What is Human Smuggling?
Human smuggling is the importation of people into another country involving deliberate evasion of immigration laws. It includes bringing illegal aliens into another country as well as the unlawful transportation and harboring of aliens already in the country.
What is Trafficking in Persons?
Human trafficking is one of the most least understood crimes in the world. It is a transnational issue and is a crime hidden from public view. This crime is widespread throughout the world and is highly profitable. The United Nations estimates that 700,000 to 4 million women and children are trafficked around the world for purposes of forced prostitution, labor and other forms of exploitation every year. Trafficking is estimated to be a $7 billion dollar annual business.
Human trafficking is defined as sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
What are the Possible Indicators of a Human Trafficking Victim?
- Person does not have their identification documents in their possession because the documents are held by another and are not returned upon request
- Person with unexplained physical injury or abuse
- Person whose movement and activities appear to be closely controlled or monitored by another and is not free to leave at their own will
- Person does not have personal freedoms of travel, shopping without escort
- Person never leaves home without an escort
- Person works excessive hours, but receives little or no compensation
- Person who works excessive hours and is fearful of discussing working conditions or is unaware that certain unsafe conditions are unlawful
- Person does not know where they are geographically located and is always transported to and from workplace
- Person’s salary is being garnished to pay off smuggling fee on a recurring basis
- Person who is fearful of discussing their relationship to a person who appears to have physical control over them
- Person has been deprived of food, water, sleep, or medical care
- Unable to communicate freely and cannot use phone, internet, or email
If you have information regarding any human smuggling or human trafficking issues involving people in the United States or planning to go to the United States, please contact the United States Embassy’s Regional Security Office Investigative Program or that of your closest U.S. Consulate.
U.S. Embassy Hanoi
Operator: (024) 3850-5000
U.S. Consulate Ho Chi Minh City
Operator: (028) 3520-4200
Additional information on human trafficking can be found on the Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and the Polaris Project websites.