If you are thinking, “we do not have trafficking in ND…” you are not alone. Common misconceptions lead people to believe human trafficking is something that happens in another state, larger cities or across the globe. However, human trafficking affects every community in the United States across age, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic backgrounds.
Out of sight, out of mind
Individuals are advertised for sex online and trafficked out of local and rural hotels and homes.
Adults forced to work long hours on a rural farm. This may include the withholding of personal identification documents if they are from another country. Withholding may also include food, water, money, medical treatment, etc. Labor traffickers may make threats against the worker’s lives or the lives of their loved ones.
Survival sex is the exchange of goods, like food or shelter, in exchange for a labor or a sexual act. Vulnerable populations are particularly at risk for being exploited as they may have limited options to meet basic needs, and traffickers and buyers aim to take advantage of their vulnerabilities.
Parent/Guardian trading their child for sex to obtain drugs and alcohol. This happens behind closed doors and may go on for a long period of time wherein the youth may not identify as a victim because the behavior has been normalized.
North Dakota by the Numbers
Since its inception in 2015, the NDHTTF has trained communities to identify signs of trafficking, provided response and advocacy for victims, and investigated and prosecuted crimes related to trafficking. Below are statistics the NDHTTF is proud to share that reflect the work done statewide to combat trafficking.
Please note that our data collection efforts are a work in progress as we continue to include new agencies in our reporting, as well as train participating organizations on how to accurately utilize reporting systems. Temporary discrepancies in data may result as we work through these reporting processes.
In 2017, the NDHTTF…
Served 79 victims of human trafficking, 41 of these are North Dakotans
Served 79 new clients: 66 adults, and 13 children
Trained 3,309 professionals on human trafficking identification
Held 321 community-based response meetings to combat human trafficking
Since the inception of the task force the NDHTTF…
Served 242 victims of human trafficking: 185 adults, and 57 children
Trained 8,141 professionals on human trafficking identification, service provision, and investigation
*Data reporting: trained professionals is from January 1st, 2016 through June 30th, 2018; victims served through September 30, 2018
NDHTTF Quarterly Report (coming soon)