“Take Care of Others – You Cannot Live Without Them”– Universal Alaska Native Traditional Value
This topic can be challenging for some, especially for people with relevant experiences. Remember to take care of yourself, and be aware of your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical status. Be sure to take breaks, if needed.
If you need someone to talk to, please visit the Get Care page for resources specific to your circumstances.
Last updated January 2021
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is the modern-day form of slavery. It’s a major issue that leaves long-lasting negative impacts on individuals, families and communities. Human trafficking goes by many different names that you’ve probably heard before – like exploitation, trafficking and slavery.
Human trafficking is a violation of a person’s rights, and a very serious crime across the world. So, how do you know when human trafficking has happened? U.S. federal law says that human trafficking occurs when someone uses force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of commercial work or sexual exploitation.[1a] Basically, human trafficking is when someone feels they have no choice but to work for someone else for little or no compensation. Often it feels as though that person is trapped in that situation, with nowhere to go for help. There are many different types of human trafficking, some of which are reviewed in the below sections.
Before we delve deeper, let’s define a few terms as they relate to this page.
Coercion: the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.
Commercial work: work that is done for profit or some sort of gain.
Force: to make someone do something against their will.
Fraud: an act of deceit, trickery or lies told in order to gain some advantage.
Sexual exploitation: abuse of a position of vulnerability, power or trust for sexual purposes.
Trafficker: Also called ‘abuser’, this is the person who has taken someone and is trafficking them.
Three Ways to Protect Yourself from Trafficking
Let’s first establish that it is never the fault of the victim or survivor of human trafficking for becoming a victim or survivor of human trafficking. Trafficking is an action done to the victim by an abuser. The fault of human trafficking always lies with an abuser who takes advantage of another person’s vulnerability.
We share these suggestions with the intention to inform you and others of how to stay safe. There is no guaranteed way to protect yourself from human trafficking, but following these practices should make you less susceptible to targeted approaches.[2c]
How to Get Help or Help Someone Else
If you think someone is being trafficked, call 911 or your local law enforcement agency immediately. Do NOT attempt to personally or physically confront the suspected trafficker. Here are some other ways to help:[1b]
If you or someone you know is or has been the victim of human trafficking, you may be eligible for financial compensation. To learn more or to review local resources for victims and survivors of human trafficking, please visit the State of Alaska’s Violent Crimes Compensation Board website.