trafficking cases in federal courts across the United States. The majority (88.2%) of the active human trafficking cases were criminal prosecutions. The remaining 11.8% of the active human trafficking cases were civil suits.